By on April 8, 2017

[Image: Infiniti]

There’s no debating this. The Infiniti QX80 isn’t just the most overdone vehicle in the full-size SUV segment — it may be the most ungainly looking utility vehicle on the market today.

Oddly proportioned and baroque, Infiniti’s flagship is an affront to the eyes when contrasted with the crisp, creased and traditionally boxy silhouette of, say, the Cadillac Escalade. Well, not for long.

Ahead of next week’s New York International Auto Show, Infiniti has revealed its QX80 Monograph concept vehicle — a design study that signals “the brand’s intention to further develop its standing in the full-size luxury SUV segment,” the automaker claims.

2015 Infiniti QX80

While the roofline resembles the current model’s, Infiniti enhances the floating roof effect by ditching the chrome trim along the upper greenhouse. Gone (thankfully) are the vertebrae-like fender vents, replaced by a small inlet intersected by a chrome strip that extends from above the narrow headlights to the fender-door gap. The gaping grille now falls in line with Infiniti’s overall design direction.

The brand’s QX50 concept, which appeared in Detroit in January, seems to inspire the QX80. Really, it’s just a taller facsimile with lower, wider foglight ports.

While many car makers release concept vehicles for existing, rather than all-new, models, this design seems particularly fleshed out. Don’t be surprised if the next-generation QX80, due in 2018, borrows heavily from it, or appears nearly identical. (Expect side mirrors, though.)

Infiniti says it wants the new QX80’s design to combine “power with elegance.” While sales of the polarizing current model have only grown since its introduction, the automaker clearly feels it can cast a wider net with a more compelling design. The Monograph sees the spotlight in New York on April 11th.

[Images: Infiniti]

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34 Comments on “NYIAS 2017: Infiniti Readies a Less Overblown Replacement for the QX80...”

  • avatar

    What does the Patrol on which this is based look like?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      A little better.

      Nissan moved away from producing the previous gen Patrol to this fugly and expensive vehicle.

      The previous Patrol was an affordable and capable off roader for the masses.

      Nissan fncked up big time.

      • 0 avatar

        I suppose Cadillac fncked up big time with its brand-justying product, the Escalade.

        And Toyota fncked up big time each time the Land Cruiser become more comfortable, livable, luxurious and less utilitarian, and profits per unit soared.

        What an awful way to be a company, build products that make a nice fat profit.

        Its just like how Ford totally screwed up their pickups and as a result are on track to sell 900k of them this year if I read/remember correctly on Tim’s article.

        How stupid to build something that sells so well and makes so much money!! Terrible way to run a car company, I tells ya. Anticipating and catering to market demands?? what a crazy, convoluted scheme!

  • avatar

    Amazing what you can do with a simple reschnozzing.

    • 0 avatar

      Raising the headlights helps a lot. Makes it look a lot less whale-like.

      • 0 avatar
        Add Lightness

        I was starting to think my night vision was getting really bad as I was continually having trouble seeing in traffic at night
        Then I realized that in driving in a normal car I was below the low beam cutoff in many of these oversized beomoths.

        • 0 avatar

          Not the problem, it’s the current crop of lights, I’ve been developing a very similar issue with night driving and I should be well above the cutoff.

          • 0 avatar

            Well, since JohnTaurus agrees, there must be something to your observation. The first thing we do, is find someone to blame. The German automakers seem to go nuts with weird light systems that are unique to each maker and cost a fortune to replace. Should we pile on them, or reserve some blame for our domestic makers who have followed suit, or even the Japanese/Koreans? We’ll get nowhere until we first find a scapegoat.

      • 0 avatar


        This, so much this.

  • avatar

    Eee Gad.!

    That “thing” looks uglier than an Aztec!


    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. I’d be embarrassed driving that SUV.

    • 0 avatar

      FUgly. What is with the Japanese styling today. Anime illustrators yesterday, car designers today. The front plastic facia with the integrated lighting system is just waiting to be broken on a parking stop, curb or small road hazard. Due to the complexity of the facia and accompanying expense, in 5 years look to see these on 22″s sans front facia.

      • 0 avatar

        The Japanese must have liked the 1955 Rambler American front end. This is just a modern interpretation, like those people trying to revive the Packard, incorporating the 1930s grille into a modern car. Packard’s dead and the grille doesn’t work anymore. Same thing with the Rambler/Infiniti.

    • 0 avatar

      I kind of like the look, as far as huge SUVs go. With those comically big wheels and grille, it almost looks like a scaled up Mini Cooper…… I’m sure it will look more SUV’ish with production hoops and some sidewall fitted.

      • 0 avatar

        How about some Rubbermaid cladding too? If you can’t have ‘stylish’ you might as well go for pseudo-offroad. Add a trailer hitch in back and a brace for a winch in front, and some wire mesh over the lights, and a roof rack that can accommodate a 5-gal. gas can or two. Or just mix-and-match those options for a customized urban assault vehicle look. I wonder how much camo paint/wrap would cost?

  • avatar

    I first saw the image of the concept, and never having seen one of these in the flesh over here in Germany, thought as follows: “Damn, that thing is hideous! About time they re-did that.” Then I scrolled down, and my reaction upon finding out that the first image already showed the re-done version is perhaps better imagined than read.

    • 0 avatar

      I think your reaction is quite forgivable. This is being described as a new model, but it looks like a pretty mild re-styling to me. The overall proportions look identical, and the fender flares are only slightly different.

      I would be interested to see what other changes there are.

  • avatar

    So many ugly these days the Juke vanishes in the crowd. The RS vanished this year. Anybody notice or care?

  • avatar

    That is one of the ugliest vehicles I have ever seen. Is this design language for the US market? Who and where is this designed…I thought it was California. If I saw this in my driveway I would poke it with a stick to make sure it is not dangerous! I have never understood Nissan’s designs and bet no one on this website owns one of these aardvarks…please tell me it’s so.

  • avatar

    Just the Nissan Quest on steroids is all . . .

  • avatar

    After having had enough “floating” D-pillar, let’s try a “floating” A-pillar. Yeah that’s the ticket!

    BTW this looks like a very butch version of a 2010 to 2013 Highlander.

  • avatar

    Looks solidly midsize.

  • avatar

    I rove a 2004 Patrol, (5 speed) for 2 years when I lived in the Middle East. It was a fantastic truck, very capable and very reliable. It looked and acted like a real truck. I was excited when i heard they were going to base a new US truck off the Patrol, maybe a real offroader? Nope, they came out with this thing, very disappointing.

  • avatar

    Reducing the Beluga-like hood does make an improvement, and I can appreciate the rear cargo area being more squared off than say….the Pathfinder.

    But then you see the Nissan Patrol, which looks kind of like a big brother to, or a stretched, more rounded Xterra to my eyes and you wonder why they just don’t use that? It looks so much better.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “I was excited when i heard they were going to base a new US truck off the Patrol, maybe a real offroader? Nope, they came out with this thing, very disappointing.”

    “The previous Patrol was an affordable and capable off roader for the masses.

    Nissan fncked up big time.”

    No one in the US that buys a FS BOF SUV gives a flying f$%k about offroad capabilities. Over here the off-road/non-streetable vehicles get put in/on a trailer and towed behind down the interstate. Give Nissan credit that they understand the market they are targeting w/this vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      I agree with your take. As much as I find this Infiniti to be horrid, I applaud Nissan for deciding to take on Cadillac’s hold of the ostentatious BOF SUV market. For whatever reason, there is a segment of society that really enjoys the (to use the authors word) baroque styling, it seems silly to yield that market to one manufacturer. Nissan has stepped up there game with the secondary credit markets, replacing Pontiac it seems, so this fits the play book as well.

      Who would have thunk a day would come that you would choose an Escalade to maintain some subtlety?

  • avatar

    To be fair, guys, this is a capable truck with a great interior. And FWIW, I see tons of them around my city.

    Don’t get me wrong, I find them hideous too, and my 70k would buy a Yukon Denali for the looks and 6.2L alone, but I’d always be jealous of the inside of these QXs. They’re quite posh.

  • avatar

    I’ve always thought the QX80 (and the second-gen Q56 before it) reminded me of a fat woman poured into a leotard.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    With the luxification of the current Patrol-Armada, the reasons for purchasing the QX80 become less and less. It now has all the interior features of the QX, and better exterior styling – for much less money.

  • avatar

    For the person who is an individual and wants to stand out! Cannot wait to see it! LOL!

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