The Discontinued Infiniti QX70, Nee FX, May Yet Return

the discontinued infiniti qx70 nee fx may yet return

2017 was the 15th and final model year for the Infiniti QX70, formerly known as the Infiniti FX. Sad, sad the day.

But is the QX70/FX, a dramatically curvaceous take on the modern idea of a crossover, dead and gone for good? Perhaps not. “We are now asking ourselves what is the QX70’s role?” Infiniti president Roland Krueger rhetorically asked Automotive News, “And what should it be?”

Maybe these questions come a year or two or 15 too late, but the fact that Krueger even broaches the subject suggests a high degree of willingness to reinsert the vehicle back into Infiniti’s lineup. If Nissan’s upmarket brand could copy the degree of success the FX earned early on in its tenure — more than 30,000 were sold in America in 2004 — then the rebirth can’t come soon enough.

“We think about what it was created to be, as the FX,” Krueger says, “but what should it be now?”

At the height of the FX’s success, the boldest Infiniti was a four-door SUV coupe before four-door SUV coupes were (hilariously named) four-door SUV coupes. The BMW X6 didn’t arrive as a direct rival, albeit further upmarket, until 2008. By that time, Infiniti FX sales had fallen 59 percent since the 2004 peak.

As the QX70, with ever more abundant competition, Infiniti averaged fewer than 6,000 annual sales, a far cry from the 26,000 annual sales the FX averaged during its first half-decade on the market.

Thus, while it may seem obvious for Infiniti to fill the gap between the QX60 and larger QX80 with an alternative to the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE, Infiniti may not feel there’s space in that narrow niche. That’s why Roland Krueger, the successor at Infiniti to current Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen, is asking the question.

Should QX70 equal something else altogether?

While Infiniti HQ attempts to answer that question, the company’s next SUV task relates to the replacement of the long-lived QX50, formerly the EX, with a second-generation model next year. More popular in old age as a lengthened model, the QX50 required an inventory build-up while Infiniti waits for the new variant to arrive. “We’ll have enough inventory to run out just as we launch the new QX50,” says Randy Parker, Infiniti’s North American vice president.

Infiniti showed a concept that accurately previewed the second-gen QX50 at the North American International Auto Show in early 2017. Before that model’s arrival, the QX50 was put on hiatus for the 2018 model year.

[Images: Infiniti]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.
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