Infiniti QX Inspiration: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

infiniti qx inspiration the first time ever i saw your face

“I thought the sun rose in your eyes, and the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave … to the dark … and the endless skies, my love,” sang Roberta Flack in the heady and decadent early ’70s. Suffice it to say this writer didn’t feel the earth move in his hand upon gazing at the Infiniti QX Inspiration, not did his heart tremble like a captive bird.

The QX Inspiration, like the Q Inspiration concept of 2018, heralds Infiniti’s electric — or at least electrified — future, and it’s a future without a face.

On Friday, Infiniti dropped the towel on its concept crossover ahead of a debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. While the concept’s sedan counterpart made do with a slightly more conventional (but still clearly electric) front fascia, the QX Inspiration goes the creepy route taken by some of Volkswagen’s concepts. Much plastic acreage, but little in the way of grille. No grille at all, really. Just some black mesh along the lower fascia, a hood gap, and two vents leading to the air curtain fenders.

Premium automakers like Audi and Mercedes-Benz kept things pretty traditional while crafting their first electric crossovers for fear of scaring off loyal customers. Meanwhile, the always-electric Tesla gave up mimicking air-sucking internal combustion cars and dropped the fake grille on its Model S after the debut of the Model 3. Hyundai and Kia’s EVs also reside in the “less face” camp.

Still, tall vehicle have a lot of space to fill, and, as tall vehicles are what buyers want, today’s trend of absolutely gigantic grilles fits the consumer shift just fine.

Getting back to the QX Inspiration — while Infiniti plans a number of electric and electrified models in the coming decade, there’s no word yet on how this concept generates its power. There is, however, a clue.

In a release, the automaker said the QX Inspiration “represents Infiniti’s plans for high-performance electrified vehicles, offering complete range confidence while signaling a new era for Infiniti design enabled by new technology.”

Complete range confidence, eh? Seems to this writer that Infiniti’s signalling the domestic debut of parent company Nissan’s novel e-Power setup, which we learned last year the company was having difficulty adapting to heavier vehicles. With e-Power, already offered in the Japanese-market Nissan Note, a small gasoline engine running at a fixed speed generates electricity on the fly, which is then routed to a low-capacity battery to power an AC motor. The end result is instantaneous EV torque, low fuel consumption, and the ability to keep driving after actual EVs would have to charge up. It’s also relatively cheap.

As for Infiniti’s timeline for this and other vehicles, we’ll have to wait until the QX Inspiration’s January 14th debut.

[Images: Infiniti]

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  • Spike_in_Brisbane Spike_in_Brisbane on Jan 04, 2019

    Infiniti (Nissan) could learn a thing or two about designing an SUV BEV from Jaguar.

  • Scott Scott on Jan 04, 2019

    Wasn’t the original Q a more or less grilless design, I don’t recall it looking ugly, might have been better to use it as inspiration. And those high sides and slit windows have to go,

  • Kurkosdr Someone should tell the Alfa Romeo people that they are a badge owned by a French company now.The main reason PSA bought FiatChrysler is that PSA has the technology to enter the luxury market but customers don't want a French luxury car for psychological/mindshare reasons. FiatChrysler has the opposite problem: they have lots of still-respected brands but not always the technology to make good cars. Not to say that if FCA has a good platform, it won't be used in a PSA car.In other words, if those Alfa Romeo buds think that they will remain a silo with their own bespoke platforms and exclusive sheet metal, they are in for a shock. This is just the start.
  • Arthur Dailey For the Hornet less expensive interior materials/finishings, decontent just a little, build it in North America and sell it for less and everyone should be happy with both the Dodge and the Alfa.
  • Bunkie I so wanted to love this car back in the day. At the time I owned a GT6+ and I was looking for something more modern. But, as they say, this car had *issues*. The first of which was the very high price premium for the V8. It was a several thousand dollar premium over the TR-7. The second was the absolutely awful fuel economy. That put me off the car and I bought a new RX-7 which, despite the thirsty rotary, still got better mileage and didn’t require premium fuel. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction because, two years later, I test-drove a leftover that had a $2,000 price cut. I don’t remember being impressed, the RX-7 had spoiled me with how easy it was to own. The TR-8 didn’t feel quick to me and it felt heavy. The first-gen RX was more in line with the idea of a light car that punched above its weight. I parted ways with both the GT6+ and the RX7 and, to this day, I miss them both.
  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.
  • MaintenanceCosts I like the styling of this car inside and out, but not any of the powertrains. Give it the 4xe powertrain - or, better yet, a version of that powertrain with the 6-cylinder Hurricane - and I'd be very interested.