NAIAS 2019: Infiniti QX Inspiration Concept Hints at the Dangers of an Electrified Future

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
naias 2019 infiniti qx inspiration concept hints at the dangers of an electrified

Embracing the marque’s Japanese heritage, Infiniti today revealed the QX Inspiration concept SUV. The concept, a midsize crossover, looks towards an electrified future for the brand. Further, it introduces a new styling language that’s sure to influence future vehicles.

Sadly, the 11:40 a.m. press conference and reveal came and went without the concept rolling across the stage in front of a horde of journalists. It seems the QX Inspiration was shy and didn’t want to start. Thus, here is photo of the stricken concept in the lobby.

Infiniti has already promised that its entire range will be electrified in some manner by 2021 — whether via straight electric, traditional hybrid, or Nissan’s innovative e-Power system. Christian Meunier, President of Infiniti, notes that this concept “establishes a direct blueprint for the brand’s first electric vehicle.”

The packaging of this electric crossover puts the battery pack below the floor of the vehicle, allowing for a very low center of gravity. The flat floor hints at a dual-motor setup, allowing for all-wheel drive with an electric motor placed both front and rear, without the need for a traditional driveshaft.

That flat floor allows for a more flexible, spacious cabin — the concept has front seats that swivel thirty degrees outward to ease egress. Driver and front passenger are greeted with widescreen displays that stretch across the entire dashboard, from A-pillar to A-pillar, paired with another display (sure to distract) on the rectangular steering wheel.

Interestingly, while the people up front have screens galore, the rear seat passengers have no technology whatsoever, in an effort to create a serene space. Good luck with that one, though the kids back there will likely have screens of their own, completely ruining all chances of serenity.

The proportions of the QX Inspiration are a bit unusual, with a more cab-forward design allowing for more human and cargo space in a footprint quite similar to that of the production QX50. Removing the internal combustion engine allows for a shorter “engine” bay. The overall length of the concept is 4,650 mm — 183.07 inches, compared to the QX50’s 184.7 inches. Wheelbase is slightly longer, at 112.2 versus 110.2 on the QX50. The concept is nearly two inches shorter in height than the production vehicle, at 64.2 inches versus 66.0.

The styling takes most cues from the Japanese idea of “Ma” — which focuses on the open spaces between lines. The creases and contours are inspired by origami and traditional Japanese architecture styles. Infiniti further realizes that in an electric vehicle; grilles are no longer needed to direct cooling air to an engine, so a contoured fascia provides a new opportunity for branding. Note the lighted INFINITI block text below the traditional logo. Oh, and of course, black plastic cladding on the wheel arches, because it can’t be an SUV without black plastic cladding on the wheel arches.

Further selling this new concept with modern marketing techniques, one Infiniti (paid) loyalist got a sneak preview of the QX Inspiration on Friday. Steph Curry (not to be confused with TTAC associate editor Steph Willems), point guard for the Golden State Warriors and Infiniti spokesman, Tweeted and Instagrammed the special moment when the concept car made an appearance in his driveway.

[Images: © 2019 Chris Tonn/TTAC, Infiniti]

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  • Conundrum Conundrum on Jan 14, 2019

    Of course it wouldn't start. Carlos Ghosn stole the key.

  • RHD RHD on Jan 15, 2019

    At the Infiniti Global Design Center in Atsugi, Japan: "You forgot to include the headlights!" "No, they're behind the panel gap. " "The door is too flat. It needs a character line or something. " [Angrily performs a flying side kick into the side of the car.] "How's that?"

  • Conundrum Three cylinder Ford Escapes, Chevy whatever it is that competes, and now the Rogue. Great, ain't it? Toyota'll be next with a de-tuned GR Corolla/Yaris powerplant. It's your life getting better and better, yes indeed. A piston costs money, you know.The Rogue and Altima used to have the zero graviy foam front seats. Comfy, but the new Rogue dumps that advance. Costs money. And that color-co-ordinated gray interior, my, ain't it luvverly? Ten years after they perfected it in the first Versa to appeal to the terminally depressed, it graduates to the Rogue.There's nothing decent to buy on the market for normal money. Not a damn thing interests me at all.
  • Inside Looking Out It looks good and is popular in SF Bay Area.
  • Inside Looking Out Ford F150 IMHO. It is a true sports car on our freeways.
  • Inside Looking Out Articles like that are nirvana for characters like EBFlex.
  • ToolGuy "Ford expects to see Pro have a $6 billion pre-tax profit this year and Blue a $7 billion pre-tax profit."• That's some serious money from commercial vehicles (the 'Pro' part)