By on January 14, 2019

NAIAS 2019 Infiniti QX Inspiration Concept

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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14 Comments on “NAIAS 2019: Infiniti QX Inspiration Concept Hints at the Dangers of an Electrified Future...”

  • avatar

    God I hate Instagram.

  • avatar

    Is Steph Curry blind?

  • avatar

    There has to be some kind of bet on how physically large the wheels can be.

  • avatar

    Those wheels look like they’d fit a Conestoga covered wagon.

    Seriously, how can these full-wdth video screens on the dash be anything but a distracted driving disaster? The human eye is always drawn towards brightness and color, so whatever the content of the images, these screens will be attractive– in the worst way. But what matters most in driving is what you need to be seeing above the dashboard.

    I always switch the display screen in my car to black whenever i’m not accessing some function. It’s a great feature, but how many have this? It’s frightening to know that other drives sharing the road will have these kinds of distractions, all the time. Maybe this is the tragic innovation that makes autonomous driving necessary, because we can no longer pay attention to driving.

    • 0 avatar

      Just make it an autonomous vehicle. Problem solved.

      • 0 avatar

        Since it will drive itself (maybe?) the screens will be for ads! That scene in Wall-E with all the people buying things based on the current ad being shown to them is pretty much how this will work.

        I can see it now…
        Starting up today brought to you by Kelloggs. Brakes are being applied today thanks to Burger King. Acceleration will start right after a word from AT&T. You can roll the window down by first watching this message about Flex Seal. If you would like some cold A/C will have a short pause at Pizza Hut.

  • avatar

    Reminds me of the Infiniti FX45 concept and production car from 2001 that became the 2003 FX45. The looks were polarizing at the time when all other SUVs were boxes with wheels like the OJ Simpson white Ford bronco.

  • avatar

    “a new styling language that’s sure to influence future vehicles.”

    I propose the name “Epicanthal Stay Puft”.

  • avatar

    “It seems the QX Inspiration was shy and didn’t want to start.”

    What’s the over/under on someone getting fired over this?

  • avatar

    Infiniti is very appropriate name for this car – that gives you an idea how long it will take to charge it. But even after that it will not start.

  • avatar

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

  • avatar

    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?”

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