Infiniti QX55: The Faintest Glimpse of the Future

infiniti qx55 the faintest glimpse of the future

Regular readers of these digital pages are well aware of the pressures facing Nissan’s Infiniti brand. While the premium marque’s status is better than in years past, it is not where the brand would like it to be. U.S. volume has declined since 2017, and the marque recently gave up on Europe.

Perhaps a slinky new crossover will draw eyes — and buyers — in an overly crowded segment?

Offering precious few details aside from the image you see here, Infiniti announced Friday that its next utility vehicle will be a four-door “coupe” crossover. Bearing the name QX55, one can only assume that this upcoming vehicle will borrow its platform and drivetrain from the compact QX50 — a model that hit the market in 2018 and didn’t bounce.

You’ll recall that the QX50, seen below, served as the flag-bearer for the brand’s innovative variable compression four-cylinder engine.

Infiniti’s exaggerated brushstrokes, if made a reality, wouldn’t leave much headroom for occupants, but such drawings are not meant to convey a reality, just a feeling. The brand cites the former FX crossover’s roofline as inspiration for the QX55. Your author personally feels that it looks like the Toyota Mirai, but regardless, drawing on past design exercises is a good way to connect the QX55 to the brand’s heritage. You can also argue that the mid-to-late 2000s was a more visually distinctive era for Infiniti.

“The INFINITI QX55 is a stunning new SUV coupe in the heart of one of the industry’s fastest growing segments, globally,” said Infiniti deputy chairman Mike Colleran in a statement. “Customers will appreciate the distinctive design of the QX55 which features a sporty coupe-like roofline. We know customers and retailers are eagerly looking forward to the QX55 which will be available next year.”

Okay. Is the desire for a sloped-back Infiniti CUV also present among those who aren’t already Infiniti owners? We’ll see after the QX55 arrives at dealers next summer.

[Images: Infiniti]

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  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Aug 16, 2019

    I can tell you right now, you're not gonna like the tumblehome on this one.

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Aug 16, 2019

    I am surprised that Nissan (or Renault) tried to sell Nissans in Europe under Infiniti brand. Europeans are not that stupid (but I may be wrong - never underestimate stupidity of Europeans - see WWI, WWII and Brexit) to buy ugly car from made up brand with zero heritage.

  • Dennis Howerton Nice article, Cory. Makes me wish I had bought Festivas when they were being produced. Kia made them until the line was discontinued, but Kia evidently used some of the technology to make the Rio. Pictures of the interior look a lot like my Rio's interior, and the 1.5 liter engine is from Mazda while Ford made the automatic transmission in the used 2002 Rio I've been driving since 2006. I might add the Rio is also an excellent subcompact people mover.
  • 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.
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