Second Time Round: Infiniti Once Again Teases the QX55

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

After teasing us with the most rudimentary sketch we’ve ever seen at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Infiniti has followed up with a secondary teaser of its coupe-styled QX55 crossover.

While there’s a hint of mystery surrounding the vehicle, most of that concerns the exterior. Based on the QX50 SUV, the 55 is likely to be mostly the same, with the largest aesthetic change being a swept-back roofline. That’s probably why Infiniti focused so heavily on that singular aspect in its marketing materials, making us wonder if this this particular fashion of automotive striptease has run its course.

Heavily obscured silhouettes work when there are oodles of hype already surrounding a distinct-looking vehicle. The same cannot be said when an automaker pursues an increasingly common industry trend — like a sloping ceiling. But this isn’t an issue unique to the Infiniti brand or even the automotive sector. Companies know they have to chum the waters more often to excite the ever-fickle media cycle. Unfortunately, with everyone now hip to the practice, it’s rapidly losing its effectiveness.

When Lexus teased the first images of its LF-30 Concept earlier this month, we didn’t even know what part of the car we were looking at. Yet countless examples of similarly meaningless teasers exist, showing less than what Infiniti has with the QX55. Perhaps we should cut Nissan’s luxury unit a bit of slack … all things considered.

Unlikely to be revealed in earnest until 2020, we already know a lot about the model due to its close relation to the QX50. That means the variable-compression (8:1 to 14:1) 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder should make its way into the QX55, delivering the same 268 hp and 280 lb-ft. Ditto for that model’s CVT, standard front-wheel drive, and optional AWD.

While sales kicked up for 2018, the formula has not helped the QX50 this year. North American deliveries are expected to creep back down in 2019, with U.S. projections somewhere around 17,000 units. Infiniti sold 25,389 in the previous annum.

In our review of the QX50, Matthew Guy suggested the VC-Turbo might have been better served inside a smaller vehicle that allowed it to shine a bit brighter. The QX55 isn’t likely to have an appreciable weight difference, however, as the biggest changes seem to involve a modest reduction to rear-seat headroom and overall cargo capacity for the sake of style.

Depending on how Infiniti handles the rest of the vehicle’s design, maybe style will be enough. It seems to have its own unique C-pillar and taillights, based on the teaser image, but it’s not dazzling us with its individuality here. Hopefully, that changes when the car is debuted in full; we can’t see consumers spending extra dough to get a less-practical version of a crossover with unique tail lamps and different badging. Then again, there are thousands people who buy a BMW X6 every year.

[Image: Infiniti]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Kyree Kyree on Nov 05, 2019

    Looks to be like a similar shape to the Infiniti FX/QX70. That vehicle was attractive and distinctive-looking, especially the post-refresh first generation (2006-2008). However, it was also on Nissan/Infiniti's longitude-engined FM platform. It was, from an architecture standpoint, a four-seat Z...and drove like it, too. Whereas this new one will surely be on the same transverse platform as the QX50, with the same engine.

  • Jfk-usaf Jfk-usaf on Nov 07, 2019

    CVTs = Trash. Customers outside of the economy car/cuv market do not want CVTs. Absolutely zero customers that consider themselves driving enthusiasts want one.

  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Union fees and corruption. What can go wrong?
  • Lou_BC How about one of those 2 foot wide horizontal speedometers out of the late 60's Ford Galaxie?
  • Lou_BC Was he at GM for 47 years or an engineer for 47 years?
  • Ajla The VW vote that was held today heavily favored unionization (75/25). That's a very large victory for the UAW considering such a vote has failed two other times this decade at that plant.
  • The Oracle Just advertise ICE vehicles by range instead of MPG and let the market decide.
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