Brace Yourselves for the QX55, Infiniti Advises

brace yourselves for the qx55 infiniti advises

With the upcoming QX55, Infiniti is tearing a page from the Volkswagen Atlas’ playbook. That German manufacturer saw that it had a good thing in its midsize crossover, so it decided to get more bang for its buck by shaving a little length and height from the three-row model, creating a mildly upscale, slightly restyled two-row variant to widen the model’s net.

The QX55 is the same recipe applied to Infiniti’s QX50 crossover — a model that landed with a resounding thud in late 2018, but one whose sales have proven interesting in the grim year of 2020. Why is that, you ask?

Well, for a model that hit the ground crawling, returning tepid sales despite its new exterior and innovative variable compression engine, the QX50 has been the brand’s sole bright spot in 2020. In the second quarter of the year, the QX50 was the only Infiniti model to avoid a significant double-digit sales downturn. Volume fell only 4.7 percent in a quarter where buyers stayed away from dealers like never before.

Year to date, QX50 sales are actually up 4 percent — making it the only Infiniti vehicle to stay in the black in 2020, and one of only three Nissan Group products to claim the same. For whatever reason, there’s some resiliency there.

The QX55 is meant to make the most out of Nissan’s initial investment in the QX50, borrowing its platform and powertrain and adopting a slinkier, coupe-ified body. A portion of that body was revealed this week by Infiniti, though the actual vehicle won’t arrive in dealers until spring 2021. A debut is scheduled to occur online on November 11th (but not until remembrance services have wrapped up).

Infiniti still isn’t saying much about the vehicle, aside from mentioning it combines “the stance and versatility of a premium mid-size crossover with the sleek profile of a sports coupe.” At first blush, that statement is at least half true. The provided photo does show numerous deviations from the QX50’s rear. With the Atlas Cross Sport, the coupe-ified version of the Atlas, VW brass anticipate sales amounting to 50 percent of that of the regular crossover. It’s possible the equation will be the same for the QX55, though surprises can sometimes occur.

Certainly, what Nissan and Infiniti need now are sales, especially those saddled with fewer incentives. The latter brand, especially, needs a serious injection of brand recognition — a longstanding problem the QX55 probably won’t help, but at least won’t hurt.

Now, on to the important stuff: does anyone else feel vaguely dirty looking at that photo? Does it not seemingly depict a form of human-vehicle harassment? Unwanted objectifying gazes aren’t cool, Infiniti.

Do better.

Not a good look.

[Images: Infiniti]

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3 of 23 comments
  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Aug 05, 2020

    I kind of like that design of that light. It looks like they're going for Pegasus' wings. It's too bad the rest is going to look like a misshapen goiter-filled tumor.

    • Secret Hi5 Secret Hi5 on Aug 06, 2020

      "Goiter-filled tumor?" That doesn't make any sense, much like Nissan's strategy.

  • Teddyc73 Teddyc73 on Aug 06, 2020

    "Unwanted objectifying gazes aren’t cool, Infiniti." Why not?

  • SCE to AUX It's not really a total re-badge since some of the body parts are unique, and the interiors are quite different.As I mentioned the other day, the Tonale has a terrible name and a dim future.As for the Alfa team - guess what, this is how corporate ownership works. You are part of Stellantis partly because you're not viable as a standalone business, and then your overlords decide what's shared among the products.By the way: That Uconnect infotainment system found in Alfas was originally a Chrysler product... you're welcome.
  • 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.