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.
Not a good look.
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