2022 Infiniti QX55: Channeling the Spirit of the FX

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

The flood of new-car debuts continues unabated.

Why are you seeing so much news this week? Because the LA Auto Show was supposed to have been right around this time, but as with everything else, COVID canceled it. Also, with Thanksgiving next week, automakers are trying to get news out before you spend next week eating turkey and arguing politics over Zoom.

Add Infiniti to that list, with the QX55 crossover.

Meant to evoke the FX crossovers from recent memory, the QX55 will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with a variable compression ratio that makes 268 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. An all-wheel-drive system is fed power via a continuously-variable automatic transmission.

(Full disclosure: Infiniti sent a bottle of champagne to those of us covering this event. I may or may not keep it, but if I do, it doesn’t strike me as any more ethically dubious than drinking champagne at an in-person event.)

There will be three trim levels: Luxe, Essential, and Sensory; and available features will include wireless Apple CarPlay, separate touch screens (8- and 7-inches, respectively) for infotainment and vehicle controls, sliding second-row seats, a head-up display, and ProPilot Assist.

Key design elements include a rear roof spoiler, a curving roofline, and roof rails. A large front grille has a mesh pattern modeled after Japanese origami, and the headlights are meant to be shaped like an eyebrow. LED lights are standard, and black accents surround the fog lamps. A four-link hinge allows the hood to integrate into the A-pillar.

Twenty-inch wheels are standard across the board, and Infiniti calls the taillights “digital piano key” style. There are 45 individual LED lights in each taillight.

A power liftgate is standard, and a motion-activated liftgate is available. The rear fascia is body-colored and there are dual-exhaust diffusers. Eight paint colors will be available.

Other available interior features include a power moonroof, “zero gravity” seats, standard leatherette seating (leather is available), three color combo choices, heated front seats, aluminum or wood trim, noise cancellation, navigation, and piped-in exhaust sounds that are more aggressive when in Sport mode.

Android Auto isn’t wireless but is available, and there are four USB ports. A Bose audio system is standard on the upper two trims, and up to 16 speakers are available. In-car Wi-Fi and over-the-air software updates will be available.

Smart cruise control joins Pro Pilot Assist as one of the available driver’s aids, and other available nannies include automatic emergency braking, forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning, and traffic-sign recognition.

In addition to Sport mode, drivers can select Standard, Eco, or Personal, and the AWD system starts off with a 50/50 power split, but it can send up to 100 percent of the torque to the front wheels for efficiency. Should there be wheel slip, up to 50 percent of the torque can be redirected to the rear. Another electronic system can brake each wheel individually to provide grip if needed.

Underpinning it all is a four-wheel independent suspension with MacPherson struts up front and a multilink setup outback.

The Infiniti QX55 goes on sale in the U.S. and Canada in the spring of 2021, with launches in other global markets served by Infiniti to follow. The brand will release pricing information at a later date.

[Images: Infiniti]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Nov 19, 2020

    Since Infiniti seems to be going a similar route as Lincoln where they simply restyle parent brand models, how much longer will Infiniti last? I just happened to find this so I can't comment on the accuracy of the data, but it claims there are 875 Lincoln dealers in USDM vs 186 for Infiniti. Initially I thought the 875 to be off but I was thinking standalone dealers, and since 2008 most Lincoln dealers are also Ford dealers so that figure sounds accurate. 2020 has not been kind to Infiniti, per GCBC from Q1-Q3 Lincoln sold 74,397 units but Infiniti has only sold 36,021 - this with the QX50 being refreshed for MY19. Given Nissan's own issues, how much longer will it continue? https://www.databaseusa.com/index.php/new-car-dealerships-list-counts/ https://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2020-us-vehicle-sales-figures-by-brand/

    • FreedMike FreedMike on Nov 19, 2020

      I think Nissan is shooting for Infiniti to be its' Buick. And I don't think that's a bad idea - I think there's a market for "mid-luxury" vehicles, particularly crossovers. Like Buick, this is going to be a CUV brand, and people who buy those don't give a s**t about how they drive. They care about some style, a "luxurious" driving experience, and good dealer service. The brand's been around, it has an established dealer network, and it has some name recognition. Heck, Genesis has VASTLY better product, but I bet Hyundai wishes it had Infiniti's established market going for it. But it all depends on pricing. If they're going after a Buick price point, with a "semi-premium" dealership experience, I think they have a long-term shot. If they're trying to price their stuff like Lexus and Ze Germans, they'll bomb REALLY hard. But the basic idea here is sound, I think.

  • Lightspeed Lightspeed on Nov 19, 2020

    Giant non-functional brake-ducts - check, squinty-eye head lamps - check, black plastic wheel-openings - check, silly grille - check, awkward slightly raised ride height - check. All styling cliches in place, release to lease!

  • Leonard Ostrander Plants don't unionize. People do, and yes, of course the workers should organize.
  • Jalop1991 Here's something EVangelists don't want to talk about, and why range is important: battery warranties, by industry standard, specify that nothing's wrong with the battery, and they won't replace it, as long as it is able to carry 70% or more of its specified capacity.So you need a lot of day 1 capacity so that down the road, when you're at 70% capacity with a "fully functioning, no problem" car, you're not stuck in used Nissan Leaf territory."Nothing to see here, move along."There's also the question of whether any factory battery warranty survives past the original new car owner. So it's prudent of any second owner to ask that question specifically, and absent any direct written warranty, assume that the second and subsequent owners own any battery problems that may arise.And given that the batteries are a HUGE expense, much more so than an ICE, such exposure is equally huge."Nothing to see here, move along."
  • Roger hopkins The car is in Poland??? It does look good tho...
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X The push for EV's is part of the increase in our premiums. Any damage near the battery pack and the car is a total loss.
  • Geozinger Up until recently this was on my short list of cars to replace my old car. However, it didn't pass the "knee test" with my wife as her bad knee makes it difficult for her to get in and out of a sedan. I saw a number of videos about the car and it seems like the real deal as a sporting sedan. In addition I like the low price, too, but it was bad luck/timing that we didn't get to pull the trigger on this one.