2022 Infiniti QX55: Channeling the Spirit of the FX
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.
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- Schurkey Decades later, I'm still peeved that Honda failed to recall and repair the seat belts in my '80 Civic. Well-known issue with the retractors failing to retract.Honda cut a deal with the NHTSA at that time, to put a "lifetime warranty" on FUTURE seat belts, in return for not having to deal with the existing problems.Dirtbags all around. Customers screwed, corporation and Government moves on.
- Bullnuke An acquaintance of mine 50+ years ago who was attending MIT (until General Hershey's folks sent him his "Greetings" letter) converted an Austin Mini from its staid 4 cylinder to an electric motored fuel cell vehicle. It was done as a project during his progression toward a Master Degree in Electrical Engineering. He told me it worked pretty well but wasn't something to use as a daily driver given the technology and availability of suitable components of the time. Fueling LH2 and LOX was somewhat problematic. Upon completion he removed his fuel cell and equipment and, for another project, reinstalled the 4 banger but reassembled it without mechanical fasteners using an experimental epoxy adhesive instead which, he said, worked much better and was a daily driver...for awhile. He went on to be an enlisted Reactor Operator on a submarine for a few years.
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- Carlson Fan GM completely blew the marketing of the Volt. The commercials were terrible. You'd swear they told the advertising company to come up with an ad that would make sure no one went out and shopped a Volt after seeing it!...........LOL My buddy asked why I bought a car that only goes 40 miles on a charge? That pretty much sums up how confusing and uninformative the advertising was.
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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/
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!