The CVT comes to the Infiniti brand beneath the 2013 JX35

The seven-passenger Infiniti JX35 will be the first Infiniti model to use a continuously variable transmission to change ratios.

2013 Infiniti JX35 AWD
Infiniti officially announces and unveils the 2013 JX35 crossover at the 2011 LA Auto Show. Antuan Goodwin

LOS ANGELES--The JX crossover that took a bow here at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show is a platform for a few firsts for the Infiniti brand.

It's the first model with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the first implementation of the automaker's Backup Collision Intervention system, and the first model to incorporate the styling cues that debuted on the Infiniti Essence concept.

2013 Infiniti JX35 AWD
The 7-passenger Infiniti JX35 will be the first Infiniti model to use a continuously variable transmission to change ratios. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The JX35 will be the first model in the JX series and will be powered by a 265-horsepower version of Infiniti 3.5-liter workhorse V-6. That engine will send 248 pound-feet of torque through a CVT before being transmitted to the front wheels or being distributed between all four wheels via an optional all-wheel-drive system. Before you turn your nose up at the CVT, know that we've been mostly impressed by Nissan's implementations of CVT technology on its small crossovers and sedans, so we're expecting good things here.

The smaller engine and CVT combo were chosen for fuel efficiency purposes and to that end the JX35 is estimated to reach 23 mpg highway, 17 mpg city, and 19 mpg combined. There's no word if we'll be seeing a more powerful version (possibly a V-8-powered JX50?) in the future. With fuel economy standards going the direction they are, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Infiniti's JX will offer the automaker's full suite of safety tech, including Intelligent Cruise Control, the Around-View Camera system, and Lane Departure Warning and Prevention systems. It will also debut the Backup Collision Intervention system that the company says can stop the car completely when it's reversing at slow speeds, to prevent collision with potential obstructions.

Check out our gallery for more photos and details about the 2013 JX35.

 

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