QX50 packs engine witchcraft and semiautonomy

Infiniti's cars may pack some proper good looks, but they aren't always at the cutting edge of new-car tech. Thankfully, that's not the case with the new 2019 QX50 crossover, which makes its debut at the 2017 LA Auto Show.

Infiniti started teasing the new QX50 back in January, when it debuted the QX50 Concept. Not much has changed between that version and the actual production version -- there's a powerful front end with a big ol' grille, sharp character lines and a dash of extra beefcake from the non-body-color fender trim.

Inside, there's a sliding rear bench that can expand rear cargo capacity from 31.6 cubic feet to 37 cubic feet. That number grows to 60 when you fold the rear seats down. That's enough room for three golf bags, in the event you're in charge of the carpool.

This is the only picture Infiniti's given out so far. We'll get a much closer look once the auto show kicks off on Nov. 29.

Infiniti

But the most important parts of the QX60 aren't remotely related to aesthetics. Under the hood is the first production version of Infiniti's VC-Turbo engine. This gas I4 is capable of changing its compression ratio on the fly by adjusting the pistons' stroke, producing efficiency or power when it's needed.

Net output is a meaty 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, yet it's expected to deliver 27 mpg combined (26 with all-wheel drive). For those of you keeping track at home, that's a 35-percent improvement over previous front-wheel drive models (30 percent with all-wheel drive). The only transmission on offer is a CVT.

In addition to its fancy new engine, the 2019 QX50 also marks Infiniti's first use of Nissan's ProPilot semiautonomous system. ProPilot takes control of the gas, brakes and steering to hold the car in a single highway lane, moving with the flow of traffic. It first debuted in the US on the 2018 Nissan Rogue, and it'll appear on the 2018 Nissan Leaf, as well.

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