SUVs

Infiniti hits pause on QX50 SUV for one model year

The automaker has shifted its focus to new additions in the 2019 model year.

Infiniti

Sometimes it's wiser to focus on the future than to push out a few extra cars in the present. That appears to be Infiniti's plan, as the QX50 skips over the 2018 model year in order to focus on 2019.

Infiniti will not use the 2018 model year designation for the QX50 SUV, Motor Authority reports, citing a conversation with Infiniti spokeswoman Paige Presley, instead choosing to extend 2017 a bit longer and roll that right into 2019. It should be noted that the 2017 QX50 will remain available at dealers until the 2019 model gets there -- there won't be any gap in sales, just in the model year.

Infiniti will instead focus its efforts on the 2019 QX50, an all-new SUV that's slated to debut at an auto show in the near future. It will bear some resemblance to the QX50 concept shown earlier this year, and there's a good chance it will also carry the VC-Turbo engine, which is capable of changing its compression ratio on the fly to improve either performance or fuel economy, depending on how the car is being driven.

MotorAuthority claims that the new QX50 will also carry an Infiniti-branded version of Nissan's ProPilot. ProPilot, which debuted on the 2018 Nissan Leaf, is capable of holding the vehicle in a single lane at either high or low speeds to help reduce some of the tedium of that kind of driving.

Infiniti is also reshuffling its priorities as far as the larger QX60 Hybrid is concerned. The hybrid version of the three-row QX60 crossover suffered from slow sales of late, some of which can be attributed to improvements in the QX60's gas engine that brought it awfully close to fuel-economy parity with the hybrid. It was an order-only model in 2017.

Infiniti hasn't said when it will debut the new QX50, but there are three big opportunities in the next few months -- the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, the Detroit Auto Show in January and the Chicago Auto Show in February.

Update, September 25: Adjusted language for clarity regarding model-year changes.