Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept previews next-gen sedans in Detroit
Infiniti's new sedan design language is a swooping departure from today's lineup.
Jon WongFormer editor for CNET Cars
Jon Wong was a reviews editor for CNET Cars. He test drove and wrote about new cars and oversaw coverage of automotive accessories and garage gear. In his spare time, he enjoys track days, caring for his fleet of old Japanese cars and searching for the next one to add to his garage.
If the Q Inspiration Concept really does preview Infiniti's next midsize luxury sedan, the future is pretty. Making its world debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, the Q Inspiration visually is a big departure from Infiniti's existing Q50 and Q70 sedans with a short hood, stretched cabin and swooping, coupe-like roof line.
However, not everything is new on the Infiniti concept. In a nod to its current design language, the double-arch grille remains up front of the vehicle that overall features softer character lines with a few standout traits mixed in. An imposing front fascia, strong shoulder line and rear haunches add some visual attitude.
Allowing for the short hood is Infiniti's variable compression turbo four-cylinder engine that drives all four wheels. The company says the compact gas power plant delivers V6 power with the fuel efficiency of a turbo diesel four-cylinder. The smaller engine compartment allowed designers to push the A pillars forward and enlarge the cabin.
Even though the concept has a midsize footprint, interior space is on par with some larger luxury sedans, with a floating center console and rear flat floor providing maximum legroom. Getting in and out is made easier with pillarless suicide back doors and low sills.
A minimalist approach is used for the four-seat interior to not distract drivers from driving and provide everyone with a relaxed and airy environment, trimmed with leather and matte wood. Each passenger gets a floating touchscreen with an available "meditation-regeneration" mode with less information cluttering the screen and offers meditation guidance to help folks decompress. The car also monitors passenger biometrics.
Q Inspiration Concept hints at next-gen Infiniti sedans
You can also watch shows or movies, take in the news or stream music independently of your fellow passengers.
Tech features include a digital dashboard and new ProPilot autonomous driving technologies, such as autonomous multilane highway driving and intersection autonavigation. Infiniti says both functions will make it to production in the near future.
Exactly when we'll see a production Infiniti sedan wearing striking sheetmetal like this remains to be seen, but the long-in-tooth Q70 seems like a good candidate to bring Infiniti's new design language into showrooms.
Here are our 5 favorite concept cars at the 2017 Detroit auto show