Concept Cars

Infiniti QX Inspiration concept previews its first all-electric production vehicle

Debuting at the Detroit Auto Show, this concept SUV is a glimpse into Infiniti's electrified future.

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Electrification and SUVs are all the rage right now, so it's fitting that Infiniti's first foray into the EV market will be with an electric SUV. The Infiniti QX Inspiration concept, which debuted Monday at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, gives us an idea of how that eventual production vehicle will appear.

In short, it looks great, thanks to a well-done front fascia that makes a striking first impression. Infiniti's designers were able to figure out how to design a fetching, grille-free electric vehicle. In the grille's absence is a light-up, three-dimensional Infiniti logo framed by the outline of a grille that's complemented by complex sculpting. This execution lies in stark contrast to other EVs, which simply look like they're victims of rhinectomies.

The complex sculpting continues into the doors. An upswept, carved-out character line prevents the SUV's tall doors from looking slab-sided. The overall profile is beautified with a tapered, floating roofline that falls into an aggressively angled D-pillar garnished with a vermilion signature line. Don't be surprised if that swath of vermilion ends up on the D-pillars of future Infinitis. 

Out back lies a full-width, arching tail lamp that echoes the look of the rear lights on the Audi Q8. That's not a bad thing, because overall, the QX Inspiration is quite handsome, especially with a set of 22-inch wheels rounding out the exterior.

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The lack of a space-devouring internal-combustion engine up front meant Infiniti's designers could create a cab-forward design, while still having small front and rear overhangs. As a result, the QX Inspiration boasts a wheelbase of 112.2 inches. That's comparable to a midsize crossover, but the QX concept's 183.1-inch length is more in concert with that of a compact crossover. Combine that with a 64.2-inch height, and you have the makings of a vehicle with an impressively roomy interior that's also dressed up quite nicely.

The panoramic sunroof is louvered with Japanese red cedar, so when sunlight filters through, you get a film-noir effect. That louvered theme is repeated on the center console, which features Tuscan Bianco Carrara marble that fades and strakes into black as it approaches the display screen at the leading edge of center console.

Coach doors open to reveal an interior decked out in wood, leather and dot-quilted cloth.

Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow

That screen is surrounded by four other displays: one inside the steering wheel hub, two in the extra-wide instrument cluster and one ahead of the front passenger. The sofa-style back seat, meanwhile, is purposely devoid of tech touches in order to give rear passengers a respite from screen overload. Instead, there's a flower vase at the center console's trailing edge, right in front of a cushion-mounted control panel, along with a desktop-style lamp adorning the right-rear door.

Underneath that posh interior and its even posher floor -- upholstered in suede -- sits a battery pack that sends power to four electric motors, two at the front axle and two at the rear. Beyond the fact that this is an all-wheel-drive, electric SUV, that's about all the powertrain info Infiniti is offering at this time.

The only other tidbit is that this concept is also designed for autonomous driving, which means its pedals and screen-equipped steering wheel are designed to retract whenever the driver places the car into its autonomous setting.

Infiniti is mum on when we'll see the production version, but it wouldn't be far-fetched to expect it to land at some point during the 2020 auto show season.

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