Auto Tech

Q80 Inspiration concept shows Infiniti's future flagship

In a preview of its Paris Motor Show exhibit, Infiniti released some details and a photo of its Q80 Inspiration concept, heralding a production car that competes with the big sedans from Mercedes-Benz and Lexus.

Infiniti
Infiniti Q80 Inspiration
The Q80 Inspriration concept will be Infiniti's showcase car at the Paris Motor Show, and a major indicator of the company's direction. Infiniti

At next week's Paris Motor Show, Infiniti will unveil the Q80 Inspiration concept, a fastback sedan larger than any of its current production cars. The preview release suggests it will be an even greater tech powerhouse than the impressive Q50 Hybrid .

The concept measures 198.9 inches long, making it a couple of inches longer than Infiniti's Q70 model. It's 122.2-inch wheelbase is a whole 8 inches longer than that of the Q70, hinting at a good amount of interior space. However, Infiniti describes the Q80 Inspiration as a four-seater.

For the driveline, Infiniti merely notes that the concept is a hybrid. If it were to use the same V6-based hybrid driveline as the Q50 Hybrid, it would get an adequate 360 horsepower, but Infiniti likely has something more powerful in mind. The company also mentions that the Q80 Inspiration uses an active suspension.

The dramatic styling echoes some of the earlier concepts from Infiniti, such as the beautiful Emerg-E. We can only hope that Infiniti is ready to release some of its obviously bottled-up design talent to its production cars.

Most importantly, the Q80 Inspiration suggests that Infiniti may finally come up with a big, flagship sedan that would compete with the Mercedes-Benz S-class and Lexus LS. Its Q70 model, formerly the M56, comes up a little short in that regard, feeling more like a nice full-size sedan rather than a big, luxury cruiser.

CNET's coverage of the Paris Motor Show begins during press preview days on Thursday, October 2.