Infiniti Reveals Blueprint For Semi-Autonomous SUV Concept

Most automakers won’t lift the curtain on their new concepts cars until the Detroit Auto Show’s media preview on Jan. 9, but Infiniti today released photos of the vehicle it plans to show: an upgraded version of its mid-size premium crossover, the QX50.

Slotted between Infiniti's smallest QX30 and largest QX80 SUVs, the concept for the next-generation QX50 will give Nissan's upscale sister brand a competitive entrant into one of the world's fastest-growing vehicle segments.

The QX50 concept, which boasts a new turbocharged engine and suite of advanced safety features, “shows how Infiniti could develop its future presence in the fastest-growing vehicle segment globally,’’ Infiniti President Roland Krueger said in a statement.

Based upon the brand's new design language, an aesthetic that it calls “powerful elegance,” the QX50 features the same muscular profile and flowing lines of the QX30 compact crossover that Infiniti launched earlier this year. The concept builds upon the sleek QX Sport Inspiration design the brand revealed at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show.

“Both vehicles are sneak previews to the upcoming 2018 Infiniti QX50, which is the long-awaited replacement to the existing model,” said Michael Harley, director of automotive insights at Kelley Blue Book.

The QX50 concept’s ProPILOT suite will consolidate all of Infiniti's current and near-future semi-autonomous driving technologies, such as navigating stop-start traffic on the highway or keeping track of the positions of surrounding vehicles, into one package for the first time.

Under the hood, the QX50 concept will receive Infiniti's VC-Turbo engine, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that performs like a diesel. Infiniti said the new engine targets a 27% improvement in fuel efficiency over V6 gasoline engines that deliver the same amount of power.

CarsRochelle GrenierForbes