Infiniti will roll out its QX50 Concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit Jan. 9, launching the brand’s ProPilot autonomous technology along with the midsize CUV.
“ProPilot will wrap up all of Infiniti’s existing and near-future autonomous drive support technologies into one suite of features,” Infiniti says in a statement.
The ProPilot system in the QX50 is a preview of the production-ready version of the package, which Infiniti promises “will be developed further in future production models.”
While Infiniti bills ProPilot as a “copilot” technology, it says the system will delegate to the car navigation of stop-start highway traffic as well as track the position of surrounding vehicles.
Infiniti already offers drive-by-wire steering, dubbed direct adaptive steering, as well as predictive forward-collision warning, which uses front sensors to track up to two cars ahead. Active lane control, a lane-keeping system for windy weather or uneven roads, also is offered in current Infiniti production models.
Infiniti’s variable compression-turbo engine (VC-Turbo), first shown at September’s Paris auto show, also will be at Infiniti’s Detroit show stand, and the brand says the QX50 is “perfectly suited” to the engine, stopping short of saying it will be available in the production version of the CUV.
The Nissan luxury brand said last fall the VC-Turbo will arrive to market in new Infinitis by 2018 and with targeted power output of 268 hp and 288 lb.-ft. (390 Nm) of torque.
The 2.0L turbocharged 4-cyl. is billed as having “the power of a high-performance 2.0L turbo gasoline engine with a high level of (diesel-like) efficiency at the same time.” Compression ratios of 8:1 to 14:1 are achieved by varying the height of pistons in their combustion chambers.
The QX50 Concept is said to be an evolution of last year’s QX Sport Inspiration concept. The latter previewed the next QX70. The QX50 Concept previews the appearance of the new production QX50, due in 2018 and being built in Infiniti’s new Aguascalientes, Mexico, a joint-venture vehicle-assembly plant with Daimler, WardsAuto data shows.
Infiniti says the design features include a cabin-forward silhouette combined with “taut, muscular lines and flowing surfaces.”
The brand promises the cabin, which is both driver-centric and passenger-friendly, will “challenge conventional approaches to premium interior design.”
Sales of the current QX50, which was refreshed in 2015 with a more spacious second row, rose a whopping 272.3% in the January-November period, although sales of 14,947 make the QX50 one of the lower-volume models in WardsAuto’s Middle Luxury CUV segment. The Lexus RX is the No.1-selling model in the group through November, with 94,553 deliveries.