Infiniti QX Sport Hints at Next QX70

Coupe-like styling on the outside is paired with a multi-material black-and-white themed interior.

April 24, 2016

3 Min Read
Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration concept CUV
Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration concept CUV.

Infiniti reveals its QX Sport Inspiration concept today at the 2016 Beijing auto show, providing a peek at what the next-generation QX70 midsize CUV will look like.

The QX70 hasn’t been fully redesigned since 2008, when it was known by the name FX.

“The QX Sport Inspiration expresses power and purpose through what we describe as its ‘proportional clarity,’” Alfonso Albaisa, executive design director-Infiniti, says in a statement. “It has a more flowing, natural aesthetic than that evident in traditional premium (utility vehicles).”

While it looks like an urban-street-mobile with its long, coupe-like hood and forward-leaning rear hatch, Infiniti says the QX Sport Inspiration concept was designed with off-roading in mind. The CUV has 9.1 ins. (230 mm) of ground clearance, up from 7.4 ins. (188 mm) in the ’15 QX70.

However, the concept is shorter in overall length than the current-gen QX70, 184.6 ins. (4,690 mm) vs. 191.3 ins. (4,859 mm), and its wheelbase is roughly 3.0 ins. (76 mm) shorter.

The concept has CUV-typical short overhangs paired with a wide stance. The QX Sport Inspiration is 1.3 ins. (33 mm) wider than the QX70.

Design cues include the same muscular haunches and taut lines of other recent Infinitis, notably the forthcoming QX30 small CUV.

Taken from the Q80 Inspiration concept car is the QX Sport Inspiration’s raised crescent edge on its crescent-cut C-pillar.

The concept CUV wears Infiniti’s signature double-arch grille, but in the rear its high, horizontal taillights echo those of the Jeep Cherokee and Kia Sportage.

Gloss-black recessed steps above sills on both sides of the CUV aid entry and exit while raising the vehicle’s visual center of gravity.

The cabin is said to be “driver-centric (but) passenger-minded.” Its front section is focused on the driver, but its “horizontally-biased architecture” has lines that wrap around the passengers.

The black-and-white interior has contrast stitching and “a range of tailored and handcrafted materials throughout…(combining) different types of leathers – both hard and soft to the touch – (that) result in a more organic, natural finish,” Albaisa says.

Thick black-saddle leather covers the central control stack and other areas and in some instances is scored to imitate crystal-prism angles.

Hard black-saddle leather lines the floor and kick plates, where it is laser-cut and backlit to reveal an Infiniti logo.

White leather is used on the upper dashboard, and black Ultrasuede finishes A-pillars.

The panoramic moonroof has Cosmic Chrome gradation that is functional, shading rear-seat passengers in bright sunlight.

There are minimal controls inside the QX Sport Inspiration, with ventilation controls hidden within the mesh of air vents. Other controls include a dial to change drive modes and camera-fed monitors in lieu of door mirrors.

Infiniti QX70 sales in the U.S. were up 6.3% in first-quarter 2016, but total volume of 1,809 lagged the Lexus RX. The leader in WardsAuto’s Middle Luxury CUV segment, the RX tallied 23,796 sales in Q1.

Infiniti, like most luxury automakers, is striving to break into the lucrative Chinese market, which like the American luxury-vehicle sector is increasingly enamored with CUVs.

Infiniti says its sales in China rose 22% in Q1 and March marked the 27th consecutive month of growth, with volume up 14% from March 2015.

However, the brand is one of the smallest luxury-brand players in China, well off the six-digit tally of General Motors’ Buick marque this year.

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