DETROIT – The Infiniti QX Inspiration all-electric concept CUV is a no-show at its planned debut at the North American International Auto Show here.
An apparent steering issue prevents the midsize vehicle from leaving a backstage area and taking the spotlight.
“You can’t see it, but it is here,” an ad-libbing Karin Habib, Infiniti’s executive design director, tells the crowd that had gathered for the debut.
The Detroit show is known for dramatic unveilings over the years – from a Jeep crashing through a glass wall to a Hyundai lowered from the rafters – but this is the first time in memory a vehicle has failed to appear on cue.
The QX Inspiration’s press-conference audience had to suffice with seeing it in a big-screen video montage that had been intended as a prelude to a grand entrance that wasn’t. (Later in the day, it did finally make the scene.)
The new all-wheel-drive concept represents the Nissan luxury brand’s first fully electric vehicle. It won’t be the last, say company executives. (QX Inspiration, left)
All-new Infiniti models debuting in 2021 and beyond will offer an electrified version, says Christian Meunier, Infiniti’s new chairman and global president. He calls it “the roadway to electrification.”
Those future vehicles will either run on battery electric or use the automaker’s e-power system. That includes a small gasoline motor that recharges the batteries when needed. The intent is to eliminate range anxiety.
EVs allow for a flat floor (because there is no underbelly drive shaft) which gave QX Inspiration interior designers opportunities to create new layouts, Habib says. “The interior is designed as an open lounge.”
“QX Inspiration is the beginning of a new era for Infiniti and an illustration of where we want to go with the brand,” he says.