Infiniti Lifts the Covers on Q80 Inspiration Flagship

A “no-compromise ambassador” for Japanese luxury brand.

by on Sep.23, 2014

A production version of the Q80 Inspiration would mark a return to the Premium Luxury segment for Infiniti.

Three weeks after giving us a first tempting tease of the flagship model it will reveal in Paris next month, Infiniti is lifting the covers to provide a full look at the new Q80 Inspiration concept vehicle.

The maker is billing the Q80 show car as a “vision of category-breaking, supreme luxurious driving.” It is not your typical premium sedan with a big V-8 or -12, but a high-tech, four-seat fastback that features a hybrid-powered and new, autonomous driving technology.

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“In Q80 Inspiration, we wanted to capture that unforgettable feeling when you experience something important, something beautiful, something magnetic for the first time,” explained Infiniti Executive Design Director, Alfonso Albaisa.

The Q80 concept follows the recent introductions of two other significant Infiniti show cars: the Q30 Concept and the Q50 Eau Rouge. Both of those will soon be translated into production models, and Infiniti is expected to follow the same path with the Q80.

The Q80 concept follows the recent introductions of two other significant Infiniti show cars: the Q30 Concept and the Q50 Eau Rouge.

(Infiniti names new global brand boss. Click Here for the latest.)

It has been more than eight years since Infiniti stopped selling its original flagship model in the U.S. market, the Q45 continuing to be sold in Japan as the Nissan Cima through 2010. Since then, the maker has focused on its low and mid-range sedan models, along with the utility vehicle market.

But as part of a restructuring several years ago that saw the brand move its headquarters to Hong Kong, Infiniti is adding new breadth to its line-up and now wants to get back into the premium luxury segment. (Ironically, that plan was pulled together by global chief executive Johan de Nyscchen, who left Infiniti for Cadillac over the summer. De Nysschen is now laying out a similar product plan for Caddy, as TheDetroitBureau.com is reporting.)

(Click Here for more on Cadillac’s unprecedented product blitz.)

The new Infiniti Q80 Inspiration is likely to undergo some tweaking before it reaches production.

The basic design of the new Infiniti Q80 Inspiration is likely to undergo some tweaking before it reaches production – the show car doesn’t feature side-door mirrors, for example, and the entire roof is made of light acoustic glass. The rear doors, according to Infiniti, open “portal style,” a more gentile term than the more familiar “suicide doors.”

But the basic, fastback styling is likely to carry over. If anything, the look might be compared to the edgier styling of the Jaguar XJ or Audi A7, but comes in sharp contrast to more German traditional premium flagship sedans, such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8 or BMW 7-Series.

Infiniti reports the Q80 Inspiration measures 198.9 inches in length, with a 122.2-inch wheelbase. It rises 53.1 inches, and has a width of 79.8 inches. It rides on unique, 22-inch five-dual-spoke alloy wheels.

Inside, the Q80 Inspiration seats four in a fashion-forward cabin that makes extensive use of carbon fiber, leather and aluminum.

Infiniti isn’t revealing what’s under the hood, beyond suggesting the Inspiration uses an “efficient hybrid-electric powertrain implementation. Whether that is a conventional hybrid or a more advanced plug-in remains to be seen. But considering the competition in the newly emerging premium fastback market, it is anticipated Infiniti has tried to strike a balance between performance and fuel economy.

Other high-tech touches include an autonomous driving system, as well as an “advanced” adaptive suspension.  Again, considering the competition, the maker is all but certain to include the latest in infotainment and safety systems, as well.

The Infiniti Q80 Inspiration will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show on the afternoon of Oct. 2, and it is generally expected a production version will make its appearance by the 2017 model-year.

(Breaking News: Cadillac moving global HQ to New York. Click Herefor the latest report.)

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One Response to “Infiniti Lifts the Covers on Q80 Inspiration Flagship”

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