Infiniti Inspired with New Midsize SUV Concept

QX Sport Inspiration Concept set for Beijing debut.

by on Apr.15, 2016

A hint of what's to come: the Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept will likely replace the QX70.

Now that it has its naming structure down pat, Infiniti has been working on filling up its line-up with an assortment of new cars, trucks and crossovers, and the next big entry into the family is scheduled to take a bow at the Beijing Motor Show later month.

While it isn’t much in the way of details, this teaser image of the Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept gives us a good idea of what will follow in the form of a replacement for the Japanese luxury brand’s current QX70 model.

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“The QX Sport Inspiration expresses a power and purpose that is uniquely Infiniti,” said Infiniti executive design director Alfonso Albaisa. “With a flowing, natural aesthetic, this concept demonstrates how Infiniti can offer something new and exciting with future QX SUV models.”

(Infiniti rolls out Limited version of QX70. Click Here to check it out.)

To add a little perspective: Before the brand’s makeover of a few years back, the QX70 was known as the Infiniti FX. That means it’s one of the oldest models in the line-up and well due a replacement.

The Limited edition of the 2017 Infiniti QX70 made its debut at the recent NY Auto Show.

How close will this concept be to the new QX70? Expect a few classic concept car exaggerations, like oversized wheels and tires, and an ultra high-tech interior, but the basic look of the Inspiration should carry over.

That includes the basic look of the grille and fascia which pick up on other recent concepts, such as the 2014 Q80 Inspiration, and production models such as the 2017 Q60 Coupe.  But we’ll have to wait and see about those distinctive headlights. It’s difficult to read precisely how they work, though the then slit is likely to be the primary lamp, with a larger, DRL formed of a cluster of what appear to be differently shaped lenses over LEDs.

When the FX originally debuted in 2002, it was one of the first utility vehicles to break away from the classic, two-box SUV shape, adopting a more aggressive shape that made it a standout in its segment. It’s likely Albaisa and his team are aiming for a similarly sporty look for the new QX70.

Other design elements Infiniti is highlighting include a floating A-pillar and the requisite wide wheel arches.

(Nissan Renault partnering with Mercedes on new pickup at Mexico plant. For more, Click Here.)

Infiniti took the wraps off its new Q60 sports coupe at the Detroit Auto Show. Photo credit: Len Katz.

Infiniti is offering no clue as to the interior of the QX Sport Inspiration Concept, but it’s also likely to pick up from the 2015 Q60 Concept and the production 2017 Q60 Coupe. That would mean a much more high-tech cockpit, likely with a reconfigurable instrument cluster, at least in the concept version. An updated take on the QX70s dated infotainment system would also be a high probability.

As for powertrain, the current QX70 is motivated by a 3.7-liter V-6 making 325 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque mated to a seven-speed automatic. But there’s speculation we could see alternatives, especially for the Chinese market where registration taxes are based on engine displacement. A 208-horsepower twin-turbo 2.0-liter I-4 is one possibility. And Infiniti just might downsize the main engine to 3.0-liters, with packages available making 300 or even 400 hp.

We’ll find out more in a matter of 10 days, the year’s big Chinese auto show opening up to the media on April 25th.

(Infiniti offers up three new engines for Q50. Click Here for the story.)

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