Infiniti has provided a slew of details for its new QX50 medium SUV, a model the brand’s vice president, Christian Meunier, describes as “the most important vehicle we have ever launched”.
The crucial new model debuts a new platform, and world-first variable compression engine technology, plus ProPilot semi-autonomous driving capabilities as Nissan’s prestige division looks to lock horns with established prestige competitors.
Infinit’s biggest talking point is the brand’s new 2.0-litre VC-Turbo engine, which is capable of varying its compression ratio for a lower rate when higher performance is required, or higher compression to benefit efficiency.
For the first time Infiniti has detailed the engine’s potential, with 200kW of power and 380Nm of torque and fuel consumption as low as 8.7 l/100km for the two wheel drive QX50 or 9.0 l/100km for all wheel drive models, an improvement of 35 percent compared to the previous (but more powerful) V6.
The company also claims a 0-97 km/h (0-60MPH) time of 6.3 seconds with all wheel drive, or 6.7 seconds for the front wheel drive with the powertrain specification including a version of Nissan’s Xtronic CVT automatic transmission.
Underpinning the 2018 QX50 is an all-new platform with a front wheel drive-biased platform that allow for both two and all wheel drive, constructed in part from super high tensile steel that both saves weight and increases torsional rigidity.
Refinement also improves with reduced vibrations and lower noise levels transmission into the cabin. Interior space benefits too, with more efficient packaging thanks to the new chassis.
A flexible interior includes sliding rear seats to expand boot volume from 895 litres to 1048 litres with up to 1699 litres with the rear seats folded putting it almost on par with vehicles from the large SUV class.
On the safety front the QX50 will come with ProPilot, Infiniti and Nissan’s semi autonomous driver aid which allows the vehicle to maintain a safe following distance and maintain its lane position without driver intervention.
Infiniti does stress that its system is a step removed from fully-autonomous driving technology, but shows that the challenger luxury brand is keen to keep pace with rivals.
Unlike its predecessor, this generation of QX50 is likely to make its way to Australia later in 2018 with an official debut set for the Los Angeles Auto Show.