Infiniti QX50 concept headed to 2017 Detroit auto show

Infiniti stunned the automotive world in April when it rolled out the QX Sport Inspiration concept at the 2016 Beijing auto show. The concept combined flowing, sculptural lines and strong, muscular proportions with Infiniti’s signature design cues, resulting in one impressive-looking SUV.

Given the size of the original concept, at 181 inches in length and with a wheelbase of 110 in, we knew all along it was actually a thinly-veiled preview of the next-generation QX50. Now Infiniti has confirmed that thinking with the reveal of the almost identical QX50 concept.

The QX50 concept makes its world debut at the upcoming 2017 Detroit auto show and in addition to previewing the design of the next QX50, it also previews some of the vehicle’s technologies. These include Nissan and Infiniti’s ProPilot driver assist feature and VC-Turbo variable compression engine.

The QX50 concept indicates that, at least stylistically, the redesigned QX50 will diverge significantly by sporting a sleek sexy design that contrasts with the somewhat plain looking current model. Infiniti calls the new look Powerful Elegance.

As for ProPilot, this is the name of Nissan and Infiniti’s new self-driving technology. In the QX50 concept it’s more of an assist feature than a true self-driving feature. Infiniti says ProPilot will enable the concept—and likely the production model it will spawn—to crawl in traffic, cruise on the highway and keep track of surrounding vehicles on its own.

Finally, the VC-Turbo in the QX50 concept is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 that is able to offer any compression ratio between 8:1 (for high performance) and 14:1 (for high efficiency). Normally, the compression ratio would be fixed. Infiniti is targeting 268 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers are substantially better than the 208 hp and 258 lb-ft from Infiniti’s current turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4, and the new engine will likely offer better gas mileage too.

Infiniti hasn’t mentioned when its redesigned QX50 will arrive. We expect it to land in showrooms in 2017, as a 2018 model.

We’ll have more details once the Detroit auto show gets underway on January 9, 2017. For more coverage, head to our dedicated hub.

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