While this isn’t our first look at Infiniti’s vision for their next-generation mid-size SUV, it does mark the first time we get to see what they meant by a “high levels of modern craftsmanship” while referring to its interior.
After releasing a first batch of images with their new QX50 Concept back in December, Infiniti also let us know that visually, this car was meant to be an evolution of their 2016 QX Sport Inspiration concept.
The muscular lines and heavily profiled surfaces give the QX50 Concept a powerful presence, extending its so-called “visual length”, while the wide and equally-muscular stance accentuates its dynamic pedigree. The automaker even states that from a side view, the hood is shaped like the “rise of a snake’s head”.
Add to that the sharp creases extending upwards from the A-pillar before diving down towards the bonnet and you’ve got a recipe for hiding away a very compact engine, like the VC-Turbo.
That being said, now that the car has made it to the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, Infiniti also released quite a lot of information regarding the concept’s interior, which is supposed to demonstrate the company’s new direction regarding how they view premium materials and craftsmanship.
Instead of high-gloss woods or soft-touch plastics (which are generally considered good things), the interior of the QX50 Concept boasts a more modern application of wood, leather and stitching, where each material is treated and applied in a way that just screams “handmade”.
Infiniti wrapped the QX50 Concept’s cabin in a variety of different leathers, from genuine, to semi-aniline and even synthetic nubuck – for a larger variety of textures and visual depth. You’ve got the brown leather on the upper layer of the cabin, working in contrast with the white leather on the lower dashboard, door trim and seats. It’s all brought together by a line of navy blue synthetic nubuck, which is also found on the center console.
As for the high-gloss wood that most automakers prefer to work with, the QX50 Concept is trimmed in real, open-pore ash – treated to retain its natural (and sometimes irregular) characteristics in both texture as well as appearance. The Japanese automaker says that you’d even feel the grain of the ash if you were to run your hand over it.
In terms of on-board tech, the QX50 Concept’s Graphic User Interface is there to showcase how new technologies could be incorporated into future Infiniti cabins. First there’s the wide touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface) positioned in the center of the dashboard. This displays not just navigation and infotainment features, but also the current status of other technologies present in the vehicle, such as how well the VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine operates at any given moment.
Speaking of which, we already explained what this new 2.0-liter power unit is about back when Infiniti first talked about this concept, however, to recap, we’re dealing with a possible 27% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to V6-powered petrol engines. Infiniti has yet to confirm which of their new models will benefit from the new VC-Turbo unit first, but a future mid-sized crossover could very well be first in line – though nothing is official as of yet.
Finally, using this concept, Infiniti is also previewing their new autonomous drive support technologies, based on a system that will act more like a co-pilot, helping the driver navigate stop-start traffic and keeping track of his or her surroundings. Just like with the VC-Turbo unit, the QX50’s autonomous drive support system will eventually make its way into future production models.