Infiniti Design Boss Hints At A Flagship Sedan Concept For Detroit

Infiniti has largely abandoned flagships sedan since the Q45 was phased out in 2006. The company still offers the Q70L but that’s more of a competitor to the Cadillac CT6 than proper flagships from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes.

The company has flirted with the idea of a new flagship in the past and the automaker introduced the stylish Q80 Inspiration concept at the Paris Motor Show in 2014. While three years have passed since that concept was unveiled, Infiniti’s head of design, Alfonso Albaisa, suggested the company could have a surprise for 2018 North American International Auto Show.

Speaking to Car&Driver, Albaisa said “In Detroit, we will show something about that subject [flagship sedans] which is super nice.” The designer went on to suggest the car will be a “sexy” sedan that has a “new proportion because of new technologies.”

That’s not much to go on but it sure sounds like Infiniti is preparing to introduce a new concept that could preview a flagship sedan. Albaisa’s mention of technology is also interesting as it could be a subtle hint that the vehicle might adopt an alternative powertrain such as electricity. This matches up with previous rumors which suggested Infiniti would introduce an electric concept in Detroit with plans for a production model in 2019.

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  • paulgdeaton

    Hopefully, “new proportion” will mean a new front end design; that ugly oversized, over-wrought grill hardly shouts “luxury”. Just compare it to the much-more-restrained-yet-classic designs of its European competitors (i.e., BMW, Mercedes, Audi… even Volvo). That is one thing they could fix!

    And while they are at it, maybe they could grab their Japanese competitor by the throat and fix Lexus’ ugly, oversized, over-wrought grill, as well…

    • Big Black Duck

      all the german brands u mentioned are boring as hell… Japanese car companies are the only ones taking real risk on their production car designs…

      • paulgdeaton

        “Real risk” doesn’t imply good design or gravitas. The Pontiac Aztec was a “real risk”…. I’ll take your “boring” over that any day.

  • Leconte Dave

    Fix the disgusting technology in your cars first

  • Andrew Ngo

    Love the C-Pillar design.

    • Bash

      Seriously?.. i hope this was a sarcasm.

    • dn12005

      I love them too…but I’m an INFINITI Fan boy…(yes…we do exist)

  • Gen Flauta

    Well, since Karim Habib is now at Infiniti, I hope he could get rid of the bloated shape of the current design language that Infiniti has for years and create a more subtle yet elegant design on this concept.

    • NissLover

      Infiniti’s are definitely still curvy, but they are not bloated. Maybe the Q70 as it still has roots from when it was legitimate to say they were bloated.

    • Bash

      They need to take few notes from Genesis.

      • dn12005

        Genesis has done a great job of sitting back, studying the market, and hiring the right people. They will put out great/competitive products…all in short order to boot. They kinda had to do it this way…the pseudo-lux market is a tough nut to crack and is ultra competitive.

        INFINITI has fumbled, done well at times only to stumble again. However, since 2013 they have taken painfully slow steps in the right directions. They have done well enough to carve their small niche in this baby luxury market and have just enough loyal fans of the brand to keep them progressing forward. No, they don’t need to take any notes from Genesis….all they need to do is find a hobby for Carlos Ghosn to keep him busy and out of day-to-day decisions (but, this is like telling a butterfly not to fly).

        • Bash

          I agree, But I think that Infinity has embraced the flow and sculptured design language for a while, and its all good and nice for a while, but at some point they’ve lost it. Not completely though, but now they need to tone it down a bit and re-focus on their lineup, the QX80 is a disappointment to start with,, QX60 is fine but cant stand against the more sporty rivals, the future of QX50 is still unclear, Q30 is promising but not all balanced IMO, nobody talks about the Q70, and the Q50 is basically the finest offer they currently have. so they certanly need to take some notes from someone and pull them selves back, otherwise, Genesis will over run them.

          • dn12005

            Good convo.

            I don’t think they’ve lost it with their design language. And although this latest QX80 iteration is a bit of a disappointment, we have to remember that it is only a refresh and not an all new gen…which that should be ready MY ’20. I’m willing to bet that the QX50 will be a sales success and the next gen QX60 is on tap for MY ’19.

            INFINITI’S S/CUV lineup alone will be enough to keep them ahead of Genesis for the forseeable future, and INFINITI will be the first Asian luxury brand to embrace this new age electrification and will have next level autonomous vehicles (QX50) on the road in CY 2018. They will also move up another level of autonomous vehicles for MY ’20 with the next gen Q50.

            INFINITI is poised to continue progressing as a brand and should have an all new lineup by CY ’20. As long as Ghosn doesn’t pull a Ghosn, then INFINITI will be okay. The biggest threat fo INFINITI is Ghosn, not Genesis, Alfa, or Jaguar.