Car News

Sultry Infiniti Q Concept Wows in Detroit

Fresh on the heels of the QX50 and its new VC-Turbo four-cylinder engine comes the Q Inspiration Concept, which receives another application of Infiniti’s latest engine tech which provides the power of a turbocharged engine and the efficiency of a diesel. It all comes down to trick variable compression that allows compression to go from 8:1 to 14:1 instantly.

That’s the under the skin stuff but being that we’ve already seen that on the QX50, it’s the surface stuff that’s the big story as the Inspiration Concept’s new lines are the first look at Infiniti’s styling language going forward. It’s a sedan, but the goal was to ensure that it looks more like a coupe. This is partially achieved by eschewing any form of door handles; the only way to see that it even has four doors is to look closely for panel gaps.

To further add to the coupe image, the Q Inspiration concept has been given rear-hinged doors – that means no center pillar  that open to reveal an interior rife with all manner of new tech, including an infotainment interface that spans the length of the dash à la Audi Virtual Cockpit and a massive widescreen display for back-seat passengers. Each passenger gets a display of their own and in keeping with the “human-machine interface” theme, the system is given a “meditation/regeneration” mode which automatically reduces the information displayed on the screens in addition to monitoring passenger biometrics.

As tech-centric as the interior is, in an effort to naturalize the interior, they’ve used “kabazakura wood” – a birch derivative – to cover the dash and door inserts. It merges with coral-accented white leather for a tasty mix of the natural and the new.

Infiniti says that another advantage of the smaller engine is more room inside, allowing for a more enveloping interior that offers more room at the same time.

Of course, in this day and age there’s no point in doing a new car – sedan, crossover, what have you – unless it offers some form of autonomous driving. To that end, the Q Inspiration features ProPILOT autonomous driving tech that is on-hand to help drivers avoid the most common driving hazards so they’re aren’t as fatigued by day-to-day driving issues such as wandering out of the lane, maintaining proper control in cruise and so forth. Advanced as the Q Inspiration’s particular system may be, we have seen auto stop-start and lane keep assist before, both from Infiniti and other cars. The Q Inspiration, however, takes things to the next level by adding intersection auto-navigation technology. What this means exactly remains to be seen, but we’ve seen systems that can read road signs; perhaps Infiniti’s system can read traffic signals, too?

The Q Inspiration is just a concept for now, but expect it to be the basis – both stylistically and functionally – for Infiniti’s entrants in the mid-size sedan (or coupe) segments going forward. It follows Infiniti’s penchant for designing stunning concept cars. We hope it follows the lead of both the Q60 coupe and QX50 crossover, two vehicles that managed to stay very true to their concept forms once they eventually made production.