Infiniti has today unveiled its newest premium mid-size SUV, the 2018 Infiniti QX50, hot on the heels of its updated large SUV, the QX80.
The company says that the QX50 debuts with “world-first technologies” and “unrivalled interior space” thanks to an all new platform.
Not to put too much pressure on one car, Infiniti’s vice president, Christian Meunier, said that “The QX50 is the most important vehicle we have ever launched”. A lot to live up to, then.
Headlining the new tech is the engine, which the company calls “VC-Turbo”, stating that the motor is the world’s first variable compression ratio engine to go into full production.
At 2.0-litres, the VC-Turbo engine will change its compression ratio by lifting or dropping pistons via a multi-link system, to give high compression ratios for efficiency, or lower compression for more power and torque.
It will range between 8:1 and 14:1 compression ratios, giving what Infiniti says is the power of a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol with the torque and efficiency of a four-cylinder diesel.
Producing 200 kW and 380 Nm, it does – on paper, at least – produce some very healthy figures, and with fuel economy of 9.0L/100km for front-wheel-drive and 9.4L/100km for all-wheel-drive models, it’s not too bad.
What may be bad is the choice of transmission – it’s a CVT – and reliability is unknown. Guess we’ll wait and see.
The platform, as mentioned, is a new one, based on a front-wheel-drive (FWD) layout, and is the first use of SHF (Super High Formability) 980 MPa high-tensile steel in cars, giving a 23 increase in torsional rigidity over the current QX50.
The company says this helps reduce vibration and therefore NVH levels.
Don’t expect the QX50 to come with autonomous drive modes, though, with the company saying that it wants drivers to be at the forefront of vehicular control.
But unusually, it also says that the QX50 will have ProPILOT Assist, which helps the driver “control acceleration, braking and steering during single-lane highway driving, placing them in total control.”
We’ll have to wait and see what that actually means.
The QX50 is 4693mm long, 1903mm wide, 1679mm high and sits on a 2800mm wheelbase, and being mid-size, it will go head to head with the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Lexus NX.
Boot space is a healthy 895 litres but that increases to 1048 litres when the rear bench slides fore and aft. Fold them all flat and you get 1699 litres.
Expect to see the Infiniti QX50 on our shores in late 2018.