Infiniti QX50 Concept debuts at Detroit auto show

Striking styling is only part of the deal with Infiniti's new SUV, as it also includes a variable compression ratio engine

Infiniti’s new concept, the QX50, has made its public debut at the Detroit auto show. Cocooned by the SUV body is Infiniti’s innovative Variable Compression technology, tipped to deliver no-compromise efficiency and performance gains.

The QX50's appearance won’t be unfamiliar to the eagled-eyed. It represents a refinement of the QX Sport Inspiration concept unveiled at the 2016 Beijing Motor Show. When it eventually reaches production, the QX50 would slot between the smaller Mercedes A-class based QX30, and the larger QX70, expanding Infiniti’s SUV range.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

The QX50 boasts autonomous driving technology that's likely to feature in production models brand-wide going forward. The premise for the autonomous technology differs somewhat from systems already seen and tested. The QX50’s system takes care of the tedious and monotonous tasks encountered daily, leaving owners to - in theory - solely focus on the more pleasurable aspects of driving.

As a result those at the wheel shouldn't expect to relinquish too much control. The autonomous technology is described as a “Co-pilot”, similar to systems already in use with other manufacturers, which is able to navigate stop-start traffic on A-roads and motorways while tracking vehicles in close proximity.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

> Read more about Infiniti's variable compression ratio engine here

In terms of styling the QX50 is an evolution of that Beijing concept, but attractive though it is, it plays second fiddle to the engine cloaked within. Infiniti has pioneered the Variable Compression engine, whose merits should dismiss the old adage that efficiency comes at the expense of performance.

In short, the technology adjusts the height reached by positions within the cylinder chambers during a compression cycle via an actuated arm. The piston’s achieved height is dictated by throttle load inputs. Heavy throttle loads will reduce compression, allowing for more boost from the turbo, facilitating the deployment of a targeted 268bhp power figure at 8:1 compression.

On light throttle loads, at 14:1 compression, Infiniti engineers hope the 2.0-litre, four-pot engine will return 27% greater fuel efficiency over V6 engines of equivalent output.

Infiniti regards its technology as 'a significant leap forward for the internal combustion engine.' It should, for the time being at least, safeguard the concept of internal combustion engine against a backdrop of electrification that threatens its very existence.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/porsche/macan
Porsche Macan SUV

Porsche Macan review

31 Mar 2020
Visit/maserati/levante/202396/novitec-maserati-levante-takes-output-to-615bhp
Maserati Levante

Novitec Maserati Levante takes output to 615bhp

31 Mar 2020
Visit/nissan/202389/this-nissan-juke-r-can-be-yours-for-719579
Nissan Juke R

This Nissan Juke-R can be yours for $719,579

30 Mar 2020
Visit/land-rover/defender/202375/new-land-rover-defender-x-p400-review
Land Rover Defender

New Land Rover Defender X P400 review

25 Mar 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/bentley/202227/ps15m-bentley-bacalar-revealed-in-six-new-designs
Bentley

£1.5m Bentley Bacalar revealed in six new designs

Bentley’s exclusive Mulliner brand is returning to low-volume manufacturing with the striking Bacalar convertible
3 Apr 2020
Visit/renault/9499/renault-5-gt-turbo-review-history-prices-and-specs
Renault

Renault 5 GT Turbo – review, history, prices and specs

Not as wild and bonkers as the mid-engined Turbo, the Renault 5 GT Turbo was still a rather fine hot hatch
1 Apr 2020
Visit/saloons/202421/supersaloon-face-off-old-vs-new
Saloons

Supersaloon face-off: old vs new

From the first to the very latest, we take a dive into the history of the supersaloon
4 Apr 2020
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019