- QX Inspiration concept previews an electric INFINITI for the future, combining an electrified all-wheel drive powertrain with SUV body and introducing a new INFINITI form language for the era of electrification.
- INFINITI plans to launch a range of high-performance electrified vehicles which offer range confidence with a design that underlines potency and character of electrified powertrains based on the principles of modern Japanese design and architecture.
- New electric vehicle platforms enable the creation of spacious, relaxing, lounge-like interiors combined with new in-car technology that follows the Japanese omotenashi approach to hospitality, creating a welcome environment while assisting drivers and connecting occupants.
The INFINITI QX Inspiration is a midsize SUV concept previewing the brand's first fully electric vehicle. As a company with technological and powertrain innovation at its core, electrification is a natural next step for INFINITI. This design study previews the brand's plan to launch a range of high-performance electrified vehicles that promise an engaging drive and deliver range confidence. The INFINITI lineup of the future will consist of a range of electric, e-POWER and performance hybrid vehicles.
The QX Inspiration concept signals a new era for INFINITI design enabled by technology, with a form language hinting at the potency and character of electrified powertrains. The new concept sets a direct precedent for the company's first fully electric production car, illustrating how new architectures and technologies are influencing modern INFINITI design. It also draws on the Japanese spatial concept of 'Ma,' demonstrating how open spaces between lines create tension and build anticipation.
This Japanese DNA continues into the cabin. The interior of QX Inspiration is hand-crafted using traditional techniques and a choice of materials inspired by a subtle Japanese sensuality. The development of new electrified vehicle platforms enables the creation of spacious, lounge-like interiors influenced by omotenashi, the Japanese approach to hospitality. The cabin incorporates technologies to create a welcoming environment while assisting drivers and connecting occupants to the world around them.
Electrification: a natural next step for INFINITI
- QX Inspiration concept sets a direct precedent for the first fully electric INFINITI model
- Future INFINITI models will offer buyers a mix of fully electric, e-POWER and performance hybrid powertrains
The QX Inspiration concept sets a direct precedent for the brand's first fully electric car: a high-performance SUV offering range confidence. Electrification is a natural next step for the company, and, as a member of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, the industry leader in low- and zero-emission vehicles, a range of ultra-low emissions technology is available to INFINITI.
INFINITI's future models will offer drivers a mixture of fully electric, e-POWER and performance hybrid vehicles. These powertrains will be matched with dedicated platforms and vehicle architectures, delivering the high performance, range confidence and low environmental impact that buyers are coming to expect from luxury car manufacturers.
"For INFINITI, our powertrain electrification strategy focuses on offering both high performance and range confidence. As the luxury brand within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, INFINITI can draw on a wide range of ultra-low emissions powertrain technologies to deliver driving pleasure and thrilling performance. We have previously explored this with the Prototype 9 and Prototype 10, and QX Inspiration shows how this philosophy will manifest itself in production: as a powerful electric SUV with a versatile character and luxurious interior."
François Bancon, Vice President, INFINITI
High performance electrified all-wheel drive powertrain
- High-performance and range confidence from INFINITI's future electrified vehicles
- QX Inspiration concept hints at the potential for an SUV with a powerful e-AWD system
With the planned electrification of INFINITI's future product portfolio, the QX Inspiration concept signals the brand's intention to produce a fully electric midsize SUV, based on an all-new vehicle platform, which could accommodate a powerful electric all-wheel drive (e-AWD) system. The concept's SUV packaging means the high-capacity battery pack can be located below the vehicle floor, feeding power to a pair of electric motors (one on each axle).
Future INFINITI products promise a power delivery which is instantaneous, with the e-AWD system enabling blistering off-the-line acceleration. Power is distributed intelligently between all four wheels, and the battery's location ensures a low center of gravity, meaning the QX Inspiration concept inspires confidence in all situations – from high-speed corners to long-distance cruises – and weather conditions.
"Global demand for SUVs continues to grow, as does the number of drivers eager to make the shift to an electrified powertrain. QX Inspiration meets at the intersection of these trends and sets a direct precedent for the launch of a powerful all-electric SUV. INFINITI is a brand built on the idea of technological innovation, and the electrification of our product line-up is a natural next step for us. The QX Inspiration concept signals the direction we plan to take."
Christian Meunier, President and Chairman, INFINITI Motor Company Ltd.
INFINITI's new form language
- Electrified powertrain technology enables evolution of INFINITI form language
- New aesthetic defined by straight lines, clean surfaces and concise graphics, taking hints from Q Inspiration sedan concept and Prototypes 9 and 10
The QX Inspiration concept signals a new era for INFINITI design, influenced by new powertrain technologies and architectures. The form language of the new concept car hints at the potency and character of the brand's future electrified powertrains.
A reference point for the new SUV concept was the Q Inspiration sedan concept, which signaled INFINITI's first steps towards establishing a new design language characterized by straight lines, precise forms for functional elements and clean surfaces. More technical in its design than any prior INFINITI, the Q Inspiration sedan combined simplicity with muscularity, inspired by modern powertrain technologies. Now, the QX Inspiration concept takes this further, echoing the sedan concept's muscular form language while adopting certain details first featured on the Prototype 9 and Prototype 10 design studies.
The QX Inspiration's form language is characterized by straight lines and sudden creases, finely balanced, smooth surfaces and organic shapes. This contrast gives the QX Inspiration concept a new tonality compared to earlier INFINITI designs, it is muscular, yet composed and less overtly aggressive, yet bold in its details.
"QX Inspiration is the beginning of a new era for INFINITI, and an illustration of where we want to go with the brand. New technology has given us the opportunity to evolve our design philosophy – and this new vehicle communicates the serene strength at our core."
Karim Habib, Executive Design Director, INFINITI
Japanese DNA: designers inspired by Japanese design and architecture
- Exterior design inspired by the Japanese spatial concept of Ma – a focus on the open spaces between lines
- Body surfaces and creases influenced by origami, with design details drawing on elements of Japanese art and architecture
"We considered where we have been in our 30-year life, and where we want to go. We contemplated what it means to be Japanese, and how that resonates for INFINITI. One idea struck a chord with all of us – the concept of Ma, or the mastery of the empty space, which can be full of meaning and potential. Imagine someone clapping, the empty sound between claps is full of anticipation. In this way, the electrification of INFINITI will bring a new simplicity and excitement to the brand."
Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President for Global Design, Nissan Motor Co.
"With the QX Inspiration concept, we were inspired by the Japanese concept of Ma, a focus on the lines and the empty space in between. What is happening in that space between the lines – the free, natural flow of surfaces – is truly expressive. It's the empty space between the edges that often carries the loudest message."
Karim Habib, Executive Design Director, INFINITI
Perhaps more so than any other INFINITI created during the company's 30-year existence, the QX Inspiration concept explores and actively draws upon the company's Japanese roots.
Underpinning the aesthetic of the exterior is the Japanese spatial concept of Ma – the mastery of empty space. For INFINITI's designers, this meant adopting an approach which focused on the open space between the concept's lines. They were drawn to the character of paper and the Japanese art of paperfolding, origami. Infused with Japanese DNA, the elegant exterior of the QX Inspiration is derived from the artistic coaxing, folding and slicing of paper into different shapes.
The QX Inspiration concept's sharp lines and modern aesthetics are enhanced by a series of high-precision details, formed of a pattern repeated throughout the exterior and interior. The pattern is made up of thin lines and arranged into near-perpendicular forms, a modern interpretation of the historic architectural design of Japanese timber louvers used in construction. Traditional by nature, yet increasingly adopted in contemporary Japanese architecture, the louver-inspired lines appear in the front and rear lamps and on the surface of the 22-inch alloy wheels. Furthermore, the roof of the QX Inspiration is formed of louvered slats made of Japanese red cedar (or sugi), giving occupants a stunning view of the sky above and lending a sense of Japanese architectural modernity to the exterior.
Further reference to the vehicle's Japanese DNA can be found in the three colors used across the exterior. The QX Inspiration concept is finished in Liquid White pearlescent paint, inspired by the winter snows of Mount Fuji. In addition, highlights on the D-pillar and wheels are finished with two new signature color treatments, gold and vermilion – inspired by Japanese urushi lacquerware and gold kintsugi ceramic work.
A soft, warm shade of red, vermilion was widely used in traditional Japanese lacquerware. If lacquered ceramics were broken, they were often reformed with the kintsugi technique: that of repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with powdered silver, gold or platinum. Together, vermilion and gold were often used in painted Japanese artwork to express the power and energy of the sun.
New electric-vehicle platforms enable spacious, lounge-like interiors, rich in welcoming and assistive technology
New electric vehicle platform enables new lounge-like interior
- QX Inspiration concept features abundance of cabin space and a flat floor for greater flexibility
- Cabin designed like a lounge, with luxurious, unconventional materials and relaxing space for four
The interior of the QX Inspiration concept shows the potential for new electric vehicle platforms. Powered by a battery pack stored beneath the floor, with electric motors on each axle, there is no intrusion from driveshafts or transmission tunnels. The result is a spacious, lounge-like space, with flat floors and greater room for occupants and luggage.
The spaciousness enables the vehicle's human-centered ergonomics and creates a welcoming, open atmosphere that invites occupants to relax in comfort. The cabin has a level of architectural modernity to it, with a highly structural layout that diverges from conventional automobile design. Like the exterior, the interior of the QX Inspiration concept draws upon INFINITI's devotion to the Japanese spatial concept of Ma, which has meant a close consideration of the surfaces and open spaces as much the layout and design of seats, dashboard and driver controls.
Dominating the dashboard is a wide-screen monitor flowing from pillar to pillar, finished in polarized gold-tinted glass. The rectangular steering wheel, trimmed in soft brown and white leather, also features its own monitor. In place of a transmission tunnel, graceful arches, trimmed in brown leather, rise out of the floor beneath the dashboard, flowing into a Bianco Carrara marble center console which extends to the rear seats.
The instrument panel is trimmed in a luxurious grey cloth normally used to upholster furniture and finished with INFINITI's patented dot-quilting effect. Inspired by classic buttoned leather sofas, dot quilting produces a more informal interpretation of the diamond lozenge shape that gives classic Chesterfield lounge chairs their distinctive appearance. The idiosyncratic cloth extends from the front of the cabin and transitions into relaxing sofa-style rear seating area, generously proportioned for two passengers.
As seen from the outside, the headlining of the vehicle is replaced by a unique timber louver structure, inspired by Japanese architecture. Creating pleasant indirect lighting for occupants, the sugi cedar structure casts beautiful shadows throughout the cabin as the car moves. As the individual slats twist outwards, the wood gives way to white exterior painted surfaces.
The most open surface of all, the flat floor receives its own unique treatment. Upholstered in white suede panels in a variety of rhomboid shapes, it features kintsugi gold inlays, adding an additional element of lounge design to the cabin.
"We have taken advantage of the EV architecture to develop a lounge-like interior, enabled by the flat floor and the empty space below the dashboard and center console. So really, we're not just designing the objects inside the car, we're designing the empty space between objects. We're trying to use that space to accentuate the design – you let the empty space talk as much, if not even more, than the forms and objects that are there."
Karim Habib, Executive Design Director, INFINITI