Infiniti’s new QX50 Concept is our closest look yet at where the the Nissan-owned premium brand is going with its next mid-sized SUV.
Although the showroom version will most certainly be toned down, the concept does imply that the new crossover will sport a bolder and more striking design as it attempts to lure buyers away from the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Lexus NX.
Set to be revealed at the Detroit Motor Show next week, the QX50 Concept also previews some of the semi-autonomous driving technologies that Infiniti plans to bring to market in the near future. As with the systems that other premium carmakers are introducing these days, the gadgets still require the driver to take ultimate control, but they will help with things like stop-start traffic on the highway and keeping track of surrounding vehicles.
Infiniti will also be showing off its ground-breaking variable compression ratio engine in Detroit, citing that it’s perfectly suited to the packaging of the XC50 Concept. Said to be the first production-ready engine of its kind, the VC-Turbo engine can instantly select the most suitable compression ratio (between 8:1 for optimal performance and 14:1 for maximum efficiency) by seamlessly raising or lowering the reach of its pistons.
The 2-litre engine is certainly no slouch, with targeted outputs of 200kW and 390Nm, and engineers are aiming to make it 27 percent more efficient than a similarly-powerful V6 petrol engine.