It turns out Infiniti’s plus-sized QX80 SUV is a late-bloomer after all. After launching overseas in 2010 as the QX56 and making a belated entry into the Australian market in 2015 as the QX80, Infiniti’s largest offering hasn’t been blessed with conventional good looks.
But the luxury brand’s latest facelift for its hulking QX80 (the second since its debut) has rectified that, grafting on a more aesthetically-pleasing face and bringing a number of other visual tweaks to boost the big wagon’s showroom appeal.
The changes are most noticeable from the front. Borrowing heavily from the QX80 Monograph concept that debuted at the New York Auto Show in April 2017, the updated QX80 ditches the droopy-eyed visage of its predecessor and flaunts completely new front-end sheetmetal, grille and lamps.
The bonnet cutline is an uninterrupted arch and the pressing is flatter than the outgoing model, while the relocation of the headlamps higher off the ground helps the QX80 lose its ‘bulging forehead’ appearance.
The grille is reshaped to better mimic newer models in the Infiniti range, like the Q50 and Q60, and the bumper itself is a close match to what the Monograph concept wore in New York. The concept’s chrome ‘eyebrows’ didn’t make the cut, nor did its lower bodyline trim, but the front quarter panels are new and flaunt reshaped vents.
From the A-pillars back it’s familiar QX80 metal, with the offroader’s rump undergoing a more subtle makeover compared to the thoroughly revised front. The Monograph concept’s wing-shaped tail lamps looked cool but didn’t find their way onto the production QX80, which uses the same light housings with new LED internals.
A modestly reshaped bumper casing and new alloy wheel designs round out the rest of the QX80’s exterior updates.
Inside there are new trim materials and slight revisions to the instrument panel, however the switchgear, infotainment suite and the bulk of cabin furniture carry over with minimal changes. That said, Infiniti claims they’ve improved sound suppression and refinement by adding more sound absorbing material to the QX80’s structure.
Australian specifications and pricing are yet to be announced, though the QX80 will continue to be offered with just one powertrain – a naturally-aspirated 5.6-litre petrol V8 generating 298kW and 560Nm. As before, power will flow to all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic and dual-range transfer case, with huge 22-inch alloys to be standard in Australia.