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Infiniti QX80 concept points to future Infiniti look

By Toby Hagon, 13 Apr 2017 News

infiniti qx80 wide

Infiniti’s hulking QX80 concept gives a sneak peek at what future models could look like in the Japanese brand’s range

Infiniti is planning to clean up its future designs as previewed by the QX80 concept from the 2017 New York motor show.

Effectively a facelift to the Nissan Patrol-based SUV, the QX80 concept boasts doors and a side profile with far fewer lines and creases than any Infiniti before it.

Infiniti QX80

Speaking to Wheels at the New York motor show, Infiniti design chief Alfonso Albaisa said the idea was to evolve the design while ensuring it payed homage to current vehicles.

“Things that were thought were a must, it’s not exactly a must,” said Albaisa of the QX80’s cleaner lines.

He likened the previous QX80 to the bold looks of Michelangelo’s David and said designers instead used the themes of Rodin.

Infiniti QX80

“[We said] Let’s do Rodin, the mass and the weight and all of that,” he said. “The sense of muscle, volume and all of this stuff.

“When we started bringing elements from today’s grille and headlights … what we found is … we found if we keep the surface somewhat plain and have other elements we can achieve this Infiniti look.”

Infiniti QX80 headlight

The QX80 concept also used hulking 24-inch wheels with innovative clip on black covers with a diameter of 25 inches, therefore partially covering the tyres.

The door handles were countersunk but unlikely to make it to production, although Albaisa is more hopeful of one day using the exterior rear vision cameras, once regulations allowed them to replace traditional ones.

Albaisa also pointed to the substantial aerodynamic efforts made on the QX80 concept.

Infiniti QX80

Vents in the front bumper, for example, flowed some air into the front wheel arches, while vents behind the wheel arches were used to cool the engine.

On the rear bumper, outer vents release air from the back wheel arches, reducing drag slightly.