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Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept teased ahead of Detroit

A radical Y-spoke wheel design with red highlights adds to the Q Inspiration Concept's sporting intent.
Justin Hilliard
GoAutoMedia

4 Jan 2018 • 4 min read

Infiniti has released the first official image of the Q Inspiration Concept before its international debut at the Detroit motor show this month, previewing the Japanese brand's new design language.

The rear three-quarter shot depicts a fastback-style large sedan with curvaceous, smooth body panels and an elongated glass roof that extends from the windscreen to the rear window.

Horizontal LED tail-lights are linked by a thin red strip, helping to accentuate the width of the rear end, while two sections of vertical louvres flank the back bumper.

A radical Y-spoke wheel design with red highlights adds to the Q Inspiration Concept's sporting intent, especially given the rims are constructed from carbon-fibre and wrapped in semi-slick Dunlop tyres.

Other than its bulging rear hips, the Infiniti show car's most aggressive details are its air breathers behind the front wheels, which pull air from the front bumper and funnel it out the side for reduced turbulence and improved fuel economy.

While similar in application to what has been seen on current BMW models, the Q Inspiration Concept's air breathers are much more pronounced.

According to Infiniti executive design director Karim Habib, the show car breaks new ground for the carmaker as it moves towards adding a new body style to its range.

“We aim to take traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution. The Q Inspiration offers an alternative form; something more flowing in appearance and muscular in stance, with an unusually long and balanced cabin,” he said.

It is unclear what moniker the Q Inspiration Concept would have if it becomes a production model, however the current Q70 large sedan dates back to 2013, meaning the show car could preview its next-generation offering.

Alternatively, Infiniti has previously confirmed the Q80 Inspiration Concept from the 2014 Paris motor show will enter production and become the company's flagship sedan, so perhaps the new show car is its final precursor.

Habib added that the different approach taken to designing the Q Inspiration Concept was due to the implementation of new technologies while catering towards modern desires.

“Experimenting with new proportions in an established segment with the arrival of smarter, compact powertrains, the Q Inspiration features a shorter hood and elongated body, with all the benefits to interior well-being, comfort and space that this layout entails,” he said.

As such, the show car is expected to be powered by Infiniti's revolutionary variable-compression turbocharged 'VC-Turbo' four-cylinder petrol engine that will make its production debut in the second-gen QX50.

Under the SUV's bonnet, it will produce 200kW of power and 380Nm while paired to a continuously variable transmission.

Alongside a non-descript teaser sketch of its front end released prior to Christmas, Infiniti senior vice-president global design Alfonso Albaisa hinted that 'ProPilot' autonomous technologies will also feature in the Q Inspiration Concept.

“As a new wave of technologies begin to take shape, our Detroit concept car heralds a new generation of Infiniti. A seamless and stunning new design philosophy demonstrating Infiniti artistry in the new age of autonomy and breakthrough drivetrains,” he said. “Infiniti aims to showcase a new elegance, one that strikes harmony and simplicity in a complex world.”

A complete reveal of the Q Inspiration Concept will take place at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit on January 15.

Is Infiniti onto a winner with its new design language? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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