The all-wheel-drive Q80 Inspiration concept signals what to expect from Infiniti in a production version maybe as soon as 2016, and one aspect of the large flagship being shown in Paris is its hybrid powertrain.
Infiniti has already shown its performance hybrid powertrains – first in 2011 with the M35h, now in the Q50 – are effective alternatives to big V8s, and the 3.0-liter V6 in the concept may be no different.
It’s twin turbocharged with direct injection delivering 450 horsepower by itself – 150 horsepower per liter – and aqbove that, electric motor power yields a total 550 horsepower, 553 pounds-feet of torque.
Infiniti says this all-alloy powerplant is one of a new engine family it’s set to introduce over the next two years, and Infiniti will be doubling the number of engines over the next five years.
The Q50 is a large vehicle – a bit shorter than a Mercedes S-Class, and wider. It seats four in a “1+1+1+1” configuration which observers are saying may be eliminated four practicality’s sake with a production car.
As it is, it’s a super swank ride with lots of rear legroom, painstaking attention to detail with avante garde materials, and even a silver flask in this show car for rear seat passengers. It indicates Infiniti’s desire for a no-compromise top-level car to go against the likes of the aforementioned competition.
“After showing Q30 Concept and Q50 Eau Rouge, Infiniti is eager to show the upper range of our portfolio expansion,” said Infiniti Executive Design Director, Alfonso Albaisa. “In Q80 Inspiration, we wanted to capture that unforgettable feeling when you experience something important, something beautiful, something magnetic for the first time.”
Other on-the-horizon technological features are Infiniti’s move toward fully autonomous driving capabilities with features that go beyond the Q50’s advanced adaptive cruise control with lane keeping.
Infiniti’s new system in the Q80 concept uses a head-up display and communicates via sound tones to the driver.
Nissan has said by 2020 it wants semi-autonomous cars that can enter a highway and be given complete, but over-ridable control to the car.
The company’s speed of pushing new concepts in close-to-concept form to market has been demonstrated in recent years, and Infiniti is eager to compete in the top luxury sedan class for which it now has nothing quite like what’s strongly hinted to be with the Q80 concept.