This is mean, but not inaccurate: Infiniti hasn’t done anything truly interesting in a good while. Nissan’s luxury brand spent years faltering as it tried to stand apart in a crowded field, with plenty of weird false starts like the canceled high-performance Q50 Eau Rouge along the way. But while it’s just a design concept and technology demonstrator, the Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept is worth paying attention to.
What we’re looking at here is called “the next step in Infiniti design,” which, if true, really moves the brand past the re-badged Nissan thing it spent most of its history doing. I actually really love the way it looks. It’s sleek, full of interesting details, and pulls off the coupelike touches for a sedan better than a lot of production cars do. The grille’s a bit on the busy side, but I like how cohesive the entire design is.
The inside’s pretty cool too, continuing the trend we’ve seen lately of screens that sweep across the entire dashboard, but it does so here in a way that’s far less loud and far more subtle than, say, the Byton SUV we saw at CES. This seems more functional too. I’m also digging the wide rectangular screen mounted in the back for rear passengers, and the rounded rectangle steering wheel.
The other component is what’s under the hood, so to speak. The car’s “powered” by Nissan’s new turbocharged variable compression ratio engine, which is a legitimately fascinating application of technology. Unlike this concept, that motor’s production ready, and will start appearing on the new QX50 crossover soon.
As we’re going to say ad nauseam over the next few days, the sedan segment’s not doing too hot at the moment. But designs like this can hopefully keep it lasting and interesting a bit longer. Whatever happens, I hope this translates well to future production Infiniti cars.