Infiniti envisions its entry into one of the most fashionable segments of the industry


The 2019 Detroit Auto Show will be one of the quietest of recent memory. This does not mean that there will be nothing remarkable to see at Cobo Center, however. Nissan's Infiniti division will unveil an electric crossover concept called QX Inspiration at Motor City's annual celebration.

"The concept car that we will present in Detroit marks the beginning of a new era for Infiniti and an illustration of the direction we want to take with the brand. Electrification and other technologies have given us the opportunity to evolve our design philosophy, "said Karim Habib, director of brand design, in a statement.

The QX Inspiration has a family resemblance to other recent Infiniti concept cars and production models, but with new elements. Because the filter is electric, it does not need a grid. So Infiniti decided to fill the space with a large bright badge and letters spelling out her brand name. This is not the most subtle performance, but it could become more common as designers continue to play with this new real estate available at the front of electric cars.

Beyond that, the concept uses a fluid, fold-free design. It has cameras instead of mirrors, a futuristic feature that remains totally illegal in the United States. Just ask Audi.

Technical specifications, like many others, are hidden. We know that the concept works exclusively with electricity. there is nowhere else a gasoline engine. This decision fits into Infiniti's decision to electrify the entirety of its portfolio starting in 2021. Rumors point to an electric Infiniti based on the Nissan Leaf since years since Infiniti unveiled the LE Leaf-based sedan concept at the 2012 New York Auto Show, but it is unclear whether the QX Inspiration has any connection to this vehicle.

Infiniti calls the QX Inspiration the vision of its first all-electric crossover, which implies that the design study will sooner or later create a production model.

The Infiniti booth at the Detroit show will look to the future, but it will also celebrate the past. The company made its world debut at the 1989 Detroit show. It is therefore reasonable to assume that she will dust off a handful of historical models to mark this milestone. Elsewhere at the show, Infiniti's parent company, Nissan, is displaying its own 100% electric concept, MIs.

Updated January 14, 2019: Adding photos.