Detroit Motor Show: Infiniti QX50 Concept

Outside of appearances, the QX50 Concept's mechanical and technological features are more significant.

The QX50 Concept suggests a potential application for Infiniti's VC (Variable Compression)-Turbo engine.

The new technology is created to improve on-road safety by supporting the driver in identifying and responding to other road users and potential hazards.

The cabin has a handmade feel and is the result of two Japanese approaches to craftsmanship: "mitate" - the practice of curating and bringing together the best materials - and "shitate", the desire to tailor the combination of materials, bringing out the best.

The "driver-centric" and "passenger-minded" layout of the QX50 Concept's cabin is divided into distinct zones for driver and passengers.

The new Infiniti QX50 Concept made its global debut yesterday at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. First there's the wide touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface) positioned in the center of the dashboard.

A strong corporate image is all-important for premium brands and the teaser sketches that Infiniti has released show the marque knows this well.

The QX50 has sculpted sides, with creases running down both doors, plus rugged-looking plastic cladding around the wheelarches. On the seats there is "dot quilting" which Infiniti says was inspired by classic buttoned-leather sofas.

With its clean and muscular exterior design, wide stance, a powerful grille and nice proportions, the QX50 Sport Concept is the latest auto to adopt Infiniti's "Powerful Elegance" design language.

The interior of the Infiniti QX50 Concept is just as stylish as the exterior, and thankfully, Infiniti promises that the style won't come at the expense of functionality - the interior will be spacious and visibility for the driver and passengers won't be obstructed. Look for the Concept to slide into production form largely unchanged and significantly shake up the premium segment.

Central to the strategy for the development of all future "co-pilot" systems is that they should ensure the driver retains ultimate control over their vehicle - in keeping with Infiniti's focus on driver engagement, said a statement from the company. The feature purportedly has the capability to act as a co-pilot to take over some routine tasks from the driver in situations like stop-and-go traffic. Well, it's the holy grail of turbocharged engines, the VC able to operate with a Mazda Skyactiv 14.0:1 compression ratio (enhancing fuel economy impressively) when poodling around town or cruising at steady speeds on the highway. Without going into detail about power, Infiniti says its new VC-Turbo engine should be 27 percent more fuel efficient than V-6 gasoline engines with similar outputs.

Inside, the design looks closer to production than concept, with all the controls you'd expect to find in a real road vehicle.

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