Infiniti appears to be adapting significant parts of the concept's design into the production version, especially at the front end.
Infiniti debuted a concept for the next-generation QX50 at the Detroit Auto Show, and now our spies have caught a heavily camouflaged production version under development in Arizona. Despite the engineers’ attempt to conceal the body, it appears major cues from the design in the Motor City are arriving on the version going into showrooms.
The broad mesh grille and narrow headlights are elements that this test mule shares with the concept. The vertical intake at each corner is still here, too. However, this one ditches the show car’s skid plate in favor of a more conventional lower fascia. The ample camouflage on the hood appears to exaggerate the size of the creases on the hood.
The rest of Infiniti’s concealment does a much better job of hiding the production QX50’s shape. The bubbles on the side evoke the Airbumps on the Citroën C4 Cactus, but we don’t expect these whimsical styling cues to appear on the version eventually going to dealers.
A slightly downward sloping roof gives the QX50 a somewhat sporty aesthetic. At the back, the concept’s thin taillights still appear to be present. However, the exhaust outlets integrated into the rear fascia aren’t on this test mule.
The production QX50 reportedly uses Infiniti’s new 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine than can alter the piston stroke to change the compression ratio. According to the company, the powerplant can make 268 horsepower (200 kilowatts) and 288 pound-feet of torque (390 Newton-meters).
The concept also had the latest version of the ProPilot semi-autonomous technology. The current iteration of it can handle driving in highway traffic. The company claims that future innovations could allow the vehicle to drive through intersections without human intervention.
Infiniti has been evolving the look of the next QX50 since last year when the company debuted the QX Sport Inspiration concept at the Beijing Auto Show in 2016. It later reworked the model for the Paris Motor Show last year.