Revealed at the Detroit motor show, the four-door saloon features taught proportions and a coupé-like roofline with a full-length glass roof that extends into the rear window. Up front, is a wide-mouth grille that has tiny, barely visible openings, while the rear sports a smoother, simpler design.
Earlier speculation suggested the car would use electric power, but drive for the concept actually comes from a more conventional turbocharged four-cylinder engine, albeit one that benefits from Infiniti’s innovative variable compression ratio technology.
Like the 2.0-litre production engine that was recently introduced in the new QX50 SUV, Infiniti said this VC-Turbo unit can switch between a compression ratio of 8:1 (for performance) to 14:1 (for economy), giving it the performance of a petrol and economy of a diesel.
Habib explained that the concept’s short nose is a nod to the fact it would only use small capacity powerplants. He said Infiniti road cars are making “a shift towards smarter, more compact and less intrusive powertrains”.
While the concept uses the VC-Turbo, the shorter nose would also be suitable for electric models. Infiniti is due to unveil an electric car imminently, and the Q Inspiration is likely to be a nod to such a car’s styling.
At this stage, Infiniti’s only foray into the EV segment has come with its all-electric Prototype 9 of 2017.
The cabin of Infiniti’s new concept also suggests connectivity will be key in its next models, as it comes kitted out with a wide infotainment system that features two, cabin-wide digital display strips. Both the driver and passenger have access to their own touchscreen. The rest of the cabin features smooth, button-free surfaces, suggesting Infiniti cabins of the near future will get a more minimalist finish.
Propilot driverless technology is also included, using radars and cameras to enable fully autonomous driving. Described as using “near-future technologies”, the concept’s system is able to provide autonomous multi-lane driving and navigate junctions itself. The car offers a co-pilot mode that can assist rather than control certain functions as well.