Infiniti has revealed the new QX50 ahead of its official LA debut
Last month, we spied the new QX50 out testing in Mesa, Arizona. Now, Infiniti has decided to pull the wraps off their new crossover just ahead of its debut at the LA Auto Show next week. They’re billing this car as the “most compelling Infiniti to date”. It comes on a new platform, and houses some world first technologies. When it’s launched, the 2019 Infiniti QX50 will square off against the new Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and the Volvo XC60. For those interested in crossovers for their practicality, Infiniti is claiming unrivaled interior space for its new model against its competitors. As far as new technology, here’s what we know so far:
VC-Turbo – Infiniti’s first variable compression ratio engine
News has been swirling for awhile about this breakthrough engine design, but the QX50 will be the first production model to actually use it. What makes it significant is that it can change its effective compression ratio between 8:1 and 14:1, depending on driver demand. In essence, you have two engines: one with a lower compression ratio for greater power and torque, and a higher compression ratio for maximum efficiency. The VC-Turbo engine is the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio unit.
The 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine offers up 268 horsepower and 280 lbs.-ft. of torque. It’s also expected to deliver up to 27 MPG combined for the front-wheel drive model, or 26 if you opt for all-wheel drive. However, the new engine also offers up 57 fewer horsepower than the V6. It does offer up more torque, though – 280 lbs.-ft. compared to the 3.7-liter V6’s 266. Infiniti is touting a 30-35% improvement in economy over the previous V6 model. All models come yoked to a CVT transmission to match the engine’s constantly varying compression ratio.
The 2019 Infiniti QX50 is getting ProPilot Assist technology
The Nissan LEAF and Rogue were the first cars to feature new ProPilot Assist technology. The 2019 Infiniti QX50 will also house this feature, although Infiniti is careful to point out that it is a “step removed” from the notion of fully autonomous vehicles. There are two reasons for that:
First, per Infiniti’s Vice President of Product and Programs, the company’s intention is to “empower the driver and enhance feelings of pleasure behind the wheel”, rather than taking them out of the equation completely.
The other reason comes from the limitations of the system itself. ProPilot Assist is considered a Level 1 autonomous system. It helps the driver control acceleration, braking and steering during single-lane highway driving. So, all it really does is keep you in your lane at a certain speed until you deliberately change lanes. However, Nissan/Infiniti’s goal with this system is to support multi-lane highway and city driving within the next four years.
Other highlights of the 2019 Infiniti QX50
The new QX50 rides atop an all-new platform, incorporating the use of new high-tensile steel. Infiniti claims the new chassis offers up a 23% improvement in torsional rigidity over the previous model. In terms of aesthetics, they’ve molded that steel into a shape that is less curvaceous than the outgoing QX50. However, the more upright shape does give the new model a more aggressive, square stance on the road. It looks more like an SUV than the previous generation.
With the change in shape, Infiniti is also claiming class-leading space for passengers and cargo. With the sliding rear seats up, cargo space ranges between 31.6 and 37 cubic feet. When they’re down, you get 60 cubic feet of load-lugging capacity. While it does beat its competitors on cargo room with the seats up, the BMW X3 and Volvo XC60 have more cavernous cargo areas with the seats folded.
What do you think of the new QX50 compared to the old model or its competitors? Let us know in the comments below! Check back to TFLcar.com for your latest news, views, and real-world reviews!
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