Infiniti previews what looks like a concept version of the next QX80: Meet the QX Monograph.
Monterey Car Week is in full swing and automakers are taking the opportunity to reveal their grandest designs to an enthusiastic crowd. This year, the Infiniti QX Monograph is the brand’s latest design model to showcase its styling direction. It’s a timely debut, actually, as we’ve seen prototype versions of what looks to be the 2024 Infiniti QX80 out in the wild. Based on its size and similar styling cues, this QX Monograph concept looks like a preview of what to expect from the luxury marque’s next-generation full-size SUV.
Overall, the QX Monograph brings some notable design changes from the current QX80 model, including a floating roof design with large rear quarter windows, a curvaceous hood design with a new double-arched grille, the latest iteration of Infiniti’s “digital piano key” lighting and a new three-dimensional logo front and center. Infiniti says the pattern for the new grille that continues into the fender vents was inspired by bamboo forests.
In the back, the Infiniti QX Monograph sports a full-width light bar, accentuated by several sections that are closer together near the middle, then get wider as you move out toward the taillights. Below the light bar, the tailgate design stays fairly simple, as the tailgate sits flush with the lower fascia rather than leaving a large lip atop the bumper, and large Infiniti letter script below the taillights.
If this morphs into the new QX80, will it still pack a V8 engine?
At its heart, the Infiniti QX Monograph brings a host of luxury hallmarks to the table. Not only is it large, but you still obviously get massive-profile wheels, a bold and upright stance, and of course that floating roof look.
The QX80 always had presence, and the design looks to evolve that formula into something classier without totally ditching its position as a stout, body-on-frame SUV. The size and presence aspect has me wondering, though, what exactly will power the upcoming QX80?
Currently, Infiniti’s full-size SUV houses the same 5.6-liter V8 engine as the Nissan Armada, putting out 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. Automakers are largely moving away from V8s, however, as the industry downsizes and electrifies in preparation for a fully electric transition.
It doesn’t appear the brand is going in that direction with SUVs just yet — the brand will debut an electric sedan next year, instead — but most folks expect the company to drop its aging V8 from the lineup. After all, Nissan is killing off the Titan after this year, so the application of that engine remains with the Armada and the QX80. That’s it.
My best guess: We could see one of two outcomes here. One is a hybridized version of Infiniti’s 3.5-liter V6 from the QX60, or the powers that be could decide to slot in the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that currently serves in the Q50/Q60 Red Sport 400 and the new Nissan Z. That powerplant puts out about the same level of grunt as the V8 (400 horsepower and 350-384 lb-ft of torque, depending on the application), while potentially boosting fuel economy. Nissan is not presently a player in the hybrid market, so I think it’s more likely we’ll see the turbocharged option, perhaps followed by a full EV a few years down the line.
The QX Monograph, for its part, is just a design preview. It seems to strongly show what the next QX80 will look like, at least on the outside but we’ll have to wait a little bit to answer more technical questions.