The Infiniti QX60 mid-size crossover SUV is finally about to receive a long-overdue redesign, and the designers look to be seriously sexing things up.
Infiniti late on Thursday unveiled the QX60 Monograph concept at its new headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, ahead of the formal debut on Saturday at Auto China 2020 in Beijing. The striking show car previews the design of the next-generation QX60 due on sale in 2021.
The QX60’s corporate cousin, the Nissan Pathfinder, is also about to be redesigned. Prototypes for the new Pathfinder have already been spotted, so it’s no surprise Infiniti is planning a redesign for the QX60. We’ll likely see both vehicles arrive as 2022 models. (Infiniti also has the smaller QX55 crossover coming for 2022.)
Infiniti QX60 Monograph concept
The current QX60 was introduced for the 2013 model year, originally as the JX, and was renamed the QX60 a year later as part of a naming strategy shift at Infiniti where all models took on the letter Q prefix. While sales have been solid, averaging around 40,000 units annually in the United States, the vehicle has always been panned for looking a little too much like a minivan.
That won’t be the case for the next-generation QX60, judging by this concept version. It combines clean surfaces with athletic proportions resulting in a more upright, more handsome vehicle. From the flowing hood, muscular fenders, and long wheelbase, the concept looks good from pretty much every angle.
Infiniti QX60 Monograph concept
The latest take on Infiniti’s grille shown on the concept features a mesh pattern inspired by traditional Japanese origami, while a series of intricate perpendicular lines inspired by a kimono features on the roof. The headlights are slimmer than what you normally find on an Infiniti while the lights at the rear are integrated in a graphic that spans the width of the vehicle. Infiniti said the design language will also feature on additional models coming down the pipeline.
“We commenced the design of the Monograph knowing this was an opportune time to start a discussion about where we are planning to take the QX60 in the future and more broadly, where we are heading as a brand with our design language,” Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s design chief, said in a statement.
Infiniti QX60 Monograph concept
Infiniti hasn’t shown the interior of the concept, and given the dark tint of the windows there might not be one. Infiniti also hasn’t provided any information on the specs of its next QX60, apart from it having three rows of seats. A V-6 is likely to remain the base powertrain, and a hybrid option may make a return. The current QX60 lost its hybrid option after 2017. We’re also likely to see a continuously variable automatic transmission remain the sole transmission option.
SHANGHAI — Just like Americans, Chinese shoppers are developing an insatiable appetite for crossovers and SUVs. And that is where automakers are targeting a growing number of their products.
At the Beijing auto show, opening Saturday, Sept. 26, global brands will attempt to wow audiences with new vehicles for those segments.
Two years ago, Volkswagen, the market’s largest car brand, went on what it called an “SUV offensive,” expanding its offerings of crossovers and SUVs from three to 10.
At the Beijing show, the German brand will step up that offensive. Two of the three new products to be staged are crossovers — a sporty version of the Tiguan crossover known as the Tiguan X and the ID4, the first locally produced model for its ID EV brand. The third model will be an all-new Golf sedan. All three vehicles will arrive in the market over the next few months.
But the VW brand plans to grow from 10 crossovers and SUVs to 16, and to boost the segment’s share of its sales from 31 percent to 50 percent by the end of 2021, VW Group China CEO Stephan Woellenstein has said.
Chinese sales are migrating in that direction.
Although China’s light-vehicle market has been contracting for the past two years, crossovers and SUV market share has continued to grow. In 2019, crossovers and SUVs accounted for 44 percent of China’s overall sales, up from 41 percent in 2017, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
This year, despite the negative impact of the coronavirus outbreak, the segment grew again, reaching 47 percent for the first eight months.
What is leading Chinese car shoppers to abandon other types of vehicles boils down to driving experience, according to Wang Zhixiong, an SAIC-VW retailer in the east China city of Danyang.
“These vehicles are fun to drive as they offer more space and a better view for drivers than sedans,” he said of crossovers. SAIC-VW is VW Group’s joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp., which markets vehicles for VW brand.
Wang said he’s glad to see VW further expand the lineup of crossovers and SUVs. Most of the new crossovers VW has introduced in recent years have been built and distributed by FAW-VW, the German auto giant’s partnership with China FAW Group.
The Tiguan X and ID4 will be built at SAIC-VW and will be marketed via the joint venture’s dealerships, like his store.
Ford is not missing out, either.
At the Beijing show, Ford will display eight models for Chinese consumers. Except for the F-150, Mustang and the new Focus, the rest will be crossovers and SUVs. They are the electric Mustang Mach-E, making its China debut, as well as the all-new Territory, Escape, Explorer and face-lifted Edge, according to information Ford disclosed last week.
Toyota’s Lexus brand will showcase special editions of three existing hybrid products, two of which are crossovers: the NX 300h and extended RX 450h. The third model will be the ES 300h sedan.
Hyundai also intends to raise its crossover profile for the Beijing show. The only all-new China-market product the Korean automaker will present this week will be the fifth-generation Tucson crossover.
YOKOHAMA, Japan — Infiniti is previewing more athletic, commanding styling for the next-generation QX60 three-row crossover, promising it will elevate the brand’s premium image.
The sleek, platinum-hued QX60 Monograph debuted late Thursday in an online unveiling from the global headquarters of the Infiniti brand’s parent, Nissan Motor Co. The vehicle is a close-to-market design study of the production version midsize QX60 that is expected to be redesigned and go on sale next year.
Updating the QX60 is a critical step in rejuvenating the premium brand, said Peyman Kargar, who took over as global chairman of Infiniti in June. The nameplate is the brand’s No. 2 seller worldwide behind the QX50, racking cumulative sales of 400,000 globally since its launch.
Infiniti’s global sales peaked at 249,000 in 2018 before dropping 24 percent to 188,994 last year. Kargar said the goal is to maintain market share in 2020, even as sales fall amid the brand’s pullout from Europe and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We keep all the good momentum in terms of power and equipments,” Kargar said of the upcoming QX60 in an interview ahead of the reveal. “The point is, we are going to increase the premium features, much more. You can feel the power and serenity of the luxury brand.”
The QX60 Monograph will make its auto show debut at the Beijing Motor Show that starts this month. The production version will initially be made alongside its Nissan brand stablemate, the Pathfinder midsize crossover, and be sold in all Infiniti markets, including China, Russia and the Middle East.
Infiniti is pitching the next QX60 as a “sophisticated yet functional solution for a busy, modern family.” The overall stance of the new design is more stout, sleek and futuristic.
“The current QX60 is popular with families and is known for offering spacious packaging and comfortable, dedicated three-row seating,” the Japanese premium brand said in a release. “The proportions of the QX60 Monograph illustrate Infiniti’s intention to maintain these strengths while transforming the model with a more aerodynamic, muscular silhouette.”
The QX60 Monograph’s wide body and track lend a more planted look than that of the outgoing model.
Designers sprinkled the vehicle with styling flourishes meant to imbue it with a sense of ma, the Japanese term for spatial harmony, through the combination of subtle details. The approach can be seen in the origami-inspired folds of the mesh in the vehicle’s double-arch grille.
In the front and rear, the Monograph gets “digital piano key” lighting that projects a futuristic feel, while the rear lamps wrap around the tail in a continuous swoop.
Kargar said next year’s arrival of the QX60, along with the addition of the QX55 coupe-styled compact crossover, should help lift the brand’s sales.
Infinti sales in the U.S. tumbled 34 percent to 41,653 vehicles in the first six months of the year. QX60 sales plunged 47 percent to 12,171, but the nameplate was the brand’s top-seller stateside.
The electric vehicle manufacturer is making major progress in developing next-generation batteries. It’s also hard at work on a new entry-level model and even a supercar… well, a super-high-performance version of the Model S sedan, at least.
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