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The all-new QX50 is a premium mid-size SUV with world-first technologies, stand-out design and enhanced interior space – on an entirely new platform.
The aerodynamically efficient exterior remains true to that of the QX50 Concept and QX Sport Inspiration, bringing a fresh interpretation of INFINITI’s distinctive ‘Powerful Elegance’ design language to the SUV segment. Combining a confident SUV stance with intelligent packaging, and deep character lines with INFINITI signature design cues, the appearance of the QX50 highlights the influence of human artistry in the design process to emphasize the car’s premium quality.
The unrivaled interior space, artistic application of high quality materials, and advanced craftsmanship make the cabin as welcoming and comfortable as it is flexible. Driver-centric, yet passenger-minded, the QX50 offers a package of technologies to enhance the driving experience, while a calm, connected and relaxing cabin features an asymmetric layout – designed to meet different needs of the driver and the passengers.
The car’s VC-Turbo engine, the world’s first in production variable compression ratio engine, delivers driving pleasure and efficiency in equal measure, transforming on demand. Developed on an entirely new platform, the car features the sophisticated and assured INFINITI Intelligent All-Wheel Drive.
The QX50's ProPILOT Assist technologies react discreetly and autonomously to certain driving situations, supporting the driver with a range of empowering ‘co-pilot’ features, placing them in total control.
“The new QX50 is the most compelling INFINITI to date - a powerful and elegant SUV, with advanced technology providing versatility, efficiency and performance.
Christian Meunier, INFINITI Global Division Vice President
Distinctive proportions, Powerful Elegance design language, and signature details set the QX50 apart
“As with all INFINITIs, in creating the new QX50 we were inspired by our desire to drive, expressed with power and artistry. With QX50, inspiration comes from striking the perfect balance between lust and logic. At a glance, seamless and sculptural, getting closer to the car reveals an ingenious blend of proportion and space.”
Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President, Global Design
Designed to perform: elevated, dynamic proportions and deep character lines
The INFINITI QX50 is defined by distinctive proportions which set the car apart from its competitors. Influenced by INFINITI’s ‘Powerful Elegance’ design language, the all-new QX50 has an elevated, commanding SUV stance and strong character lines.
At an overall height of 1,679mm, the volume of the QX50’s body creates a striking presence and helps the vehicle stand out on the road. The elevated driver position maximises visibility, with an eye-point 1,287mm in height affording a clear view whether driving or parking.
The QX50’s striking visual character adjoins a clamshell hood, presenting a strong degree of muscularity while retaining balanced body proportions. The visually long hood – together with sculpted surface and detailing – create a feeling of flowing power.
The unique bonnet shape facilitates enhanced cabin proportions. A newly developed hinge system, Pop-Up 4 Link Hinge, has been created especially for the QX50, allowing deep, sharp-edged character lines to flow from the bonnet along the body. Integrating the A-pillar into this shape also makes the bonnet appear longer.
Character lines are formed by sharp, rolled-edge creases in the bodywork, achieved with INFINITI’s own deep-sculpting manufacturing methods. The clamshell bonnet flows into the character lines running along the side of the vehicle, creating an angle sharper than most competitors, and providing the QX50 with a distinctive visual signature.
The deep-stamping production methods behind the new QX50’s bodywork enable the creation of an integrated door design. This results in an almost-seamless connection between the door-glass and metal. Integrated door handles allow the deep character line to continue uninterrupted along the side of the car.
The QX50’s sophisticated rear aspect is characterized by clean, simple lines, and curves that release the visual energy built up from character lines flowing along the car’s sides. A chrome-tipped dual exhaust sits within the rear lower bumper.
The QX50’s commanding stance adds to its sense of agility and SUV-like ruggedness. Designed to look large in relation to the rest of the car, customers will be able to choose from 19-inch (235/55R19 tires) or 20-inch (255/45R20 tires) wheels.
Aerodynamic efficiency is key to the QX50’s design – the drag coefficient is improved by 6% compared to the previous-generation QX50. Its bonnet, A-pillar, tailgate and enclosed under-body are all specially designed to encourage airflow over, around and under the vehicle, with minimal turbulence. The bumpers and wheel arches feature air slits, inlets and outlets to assist the efficient flow of air.
Meanwhile, the centre of the QX50’s roof is subtly recessed towards the rear of the car, and the side spoiler (connecting the sides of the rear spoiler to the rear screen) and a defined trailing edge to the rear combination lamps each contribute towards a zero lift design, encouraging the expulsion of air ‘tumbling down’ from the top of the car when in motion. INFINITI’s approach to aerodynamic efficiency aids stability and maximises fuel efficiency.
Clear sense of human artistry combined with premium-quality materials and manufacture
Like its stablemates in the INFINITI range, the all-new QX50 conveys a clear sense of human artistry – where the lines and forms are organic, natural and artistic in expression.
INFINITI seeks to design concepts with production intent, exhibited in previous true-to-concept production versions of the Q30, QX30, QX80 and Q60. The QX50 is the latest vehicle to remain true to this form.
The new QX50 remains true to the QX50 Concept, which inspired the vehicle’s stand-out design. With this concept, INFINITI explored a more emotional execution of SUV design, bringing a degree of artistry to a segment typified by an uninspiring and clinical aesthetic.
The earlier QX50 Concept was itself an evolution of the INFINITI QX Sport Inspiration, first unveiled at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show. The new QX50 is the mass-production embodiment of its conceptual forebears, and stays remarkably consistent with INFINITI’s original vision.
The QX50’s materials and construction reflect a commitment to high-quality craftsmanship, defined by INFINITI’s unique ‘handmade for you’ approach. It is this approach which underpins the company’s desire to imbue all its cars with a level of advanced human artistry.
A wide range of colors allow for a high degree of personal expression. Exterior paint finishes available in every market include: Majestic White, Liquid Platinum, Graphite Shadow, Eclipse Black, and Chestnut Bronze. Other colors are available in specific regions. North American buyers can choose from Dynamic Sunstone Red, Hermosa Blue, Lunar White, and Black Obsidian; Midnight Garnet and Iridium Blue are available in China.
Unmistakable signatures: Powerful Elegance design language and signature design cues make the QX50 instantly recognizable as a modern INFINITI
The new car features INFINITI’s Powerful Elegance design language – characterized by flowing sculptural lines and strong, muscular proportions – endowing the QX50 with a purposeful aura, while hinting at its dynamic capabilities.
Within this design theme, the company’s signature design cues make the QX50 instantly recognizable as a modern INFINITI. For example, the INFINITI-exclusive double-arch grille gives the ‘face’ of the QX50 a unique and distinguished appearance. The bold top arch represents a bridge, while the lower arch takes on a more fluid form: the bridge’s reflection in water. This contemporary design symbolizes the harmony and balance found in traditional oriental art, drawing from INFINITI’s Japanese DNA. When applied to the QX50, the double-arch grille is wider with no gaps between the grille and the hood. It is also positioned higher than on the previous-generation QX50, to make the front of the car more distinctive, while ensuring the new model meets pedestrian crash test standards.
INFINITI’s signature LED headlights emulate the human eye in their appearance, alluring and intense when seen at a glance. Emulating the eyebrow, the horizontal light signature cuts across the projector to make a visual statement, similar in execution to the headlamps from the INFINITI Q60 sports coupe. Advanced headlight technology lights up the road ahead, from every angle. Light guide technology uses a series of reflective channels to disperse light from the LED accents, spreading light evenly.
At the rear of the QX50, the design of the LED taillights matches the shape of the front lamps. The rear light design connects visually to the chrome tailgate strip and runs into the sides of the QX50, creating an uninterrupted visual line flowing from the front to the rear of the car.
INFINITI’s signature crescent-cut D-pillar extends the visual length of the roof line, and the rear pillar arcs forward, emphasising motion even when the car is stationary – demonstrating INFINITI’s commitment to bringing distinctive design to life.
A quality, hand-crafted feel inside
“As with Q80 Inspiration, our designers worked with in house artisans to understand the inherent beauty of the materials and allowing the structure of those materials to inspire aesthetic gesture of the design. QX50’s flow from the center console to the instrument panel is the signature of this spirit and as a result it is the artists inspiration of material that sets INFINITI’s new interior asymmetry and driver centric DNA.”
Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President, Global Design
As with the exterior, the design of the interior of the QX50 deliberately articulates a sense of advanced human artistry. The cabin espouses a hand-crafted feel, achieved by combining two Japanese approaches to the treatment of materials: Mitate and Shitate. Mitate (pronounced “me-ta-teh”) relates to the practice of curating and bringing together the finest selection of materials. Shitate (“she-ta-teh”) is the desire to tailor the chosen combination of materials to bring out their best characteristics. This fine attention to detail in handling materials creates an appearance and ambience greater than the mere sum of their parts.
Specialty trim and color combinations allow for personal expression inside the QX50. Interior package options give customers a choice of trim colors and materials. Colors include Black, Dark Blue, Mid Brown and White, with each used across a variety of surfaces, from the center console leather to other parts of the trim. Smooth leather or quilting is used for seats, with open-pore wood or aluminum adorning the dashboard, while the customer’s preferred color options are evident throughout the cabin.
Using bespoke manufacturing methods, ‘wrap and sew’ detailing is a highlight of the hand-crafted ambience. The leather on the dash is selected for its quality and is hand-wrapped over the edges of the panels. The seats, door panels and dashboard feature a laser hole-cut stitch pattern specifically tailored to follow the curves of the interior surfaces. Contrast color stitching is used on the seats, paired with 3mm piping for a premium look and feel.
Even items that are typically complicated to manufacture, such as the instrument panel’s wave form, use wrap and sew production methods. The skin of these interior elements has been curated by the human hand, combining leather and synthetic materials.
Where many premium vehicle interiors use high-gloss wood surfaces to create the perception of quality, the QX50 is finished in genuine, matt-finish open-pore maple wood. The wood is treated to retain its natural characteristics in texture and appearance. Running a hand over it, the grain of the wood is still detectable to the touch, demonstrating a high level of craftsmanship to create an authentic, modern and highly tactile dashboard.
The QX50 is powered by VC-Turbo, the world’s first in production variable compression ratio engine
“Variable compression ratio technology represents a breakthrough in powertrain development. The QX50, powered by our VC-Turbo, is the first production vehicle ever to give drivers an engine that transforms on demand, setting a new benchmark for powertrain capability and refinement. This uncommonly smooth engine offers customers power and performance, as well as efficiency and economy.”
Christian Meunier, INFINITI Global Division Vice President
Smart power and greater control from advanced VC-Turbo internal combustion engine
INFINITI’s VC-Turbo engine is the world’s first in production variable compression ratio engine – and it makes its debut on the new QX50. This unique variable compression technology represents a breakthrough in combustion engine design – the QX50’s 2.0-litre VC-Turbo continually transforms, adjusting its compression ratio to optimizes power and fuel efficiency. It combines the power of a 2.0-litre turbocharged gasoline engine with the torque and efficiency of an advanced four-cylinder diesel engine.
The VC-Turbo changes its compression ratio seamlessly with an advanced multi-link system, continuously raising or lowering the pistons’ reach to transform compression ratio – offering both power and efficiency, on demand.
A high compression ratio gives greater efficiency, but in certain applications poses the risk of premature combustion (‘knocking’). A low compression ratio allows for greater power and torque, and avoids knocking. In operation, the QX50’s VC-Turbo engine offers any compression ratio between 8:1 (for high performance) and 14:1 (for high efficiency). Deploying smart power for greater control, the empowering engine exemplifies INFINITI’s driver-centric approach.
The blend of performance and efficiency represents a compelling alternative to diesel, challenging the notion that only hybrid and diesel powertrains are capable of delivering high torque and efficiency. The engine delivers 268 hp (200 kW) @ 5,600 rpm and 280 lb ft (380 Nm) @ 4,400 rpm. The VC-Turbo’s specific power output is higher than many competing turbocharged gasoline engines, and comes close to the performance of some V6 gasoline engines. The unit’s single-scroll turbo ensures immediate accelerator responses, on demand.
Other highlights include compact packaging and weight-saving technologies. The engine block and cylinder head are cast in lightweight aluminum alloy, while the transformative multi-link components are manufactured in high-carbon steel alloy. Compared to INFINITI’s 3.5-litre VQ V6 engine, the 2.0-litre VC-Turbo weighs 18kg less and requires less space in the engine bay.
The engine employs the world’s first multi-link system and an electric motor with a unique Harmonic Drive reduction gear to transform its compression ratio. The electric motor is connected to the Harmonic Drive with a control arm; as the Harmonic Drive rotates, the control shaft at the base of the engine rotates, moving the multi-link system within the engine. As the angle of the multi-link arms changes, it adjusts the top-dead-centre position of the pistons – and the compression ratio with them. An eccentric control shaft changes the compression ratio of all the cylinders at the same time. As a result, the engine capacity varies between 1,997 cc (for a low 8:1 ratio) and 1,970 cc (high 14:1 ratio).
The VC-Turbo can switch between both Atkinson and regular combustion cycles without interruption, enabling greater efficiency and performance as it transforms.
Under the Atkinson cycle, air and fuel intakes overlap, allowing the fuel in the combustion chamber to expand to larger volumes for greater efficiency. The INFINITI engine operates the Atkinson cycle under higher compression ratios, with longer piston strokes allowing the intake valves to open for a short time as the compression stroke starts. The Atkinson cycle is commonly used in hybrid engines to maximise efficiency.
As the compression ratio drops, the engine reverts to a regular combustion cycle – intake, compression, combustion, exhaust – in separate phases to enable greater performance.
The VC-Turbo engine combines a number of existing INFINITI technologies to realise its variable nature. The engine employs both MPI (multi-point injection) and GDI (gasoline direct injection) to balance efficiency and power in all conditions:
The engine switches between both at regular engine speeds, with both sets of injectors able to work in conjunction under higher loads.
A single-scroll turbocharger maximizes performance and efficiency, enabling immediate throttle responses at any speed or compression ratio. The turbocharger ensures equivalent performance to a naturally aspirated six-cylinder unit. Small enough to aid the compact overall dimensions, a single-scroll system also reduces the loss of thermal energy and exhaust pressure.
An integrated exhaust manifold is built into the aluminium cylinder head to further enhance packaging and efficiency. This enables INFINITI engineers to position the catalytic converter next to the turbo, creating a shorter flow path for hot exhaust gases. This means the emissions control process can start sooner, as the catalytic converter heats up more quickly.
Closely controlling the flow of exhaust gases through the turbocharger, an electronically-controlled wastegate actuator maintains turbocharger boost pressure. This ensures high fuel efficiency and performance under all conditions while minimising emissions.
The uncommonly smooth VC-Turbo does away with the two balance shafts required in conventional four-cylinder engines, due to the layout of its multi-link system (see below).
The VC-Turbo is also smoother than conventional in-line engines, and has the low noise and vibration levels expected of a traditional V6. This is, in part, a result of its multi-link design, where the piston connecting rods are almost vertical during the combustion cycle (rather than moving wider laterally, as they would in a traditional crankshaft rotation). This represents the ideal reciprocating motion, and entirely negates the need for balance shafts. Despite the addition of a multi-link layout, the engine is therefore as compact as a conventional 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.
The result is uncommonly low levels of vibration. During internal tests, INFINITI benchmarked the engine against four-cylinder engines from rival manufacturers. The VC-Turbo produces reduced engine noise – almost as refined as a V6.
INFINITI’s low-friction ‘mirror bore coating’ contributes to a 44% reduction in cylinder friction, allowing the engine to rotate more smoothly. The coating is applied to the cylinder walls by a plasma jet, then hardened and honed to create ultra-smooth cylinder walls.
The QX50’s 2.0-litre VC-Turbo engine employs the world’s first active engine mount vibration damping system, called an Active Torque Rod (ATR), to reduce engine noise even further. The QX50 is the only car in its class to offer this kind of technology. Integrated into the upper engine mount, where the most high-torque noise and engine vibration is generated, the ATR has a G-sensor that detects vibrations. It then creates opposite, reciprocating vibrations, enabling the four-cylinder engine to be as smooth and quiet as a V6, reducing engine noise by 9dB (compared to the current QX50). This helps to make VC-Turbo one of the quietest and smoothest engines in the premium SUV segment.
Illustrating the brand’s role as an innovator in powertrain technology, INFINITI introduced the world’s first active engine mount for a diesel engine in 1998. INFINITI developed the ATR between 2009 and 2017, with a focus on reducing its size and weight. In earlier prototypes, the size of the ATR’s actuator motor posed a problem. However, development of a downsized reciprocal actuator motor enables the ATR to fit into a much smaller space while still being strong enough to cope with heavy use.
Smooth-shifting XTRONIC CVT: the ideal partner for VC-Turbo
Transformative by nature, the VC-Turbo engine is paired with INFINITI’s new XTRONIC continuously-variable transmission (CVT), a ‘shift-by-wire’ system which eliminates the need for traditional gears. The QX50 is the only car in its class to offer a CVT, resulting in super-smooth gear shifts and seamless power delivery.
The XTRONIC CVT reacts instantly to driver inputs, with an infinite number of gears matched to the transformation of the engine through different compression ratios. The transmission adjusts immediately under hard acceleration as the engine transforms to a lower compression ratio. A higher gearing ratio for cruising speeds matches the higher compression ratio of the engine, enhancing fuel efficiency. A high final gear ratio (5.846) creates an instantaneous and decisive acceleration character – empowering the driver to accelerate more urgently when desired.
The final drive ratio works seamlessly with the wide-range single-scroll turbocharger, allowing the engine to operate at lower compression ratios, and deliver the immediate acceleration to match the transforming, variable performance delivered by the VC-Turbo engine. Pre-programmed gears allow drivers to change engine speeds on demand, in line with their driving style.
The new XTRONIC CVT adopts the latest transmission technologies to enhance efficiency and acceleration. A torque converter ensures a direct connection between the accelerator pedal inputs and the engine response. An electric oil pump system works in-tune with the Idle Stop system, distributing oil throughout the transmission to enable immediate restarts and enhance fuel efficiency.
This ‘shift-by-wire’ transmission enhances the QX50’s powertrain packaging, with the fully-electronic system replacing the mechanical transmission linkage. This means the XTRONIC CVT takes up less space, eliminating the need for a large transmission case or tunnel mount. This enhances cabin space in the process, and results in a larger central armrest and center console area for maximum elbow room.
The shift-by-wire configuration also empowers the driver with quicker gear shifts, with more immediate and instantaneous shifts in manual mode. Driver inputs are transmitted directly to the CVT by wire, while a short stroke for the shifter itself delivers a high quality, silent gear change feel.
Technology: ProPILOT Assist autonomous drive support and in-car connectivity
New, intuitive technologies support the driver and keep vehicle occupants safe and connected
“INFINITI’s ProPILOT Assist technologies offer support when needed and add to the enjoyment and confidence of the driver. Our intention is to empower the driver and enhance feelings of pleasure behind the wheel, not to remove the driver from the equation. The brand new QX50 will set a new benchmark in the biggest premium segment.”
François Bancon, Vice President, Product Strategy
A unique perspective on how the driver’s relationship with the car could evolve
INFINITI’s customers have stated their desire to remain a key element in the driving equation, so the brand’s vision for autonomous driving is a step removed from the notion of fully-autonomous ‘driverless’ motoring embraced by some carmakers.
Allowing drivers to retain ultimate control over their vehicle, the ‘co-pilot’ function of INFINITI’s autonomous drive support technologies empowers and gives confidence to the driver, and ‘delegates’ more onerous driving tasks to the machine. These tasks include navigating stop-start traffic on the highway by monitoring the position of vehicles in front of the QX50.
ProPILOT is the umbrella term under which all future INFINITI autonomous drive support technologies will be based and represents the first step in their development. These technologies are designed to support the driver in identifying and responding to other road users and potential hazards. Drawing on inputs from radar and camera to read the road ahead and monitor the position of vehicles in front, the system allows the car to react accordingly. The framework that underpins ProPILOT will be developed in the future with a series of new functionalities.
New ProPILOT Assist technologies support single-lane driving
The suite of autonomous drive support technologies in the QX50 is called ProPILOT Assist, which, as a package, helps the driver control acceleration, braking and steering during single-lane highway driving. Equipped for the first time in an INFINITI model, ProPILOT Assist effectively reduces the stress of stop-and-go driving and highway cruises. Acting as the driver’s ‘co-pilot’, ProPILOT Assist takes over single-lane driving operation at the push of a button, without the driver’s input on acceleration, braking, or steering. The driver can choose to let the car operate on their behalf in stop-start traffic.
The technologies that make up the full suite of QX50’s ProPILOT Assist system include Direct Adaptive Steering and Intelligent Cruise Control. These are supported by additional technologies, including: Distance Control Assist; Back-up Collision Intervention; Predictive Forward Collision Warning; Blind Spot Warning and Intervention; Lane Departure Warning and Prevention; and Forward Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection. Other notable safety features available to QX50 buyers include pre-crash seat belt technology, adaptive front lighting with high beam assist, a tyre inflation indicator, and lighter steering for certain parking situations.
The QX50 features a fourth-generation version of INFINITI’s Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS) - the first SUV and first front-wheel drive application of the system. DAS is a steer-by-wire system that supports autonomous driving by providing smooth operation, allowing for more direct steering responses and easy manoeuvrability. DAS is an enabler to steering systems that will form a key building block on the way to achieving comprehensive autonomous drive functionality. The ‘steer-by-wire’ system eliminates the need for mechanically linked parts, instead employing digital components to improve steering feel and feedback. The connection between the driver and DAS is instantaneous, thanks to the electronic connection between components.
It is DAS that underpins many of the QX50’s ProPILOT Assist functions; a traditional mechanical steering system suffers from too much inertia for the car to steer itself in many situations. DAS works with ProPILOT Assist to enable a range of single-lane autonomous driving support functions. The steer-by-wire system links with the autonomous function to provide intelligent lane-keeping when driving in a straight line and through curves, while offering drivers precise, high-feedback steering with ProPILOT Assist turned off.
A connected portal to the outside world for occupants
The INFINITI QX50 connects users to the car with its InTouch infotainment system. InTouch allows the driver to access vehicle comfort and entertainment settings via dual screens at the centre of the instrument panel.
Upon entering the car, the QX50 will recognise the driver and remember a range of settings via profiles saved in the car’s Intelligent Key. For example, the system automatically reverts to pre-set seat, mirror and steering wheel positions, according to recorded driver preference. InTouch also recalls entertainment options and the preferred layout of on-screen displays, along with the most recent Drive Mode Selections – all adding to the sense of personalisation within the car.
Users can interact intuitively with InTouch, either through the dual touchscreen displays or through the INFINITI Controller, a dial on the centre armrest. Occupants can also connect to InTouch via a hand-held device, meaning passengers can stream media from smartphones, tablets, MP3 players and notebooks, connecting devices with one of the four USB ports, or via Bluetooth for wireless music streaming and voice calls. Video can also be connected and played back, and InTouch can synchronise with a phone’s digital calendar. In certain markets, the InTouch system is compatible with telematics features, such as ‘remote start’ and ‘locate vehicle’.
The QX50’s interior functions have been ergonomically designed and presented to make the user experience intuitive and simple. The cockpit places driver functions within easy reach, while the view over the dash is not obstructed by instruments, allowing the driver to observe the road ahead and check on gauges and panels at a glance. An intuitive Human Machine Interface (HMI) takes the stress out of driving for greater comfort on longer journeys. The system adopts smartphone-style controls, and each of the two screens can be operated with pinch-in/out operation.
A four-monitor display supports the driver by showing information where it is needed, when it is needed. The monitors are positioned for quick-and-easy consumption of information while on the move. The setup includes:
Engineered around you
All-new platform provides ideal underpinnings, ensuring the QX50 offers superior levels of space, flexibility, ride sophistication and structural integrity
“The SUV crossover market is the number one premium segment globally. The QX50 is INFINITI’s core model and offers premium buyers everything they could want from a vehicle of this type, thanks in part to the development of an all-new platform that boasts an ideal combination of roominess and packaging efficiency.”
François Bancon, Vice President, Product Strategy
All-new platform developed to give QX50 ideal SUV attributes
The QX50 is built on an all-new platform, featuring a front-engine, front-wheel drive (FF) layout. Engineered with flexibility of application in mind, the FF platform sets new standards for refinement, rigidity and interior space in the compact premium SUV segment.
The new platform is built for both front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) powertrains, making it very suitable for the QX50’s intelligent AWD drivetrain. The platform’s layout allows for high levels of packaging efficiency, resulting in the QX50’s ideal interior proportions for passengers and cargo. The new platform also enables the QX50 to achieve 218 mm (8.6 inches) ground clearance without impacting on cabin space.
The QX50’s body-mass index (the bodyshell’s ratio of weight-to-size) is one of the best in the segment. The body-in-white is large but lightweight, weighing just 419 kg (923.7 lbs). A double-ring structure provides the bodyshell with a naturally strong frame, in particular reinforcing the rear of the car and the area around the tailgate, contributing to segment-leading rigidity.
First automotive use of SHF (Super High Formability) 980 MPa steel enhances safety and driving performance
The QX50 represents the first automotive use of SHF (Super High Formability) 980 MPa high-tensile steel, further strengthening the all-new platform. The high-tensile material can be moulded into unprecedented shapes, saving weight and representing a torsional rigidity improvement of 23% over the current QX50. This segment-leading rigidity allows the car to resist flex and vibrations, while reducing the noise transmitted to the cabin.
Varying strengths of steel are used in sections of the car for different reasons. For example, the SHF 980 MPa steel is used around the crashable zones at the front and rear of the car, to better absorb energy in the event of a collision, as well as weight-bearing sections around the engine bay and other key structural parts of the car, such as the B-pillar. The 1.2 GPa steel reinforces the cabin for greater occupant protection. High tensile steel is used throughout the rest of the bodyshell.
In addition to reducing flex and body vibrations, the high rigidity body provides a stable base for the QX50’s front and rear suspension systems, steering and brakes to perform optimally and provide the driver with greater control.
Space and functionality: innovative packaging creates improved roominess and flexibility
Utilizing the advantages of the all-new platform, efficient packaging maximizes the amount of interior space within the QX50, with an expansive cabin and minimal intrusions by the bodywork and trim. The 218 mm ride height is set at a level both to accommodate large wheels, and limit the intrusion of the wheel arches into the cabin. In addition, the wheels are pushed as far as possible into the corners, further minimizing intrusion on interior space. The rear overhang is just 952 mm.
The unique, confident SUV design and associated interior roominess are facilitated by space savings within the engine bay. The QX50’s revolutionary and highly compact 2.0-litre VC-Turbo engine with a single-turbo layout occupies below-average space in the engine bay (see ‘Engine’ section for details). The body is designed in such a way as to accommodate both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive drivetrains without impacting cabin space.
Another element of the powertrain also enhances cabin space: the QX50’s ‘shift-by-wire’ electronic transmission differs from a typical transmission linkage as it requires no bulky mechanical components in the cabin. This enables a more efficient centre console layout and results in the creation of a larger console storage compartment – it has been designed to accommodate large electronic tablet devices.
The interior space is made more flexible with its sliding rear bench. The cargo area is 990mm deep with the rear bench all the way back – increasing to 1,140 mm with the seats moved forward. The trunk’s volume is 31.6 cu ft (895 litres SAE), with the rear seats in their rear-most position, expanding to 37 cu ft (1,048 litres SAE) with the rear seats set forward. The trunk grows to 60 cu ft (1,699 litres SAE) with the rear seats folded down. As one of few vehicles in its segment to offer sliding second-row seats, the QX50 boasts best-in-class rear legroom of up to 838mm – sufficient to let rear passengers cross their legs in comfort.
The trunk accommodates three golf bags, or a cart situated length-wise, with space for additional cargo. Hidden under-floor storage compartments can be used to stow valuable items, or wet and muddy clothing. Storage options are improved over the previous-generation QX50, with front storage compartments located at the bottom of the centre console capable of holding two smartphones and a wallet. The cup holder is larger, capable of accommodating two 32oz cups, and door storage areas can hold a 1.5-litre bottle and an A6 notebook, or a small handbag.
The optional panoramic moonroof stretches from the front row through to the cargo area, providing a dramatic view of the sky for all passengers. The moonroof visually enhances interior space, flooding the interior with natural light to accentuate the sense of space.
Driver-centric, passenger-minded technologies and asymmetric design enhance the driving experience and create a calm, connected, and co-operative space
In designing the asymmetric interior of the QX50, INFINITI has maintained a driver-centric, passenger-minded approach to the cabin layout and in-car technologies available. Incorporating technologies which enhance the potential for relaxation and calm, the cabin provides an environment suited to the needs of driver and passengers alike.
For the driver, the button-operated Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) replaces a foot- or hand-operated parking brake, taking up less cabin space. Furthermore, the high-performance steering wheel has a sport-inspired form, shaped for a comfortable grip over long distances to minimize hand fatigue while allowing the driver to feel fully in-control. Paddle shifters are mounted on the steering wheel, rather than the steering column, for ease of use. The wheel is finished in matte chrome and cross-stitched leather, while the gear shifter is also wrapped in leather and positioned for intuitive control.
An Around View Monitor (AVM) offers a 360-degree overhead view of the space around the QX50, displayed on the centre console screen, to aid parking in tight spaces. Moving Object Detection (MOD) works in tandem with AVM to alert the driver of people or objects that move into proximity of the vehicle. When in reverse, the system automatically applies the brakes if it senses the driver has not taken action. In addition to the birds-eye view, AVM also offers drivers a ‘curb-level’ view, to reduce the risk of scratching the wheels or fenders on a high curb. Four parking sensors in each of the front and rear bumpers (eight in total) make the QX50 even easier to park.
Upon opening any door to the vehicle, the QX50’s ‘Omotenashi’ interior lights illuminate in sequence. Omotenashi defines the Japanese spirit of hospitality, and references the attention to detail and pride taken in welcoming an individual to a home or business. In this instance, the QX50’s Omotenashi-inspired lighting welcomes the driver and passenger into the car. Relaxing warm-white illumination first lights up the door handle and step. As the door opens, a timed sequence of lamps bathe areas of the cabin in soft, warm light, highlighting the position of the seats and controls, in the front and rear, and emphasizing the QX50’s calm and welcoming atmosphere.
When leaving the car, the lighting illuminates the cabin and the ground outside the vehicle. The driver can adapt the lighting’s characteristics using the InTouch infotainment system, adjusting the brightness of the lamps and changing which areas of the cabin light up. A sleeping child in the second row need not be awakened by interior lighting flooding the cabin at the end of a journey.
The Motion Activated Liftgate allows the keyholder to open the tailgate automatically by waving their foot under the rear bumper. This allows them to open the tailgate even when their hands might be full. The tailgate can also be opened remotely, either from the driver’s seat or by pressing a button on the key fob.
The climate control function in the new QX50 is designed to benefit all passengers, and not just those in the front of the car. Dual-zone climate control automatically maintains the cabin temperature for driver and front passenger, while a more passenger-minded optional tri-zone automatic climate control extends temperature functions to the rear. Front seat occupants can adjust fan, air conditioning and vent settings to maintain a constant, comfortable cabin temperature, while passengers in the rear can alter temperature settings. Heated and ventilated seats in the front, as well as a heated steering wheel, are also available. A Remote Engine Start System with Intelligent Climate Control allows the driver to start the engine remotely with the Intelligent Key, and to cool or heat the cabin before they get in.
Additional climate control features regulate cabin odors and improve comfort further: gas sensors detect outside odors and will revert to recirculated air; a plasma cluster ionizer deodorizes the cabin; and charcoal or grape polyphenol filters are available to remove allergens and unpleasant odors.
The QX50’s optional Bose Performance Series audio system is designed to replicate the rich sound of a live music performance. The 16-speaker system is tuned specifically for the QX50’s interior acoustics, and the hardware underpinning the system includes an amplifier, a high-quality sound processor, tweeter speakers and a subwoofer. The Bose Performance Series delivers deep, rich and nuanced sound to the driver and all passengers – while the depth of sound provided by the 16 speakers delivers clear, natural-sounding low and high frequencies.
A microphone is fitted in the cabin to monitor ongoing interior noise, and the Bose system calculates how to adjust audio output according to cabin noise conditions. Advanced Staging Technology uses the speakers and a signal processor to help create a wider sound stage in the front of the car, providing a precise, consistent and tailored aural experience – the system can even emulate the sound of standing in the front row at a live performance.
Ride and handling
The QX50 uses advanced all-wheel drive and supporting technologies to create a predictable, predictive drive
“The new INFINITI QX50 is engineered to place the driver in total control, using the latest ride and handling technology to instill a greater sense of confidence. The QX50 empowers the driver, rather than replacing them.”
François Bancon, Vice President, Product Strategy
Confident dynamics from all-new platform, suspension and brakes
The QX50 offers an optimal balance of stability, comfort and ride control – quiet and refined, while also rewarding and giving confidence to the enthusiast driver.
The QX50’s new platform, with segment-leading rigidity, enables the car to resist flex and vibration, and allows the front and rear suspension, steering and brake components to perform at their best.
An all-new MacPherson Strut front suspension system delivers immediate responses during spirited driving, with geometry set up to also provide high levels of straight-line stability and ride sophistication. Early suspension prototype components were modeled and validated with 3-D printing, the first time INFINITI has used the technology. 3-D printing enabled the rapid creation of new parts, reducing the complexity of development.
The QX50’s new damping control system maximizes body control and ensures a comfortable ride by isolating vibrations and reducing unwanted body motions. The system, fitted to the struts, uses a floating valve in the dampers. It is tuned to provide greater control and reduce the level of elasticity in driver inputs – the ‘lurching’ delay between the driver turning the wheel and the car reacting – while enabling a greater degree of compliance and shock absorption at wheel level. Under cornering, the valve adds greater damping force to reduce body roll and aid immediate handling responses. At steady straight-line speeds, a reduced level of damping force aids cruising comfort.
All-new brakes are engineered to deliver comfort and responsiveness, and provide confident braking in all conditions. The linear stroke of its brake pedal provides a reassuring level of resistance, at any point in its travel. The brake booster is tuned to prevent the car grabbing at the brakes with light pressure on the pedal, applying maximum brake force if the system detects a firmer push on the pedal.
The QX50 is fitted with ventilated disc brakes on both axles, with larger front brakes than the current QX50 (growing 10 mm in diameter to 330 mm). The brake booster is newly designed, featuring a tie-rod system which reduces the need for higher brake pedal pressure.
The QX50’s wheels are fitted with new run-flat tyres, striking a balance between design, practicality and refinement. The application of run-flats enables the fitment of low-profile tyres around the 20-inch wheels, while special reinforced rubber sidewalls allow the tyres to work with reduced air pressure for up to 93 miles (150 km). This gives owners the peace of mind that they can drive to a tyre fitter to replace a punctured wheel, and eliminates the need to carry a spare tyre, freeing up additional trunk capacity.
All-wheel drive and sophisticated handling technologies empower the driver
The new QX50 employs a range of advanced handling technologies to place the driver in complete control. Customers can specify their QX50 with either Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (AWD) or the standard front-wheel drive (FWD) drivetrain.
The optional Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system offers all-season safety, providing optimal handling performance and maximum driver confidence in variable conditions. The drivetrain offers two-wheel drive efficiency, with all-wheel traction when the driver requires it.
The QX50’s AWD drivetrain constantly monitors traction levels and wheel spin and can send up to 50% of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels to maintain traction. If the extra rear-wheel traction isn’t required, the drivetrain defaults to front-wheel drive for maximum efficiency. When accelerating from a standstill, the system automatically reverts to AWD power delivery, with a 50:50 front-to-rear torque split.
The AWD system also features two new elements to its Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system. Active Brake Limited Slip enables wheels to brake individually and isolate the delivery of torque to those wheels with the most grip. Active Trace Control provides braking to individual wheels to limit understeer when cornering.
The QX50 is sold as standard with front-wheel drive, a system engineered to deliver the same handling characteristics under most conditions as AWD models. The FWD drivetrain constantly monitors traction levels at the front axle and keeps wheel spin in check. FWD models are equipped with VDC as standard, offering the same Active Trace Control system as AWD models, to ensure confidence-inspiring handling. The rear suspension is revised to accommodate the lighter weight over the rear axle.
The QX50 offers two adaptive steering systems: Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS) and rack- electric power steering (Rack EPS).
DAS is the world’s only digital steering system, and the fourth generation features updated software for the QX50 – the first SUV and first front-wheel drive application of the system. DAS replaces a mechanical steering column with high-speed electric motors and sensors, with the steering instead controlled and enhanced digitally. The system places the driver in total command, and is key in realising the QX50’s ProPILOT Assist functions.
The DAS system has been tuned to provide greater customization in the QX50, with less negative steering and road surface feedback. DAS is programmed to provide smooth steering and more direct responses, while enabling easy maneuverability. DAS eliminates the need for mechanical parts, instead employing digital components to improve feel and feedback. The electronic connection gives the driver instantaneous steering responses, for a linear and secure driving experience.
Different driving modes can be selected to adapt steering responses and steering effort. This means the QX50 can track straight and true at a steady highway cruise, with minimal steering input required for a relaxing drive. It can then enhance the car’s handling upon request, empowering the driver to steer more quickly and accurately than a conventional steering system.
The Rack EPS system is a rack-and-pinion configuration, supported by an electric motor. It offers a natural build-up in the level of steering effort required from the driver as speeds increase, while enabling measured and linear steering responses at low steering angles.
Both steering systems are adaptive, empowering drivers to tailor steering characteristics to their individual preferences via the Drive Mode Selector (DMS).
The D allows the driver to select the driving mode that best suits their preferences and present road conditions. Empowering the driver to customize their driving experience, DMS adjusts engine torque output, transmission shift points, steering ratios and steering effort in each mode. In every model, drivers can choose from four different driving modes: Standard, ECO, Sport, and Personal.
Standard is suitable for every-day driving, with default engine output, transmission and steering settings. ECO mode lowers the power output slightly for improved fuel economy, with more relaxed throttle responses. Meanwhile, the CVT adopts longer gear ratios, lowering engine speeds for greater efficiency. This mode maintains default steering settings.
Sport mode enables more immediate throttle responses, and adjusts the engine output to deliver higher power and torque. The CVT is programmed to allow the engine to reach its highest power output before it shifts, while greater steering effort is required of the driver, with the ratios adjusted for more immediate steering responses.
Personal mode empowers the driver to pick their own settings. The engine and transmission can be set to Sport, ECO or Standard settings, while steering effort can be set to Sport or Standard. Furthermore, owners of DAS models can tailor steering responses to Default, Dynamic or Dynamic+, with Dynamic+ offering the most immediate reactions to driver inputs. The DMS gives drivers of all models the option to turn off Active Trace Control.
The QX50 features a pair of active sound control technologies: Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Active Sound Enhancement (ASE). ANC reduces noise to give the QX50 one of the quietest cabins in its class. It uses two microphones to identify undesirable low-frequency engine noise (‘booming’), then neutralises it by playing opposing sound waves through the door speakers. This creates a relaxing, refined atmosphere that enables and encourages conversation among occupants – or lets them listen to music more clearly.
ASE adds to the driving experience by enhancing the sound of the QX50’s performance. Noise cancellation technology provides a quiet platform from which to build up a more pleasant range of sounds in the cabin. ASE enhances the engine note through the speakers, augmenting certain engine noise frequencies under acceleration. The technology provides an acceleration sound that matches the driver’s intentions for and expectations of the engine.
Global testing regime: built to endure the toughest driving conditions in the world
The INFINITI QX50 has been subjected to a robust global testing regime, with 600 late-stage prototypes tested on roads and tracks all around the world in extreme weather conditions and in locations that included switchback mountain passes, arid deserts, congested urban hubs and high-speed highways.
The new VC-Turbo engine was a particular focus for testing teams, following the unit’s 20-year development process. INFINITI has worked on the unique multi-link technology since 1998 to validate reliability, testing more than 200 physical engine prototypes. This has included over 30,000 hours on test beds – equal to 5,000,000 kilometres of testing and development – and 3,000,000 kilometres of equivalent road testing. Testing of INFINITI’s new engine has also included verification at the hands of the Renault Sport Formula One team. INFINITI drew on the motorsport team’s expertise in material dynamic motion analysis to validate reliability under extreme conditions.
Body and chassis
Five-door, five-seat SUV, with all-steel unitary construction bodyshell. Four-cylinder variable compression ratio turbocharged engine driving the front or all wheels via continuously-variable transmission.
INFINITI's QX50 Engine
2.0-litre VC-Turbo gasoline
Type Turbocharged four-cylinder in-line with variable compression ratio
Displacement (cc) 1,997 (8:1 CR) ~ 1,970 (14:1)
Bore and stroke 84.0 x 90.1 mm (8:1 CR) ~ 84.0 x 88.9 mm (14:1 CR)
Compression ratio 8:1 ~ 14:1 (variable)
Max power 268 hp (200 kW) @ 5,600 rpm
Max torque 280 lb ft (380 Nm) @ 4,400 rpm
Fuel system Direct injection / multi-port (variable)
Front-wheel drive (FWD)
Intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD)
XTRONIC continuously-variable transmission with manual shift mode
Gear ratios (manual shift mode & CVT drive range) – replicates 8-speed transmission.
Final drive 5.846
CVT drive range 2.413 ~ 0.383
0-to-60 mph 6.3 secs (AWD) / 6.7 secs (FWD)
Top speed (mph) 143 (230 kph)
Suspension and damping
Front Fully-independent by subframe-mounted MacPherson struts, coil springs and mono tube type shock absorbers, anti-roll stabiliser bar
Rear Fully-independent by subframe-mounted multi-link suspension, coil springs and mono tube type shock absorbers, anti-roll stabiliser bar
Type Rack electric power steering (Rack EPS)
Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS), variable ratios
Turns, lock-to-lock 2.73 (Rack EPS) / 2.58 (DAS)
Turning circle 18.2 ft (5.6 m)
Front 330 mm, ventilated disc
Rear 308 mm, ventilated discs
Wheels and tyres * Tyre application according to grade
Standard* 235 / 55 R19 tires, 19 x 7.5 J alloy wheels
Standard* 255 / 45 R20 tires, 20 x 8.5 J alloy wheels
Option* 255 / 45 R20 tires, 20 x 8.5 J alloy wheels
Spare Tyre repair kit (if applicable)
Dimensions (in/mm) *excluding door mirrors
Overall length 184.8 / 4,693
Overall width* 74.9 / 1,903
Overall height 66.1 / 1,679 Wheelbase 110.2 / 2,800
Front overhang 37.0 / 941 Rear overhang 37.5 / 952
Ground clearance 8.6 / 218
Interior *without moonroof
Head room* 42.1 / 1,070 39.1 / 994
Leg room 44.6 / 1,134 32.9 / 838
Fuel tank 60 litres / 15.8 gallons (US)
Luggage (SAE) 895 ~ 1,048 litres (31.6 ~ 37 cu ft) behind 2nd row seats
1,699 litres (60 cu ft) behind 1st row seats, to roof
Weights (lb / kg)* *Based on Active grade for US market
Curb weight 3,827 / 1,736 3,957 / 1,795
Gross weight 4,916 / 2,230 5,062 / 2,296
Tow load* N/A 3,000 / 1,361
*Customer should comply with local braked towing regulations
Fuel economy (mpg)
QX50 has not been homologated under the European test cycle yet.
INFINITI Motor Company Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong with representations in 50 markets around the world. The INFINITI brand was launched in 1989. Its range of premium automobiles is currently built in manufacturing facilities in Japan, the United States, United Kingdom and China.
INFINITI design studios are located in Atsugi-Shi near Yokohama, London, San Diego and Beijing.
INFINITI is in the middle of a major product offensive. The brand has been widely acclaimed for its daring design and innovative driver-assistance technologies.
From the 2016 season, INFINITI is a technical partner of the Renault Sport Formula One team, contributing its expertise in hybrid performance.
More information about INFINITI and its industry leading technologies can be found at www.INFINITI.com. You can also follow INFINITI on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.
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