Japanese luxury marque Infiniti have released a series of teaser photos of its flagship SUV, the 2018 QX80. Previewed earlier this year as the QX80 Monograph concept, this large luxury SUV is an all-new model sitting on a familiar platform, which has been used once before in the outgoing QX80 as well as the current-generation Nissan Patrol.
The QX80 might not be that easily recognised on our roads, as the ‘distinctively-styled’ current generation hasn’t sold in remarkable numbers here. The combination of ‘unique’ looks and enormous 5.6-litre petrol engine means that it’s a hard car to love, which is probably why they’ve only sold 59 this year so far. Add to that the ‘stiff’ competition it faces in the form of the Lexus LX570 (which benefits from a more conventional design) as well as the Mercedes-Benz GLS, and you find yourself no longer asking why you’ve never seen one of these before.
In any case, the QX80 is very popular in North American and Middle Eastern markets, where buyers are not quite so concerned about fuel economy and adore large, plush, off-road capable SUVs like these. If the teasers are any indication, not much has changed since the QX80 Monograph concept first bowed in at the New York International Auto Show, with the distinctive Infiniti design coming off a little more cohesive this time around. There’s a bold face, as expected, with details appearing only just a little toned down from the concept car.
The aggressive front apron of the concept car has been given a reality check, and now features a far more useful set of air intakes and LED foglights, as expected of a production car. What’s also obvious to see are the Infiniti QX80’s massive alloys, measuring some 22-inches in diameter, along with intricately-stitched leather on the door panels.
“Infiniti’s design DNA has been scaled up, for our largest SUV. The QX80 brings a new commanding presence with powerful muscularity and enhanced horizontal movement. Our designers raised the visual height of out iconic double-arch grille and signature headlamps, striking an unmistakable road presence.” — Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President of Global Design, Infiniti
While the exterior is certainly an evolution (in the right direction), there’s little to indicate that the powertrain will receive a significant overhaul, with the 5.6-litre V8 petrol engine expected to be carried over wholesale along with its 300kW and 560Nm. It could also be possible that the QX80 may feature some sort of electrified powertrain option too, which would go some way in helping it gain traction in more efficiency-focused markets, but we’ll just have to wait and see.