NAIAS 2017 | Infiniti Looks to the Future of Premium with QX50 Concept

There are some concept cars at NAIAS 2017 in Detroit that are just show pieces for potential aesthetics or technologies. While the new QX50 Concept Infiniti is showing off at the show is on hand to represent “an evolution of the 2016 QX Sport Inspiration, with an original yet practical new crossover form,” it looks like a very close to market vehicle.

While the interior and exterior of the car are experimental, the QX50 Concept looks to the integration of the automaker’s autonomous drive support technologies. It’s also a possible destination for the Infiniti’s VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine — a very real product ready for production.

Also: NAIAS 2017 | Lexus Releases Final Details, Pricing for Elite LC 500

The QX50’s design elements look to the future with eye toward elegance and aggression, thanks to the previous QX Sport Inspiration concept. Infiniti likes to use the terms “Powerful Elegance” in their design language, and that includes the cabin-forward silhouette and muscular lines with flowing surfaces to add some sense of movement to its utilitarian purpose.

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Infiniti’s compact VC-Turbo engine could find a home in an imminent crossover like this QX50. Infiniti’s engineers look more than a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to current V6 gasoline engines. As currently designed, the 2.0 liter VC-Turbo is ready to go and would offer ample power for a small crossover (or large hatchback) like this QX50 when matched to a front-biased intelligent all-wheel drive system.

The new engine is an interesting advancement as it directly “challenges” the notion that hybrid technology and diesel are the only powertrains capable of offering high efficiency and proper engine torque. Using high compression and turbo tech can offer competitive MPG numbers while Infiniti and other automakers perfect alternative power trains.