2019 Infiniti QX50 SUV goes live in LA with innovative engine, high hopes
New platform, new engine, new everything
New QX50 luxury mid-size SUV/crossover steps on the 2017 LA Auto Show catwalk with the status of Infiniti’s most important vehicle ever.
By taking a good look at the new Infiniti QX50 you’ll quickly notice styling cues borrowed from the likes of QX50 Concept and QX Sport Inspiration, but we’ll let the photo gallery do the talking on design.
Powertrain and drivetrain
Nevertheless, Infiniti decided to use the QX50 as a launch platform for their new VC-Turbo engine – the world’s first production variable compression ratio powerplant. The 2-liter unit fitted with a single-scroll turbocharger is continually adjusting its compression ratio (in the 8:1 and 14:1 range) thus bringing the best out of two worlds: the power of a turbocharged 2-liter engine combined with the torque and efficiency levels seen in a modern four-cylinder diesel.
Overall power output stands at 268 hp (200 kW) and 280 lb-ft (380 Nm), while fuel efficiency is announced at 27 mpg US combined for the front-wheel-drive model (26 mph for the all-wheel-drive variant), a 35% improvement over the previous QX50 V6.
Nurturing the engine’s abilities is the Xtronic CVT gearbox, which Infiniti claims is the best choice for the VC-Turbo powerplant and can deliver “super-smooth” gear shifts. It also allows the QX50 to sprint from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 6.3 seconds (6.7 seconds for the FWD version) and achieve a top speed of 143 mph (230 km/h).
The new architecture holding the 2019 QX50 can suit both FWD and AWD powertrains, but it also allows the SUV to achieve a 218 mm (8.6 inches) worth of ground clearance. Infiniti also says the QX50’s body-in-white (that’s when all the sheet metal components have been welded together) tips the scales at just 419 kg (923.7 lb). Further reinforcements bring the use of a high-tensile, lightweight but also stiff enough SHF 980 MPa steel, a first in the automotive world.
Infiniti was quick to mention a driver-centric cabin, with a lot of know-how being passed on from previous work on the QX80, including two Japanese approaches on material treatment: Shitate and Mitate. The seats offer both leather and quilted upholstery, while the dashboard mixes aluminium and wood inserts.
On the technology front, the 2019 Infiniti QX50 debuts the brand’s ProPILOT safety suite that uses radars and cameras to scan the vehicle’s immediate surroundings for potential hazards. Besides direct adaptive steering and intelligent cruise control, the pack also includes the likes of distance control assist, back-up collision intervention, lane departure and predictive forward collision warning.
Practicality-wise, the QX50’s trunk is said to hold three golf bags courtesy of 31.6 cu-ft (895 liters) of cargo space that can be expanded to 60 cu-ft (1,699 liters) by folding down the rear seats.
Don't leave the SUV realm just yet, because Subaru just launched its largest SUV in LA: meet the new Ascent.