In­finiti QX50

Auto Express - - Contents - James Brodie James_brodie@den­ @jim­my­brods

Wraps fi­nally come off hi-tech SUV mak­ing its de­but at LA

FOL­LOW­ING last week’s pro­to­type drive of the In­finiti QX50 and its new vari­able com­pres­sion ra­tio petrol en­gine (Is­sue 1,500), the Ja­panese brand has re­vealed its all-new BMW X3 ri­val at the Los An­ge­les Mo­tor Show.

We’ve al­ready see the QX50 in con­cept form on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions, but this is the fin­ished ar­ti­cle, sport­ing a fresh de­sign lan­guage, a new plat­form and semi­au­tonomous driv­ing tech, along with the rev­o­lu­tion­ary petrol pow­er­train.

At 4,693mm long, the QX50 is slightly shorter than the lat­est X3, although it’s wider and taller. It’s lighter, too, with fron­twheel-drive ver­sions tip­ping the scales at 1,736kg. Max­i­mum lug­gage ca­pac­ity is 1,699 litres with the rear seats dropped.

The most in­trigu­ing as­pect of the QX50 is the all-new en­gine found un­der the bon­net. It’s a tur­bocharged 2.0-litre four-cylin­der petrol de­vel­op­ing 264bhp and 380Nm of torque, which is in­tended to phase out the 3.5-litre V6 unit pre­vi­ously used by In­finiti. To achieve this hefty dose of down­siz­ing it ar­rives with a unique party trick; vari­able com­pres­sion ra­tio tech­nol­ogy – a world first in a vol­ume pro­duc­tion car.

It’s called Vc-turbo, and the en­gine’s com­pres­sion ra­tio varies from 8:1 for harder driv­ing to 14:1 for ef­fi­ciency. This is achieved by con­tin­u­ally al­ter­ing the reach of the pistons, so tech­ni­cally the en­gine varies from 1,997cc to 1,970cc.

In­finiti says the QX50 should be fast and fru­gal; all-wheel-drive mod­els can sprint from 0-60mph in 6.3 sec­onds and have a top speed of 143mph. How­ever, fuel econ­omy fig­ures have yet to be re­vealed.

Both front and four-wheel-drive ver­sions of the QX50 will make use of a newly de­vel­oped CVT gear­box. A va­ri­ety of se­lectable driv­ing modes can al­ter en­gine, trans­mis­sion and steer­ing set­tings on de­mand. In­finiti has also used Nis­san’s PROPILOT driver as­sist fea­tures, with sup­port for semi-au­ton­o­mous driv­ing in­cluded.

PROPILOT As­sist means the QX50 can drive it­self in a sin­gle lane on mo­tor­ways and in stop-start traf­fic, tak­ing con­trol of brak­ing, ac­cel­er­a­tion and steer­ing.

We don’t ex­pect the QX50 to ar­rive in the UK un­til later in 2018, and prices are ex­pected to start from around £35,000.

QX50 is LA Mo­tor Show star Hi-tech petrol en­gine de­buts “QX50’S new 2.0-litre turbo petrol is de­signed to be as pow­er­ful but more ef­fi­cient than ex­ist­ing 3.5-litre V6”

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