Infiniti unveils in LA the all-new, Mexico-sourced QX50 crossover
Nissan Motor premium brand Infiniti yesterday revealed, ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show, the all-new 2019 QX50, a luxury mid-size crossover with never before seen technologies, such as variable compression ratio engine and the ProPILOT semi-autonomous driver assist system.
The unit is manufactured at the new COMPAS (Cooperation Manufacturing Plant Aguascalientes), an assembly facility built by a partnership between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
“The 2019 QX50 is the most important vehicle we have ever launched, and it embodies everything the brand stands for: Beautiful design, breakthrough technology, empowering to drive,” said Christian Meunier, Infiniti Global Division Vice President, during the presentation.
The crossover is built on an all-new platform featuring a VC-Turbo engine, which is the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine, transforming on demand. A breakthrough in combustion engine design, the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine adjusts its compression ratio to optimize power and efficiency at the driver’s will.
This feature enables the engine to combine the power of a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with the torque and efficiency of a four-cylinder diesel engine. A compelling alternative to diesel, it challenges the notion that only hybrid and diesel powertrains can deliver high torque and efficiency.
A multi-link system continuously raises or lowers the pistons’ reach to transform the compression ratio. High compression ratios aid efficiency, while low ratios enable greater power and torque. The VC-Turbo offers any compression ratio between 8:1 (for performance) and 14:1 (for efficiency), maximizing driver control.
The engine delivers 268 hp (200 kW) and 280 lb ft (380 Nm), an expected best-in-class combination of four-cylinder power and torque. The 2019 QX50 is expected to deliver fuel economy of 27 mpg (U.S. combined, front-wheel drive; 26 mpg all-wheel drive). Front-wheel-drive models offer a 35% improvement in fuel efficiency over the previous V6 gasoline QX50; all-wheel-drive models offer a 30% improvement. The engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
The 2019 QX50 represents the first automotive use of SHF (Super High Formability) 980 megapascals (MPa) high-tensile steel, further strengthening the all-new platform. The high-tensile material can be molded into unprecedented shapes, saving weight and representing a torsional rigidity improvement of 23% over the current QX50 model.
It also features ProPILOT Assist technologies, which help the driver control acceleration, braking and steering during single-lane highway driving, “placing them in total control at the push of a button”.
“Think of the ProPilot system as an enhanced cruise control,” says Engadget about the feature. “It takes partial command of the vehicle’s acceleration, braking and steering operations to maintain your bearing and speed while travelling along the open road. Should traffic slow, the system will automatically reduce the QX50’s speed to keep you from crowding cars in front of you. When the flow of traffic speeds back up, the system will accelerate accordingly”.
The all-new Infiniti QX50 is expected to arrive at U.S. dealer’s showrooms during the first quarter of 2018.