Infiniti previews new flagship with the Q80 Inspiration concept


Infiniti's Q80 Inspiration concept is a preview of a possible Q80 full-size flagship sedan. The Q80 Inspiration's luxury intent is reflected in the car's clean and sculpted lines, the latest technology, and use of premium materials. The motive force is provided by a 550-hp smart hybrid powertrain that uses a nine-speed automatic to get the power to all four wheels (see second press release). The interior design uses clean, sweeping curves to create a cockpit-like driving environment that showcases Infiniti's Autonomous Driving system. But let's be clear, it is a stunning piece of automotive sculpture that looks almost production ready. While Infiniiti has been known to take risks in the past (remember the belt buckle emblem of the Q45 in lieu of a grille?), I doubt the arrow-shaped roof glass would see production for outward visibility reasons.  The sculpted flanks and front and rear fascia look ready to go and reflect recent Infiniti design themes. It will be interesting to see how much of this concept sees production and Infiniti has announced their intent to do just that. More to come...

Source: Infiniti - Press releases (2) after the "read more" jump.





Press Release:
The Q80 Inspiration: A brave statement of intent


  • Aggressively-proportioned Q80 Inspiration marks Infiniti's first foray into the premium sedan category
  • Autonomous driving technology, human-centric interiors and bold design highlights Infiniti's creative approach to the segment
  • Smart, eco-friendly hybrid powertrain hints at future engine and powertrain expansion
Infiniti's first foray into the upper echelons of the premium sedan category comes in the alluring shape of the Q80 Inspiration – a bold concept that hints at future Infiniti design language and smart powertrain technology.

From the convention-breaking proportions and arresting body styling, the full-size Infiniti Q80 Inspiration four-door fastback marks a brave and innovative conceptual charge into a challenging sector.

"The Q80 Inspiration concept was born to disrupt the premium sedan category," said Francois Bancon, Infiniti Vice President, Product Strategy. "We aim to do this with elegance, style, and emotion. Q80 Inspiration is how we see the future in terms of moving people in the higher end of our portfolio. This car is making a statement. Q80 Inspiration is a precursor of a production model in this segment and, as such, integral to our future."

Striking exterior, simplistic, stylish interior
The immense presence, stunning design and bold execution of the Q80 Inspiration represents more than a flight of fancy by Infiniti's talented design team. Full-size in width (2010mm/79.1 inches) and length (5060mm/199.2 inches), yet with a stance of 1340mm/52.8 inches at its highest point, the Q80 is luxurious sedan-like in dimension with fastback contouring.

Innovations continue inside, where driver and passengers are ushered into four individual seats via wide opening portal-style doors. A simplified driver interface and unique head-up display (HUD) keep the complex algorithms of the intuitive technology hidden from view, showing only the information drivers need, concurrent with Q80 Inspiration's human-centric ethos.

The front passenger also has an HUD for display of external information via a smartphone connected to the vehicle's telematics system. Each rear passenger has a touch screen positioned in the rear of the front seat rest to tap into their on-board entertainment package.

Concentration is focused on exquisitely detailed interior, featuring romance in the shape of quilted leather seats and exquisite Alcantara, leather and metal finishes, all luxuriously bathed in light from the sculptural panoramic glass roof.

"From a design perspective, the Q80 Inspiration is the epitome of provocation, a car that breaks the mold of traditional premium sedan dimension and body form," said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director. "It delivers feminine elegance and muscular menace in equal measure and strikes big in terms of styling, craftsmanship, choice of materials and attention to detail."

Attention has also been paid to creating a welcoming, uncluttered environment for driver and passengers alike. Smart technology, simplified and functional.

"There is a tendency with modern design that every time you add interior features and technology you add complexity," added Albaisa. "The idea with Q80 Inspiration was to re-define and simplify how we interact with people in the car. Of course the Q80 Inspiration has the key features which are premium, smart and engaging, but simplicity was our main objective."

Performance, power and efficiency
The Q80 Inspiration boasts phenomenal performance with 550hp at its disposal, delivered by an all-new, downsized twin turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 and hybrid electric powertrain.

The new engine offers a precursor to a family of engines that will be introduced to the Infiniti portfolio within the next two years.

Capable of returning fuel efficiency in the region of 5.5L/100km (42.8 mpg) and CO2 emissions of about 129g/km, it offers an audacious blend of extreme performance with the social responsibility demanded by modern customers.

Coupled to the innovative hybrid powertrain, a smart drivetrain reinforces the sporty appeal with the ability to switch from rear wheel drive to all wheel drive on demand, or as conditions dictate.

Autonomous driving explored
Infiniti's Q80 Inspiration also previews the company's philosophy on autonomous technology – namely that it should enhance the driver and not restrict them. This driver-centric approach, integral to Infiniti's vision for the premium sector, is exemplified in on-demand systems.

Using cameras, lasers and sensors, the ingenious technology can be employed by the driver when needed through a button on the left-hand side of the steering wheel.

Ongoing dialogue between the driver and the autonomous driving technology system, via a clever HUD display projected on the windscreen, enables the driver to utilize the driving assistance at his/her own discretion.

The system emits tones suggesting a course of action for the driver in heavy traffic or in highway mode. The final decision – whether to accelerate and overtake or whether to brake and fall in behind the car ahead – always rests with the driver.

With the HUD, the driver is in command of what is projected onto the windscreen via an Infiniti InTouch™-style touchpad in the elegant center console.

"As part of our creativity and exploration philosophy, Infiniti considers that autonomous driving is an integral part of a premium car of tomorrow. In our case, we have taken the approach that autonomous driving should empower and enhance the driving experience, not do the driving. Our path of development is not taking us into the area of self-driving vehicles," said Bancon.


Concept is a pre-cursor to production
The Q80 Inspiration is a concept vehicle but the way it is named indicates a production intent, suggesting a future design language, ingenious technologies and ultimately Infiniti's ambition to launch into a new segment – and to make an impact.

"The fact that we are entering this category, a challenging category from a business perspective, and to do so in such a brave fashion demonstrates Infiniti's confidence," said Bancon. "The body type, the proportions, the smart hybrid powertrain, autonomous technology – it's a highly innovative approach.

"This is the highest portfolio entry for Infiniti and our vision is to compete with a unique approach. This car is not the traditional premium sedan. It breaks new ground in areas of body sculpturing and passenger hospitality. And, we will introduce a powertrain which affords power responsibly. It's the perfect balance between performance and agility."

Q80 Inspiration is following a path previously trodden by the Infiniti Q30. At the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2013, Infiniti revealed a concept car, the Q30 Concept, with a clear intent of entering the premium compact segment. The result is that the Q30 premium compact goes into production next year.

"Q80 Inspiration is a concept vehicle, but there is a production intent associated with it," added Bancon. "The naming of the car indicates that something like the Q80 Inspiration will be in our portfolio of the future. This vehicle will inspire all of our future products."

About Infiniti
Infiniti Motor Company Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong with sales operations in over 50 countries. The Infiniti brand was launched in 1989. Its range of premium automobiles is currently built in manufacturing facilities in Japan and the United States. Production in China and the UK will start soon along with the expansion of the brand's portfolio. Infiniti plans to also expand manufacturing into Mexico by 2017.

As the Title Partner and Vehicle Performance Partner of Infiniti Red Bull Racing, Infiniti has a far-reaching technical collaboration with the Formula One team, and Sebastian Vettel, its four-time World Champion driver, serves as Infiniti's Director of Performance. More information about Infiniti and its industry leading technologies can be found at www.infiniti.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.




Press Release:
Q80 Inspiration: Twin turbocharged V6 550hp hybrid powertrain paves the way for Infiniti's future performance portfolio

  • All-new smart hybrid 550hp powertrain points to future of Infiniti premium sports models – high performance with fuel economy of 5.5L/100km
  • Adaptive Direct Response Hybrid system seamlessly adds an electrified boost to innovative 3.0-liter V6 engine with direct fuel injection and twin turbochargers
  • Smart drivetrain switches from rear-wheel drive to all-wheel drive according to road conditions, or on demand
Infiniti's Q80 Inspiration concept delivers exceptional performance from an all-new 550hp electrified powertrain, a high performance, fuel efficient hybrid solution that provides a glimpse of Infiniti's future performance models.

The 450hp 3.0-liter twin turbocharged V6 gasoline engine is supported by an electric motor powered by a Li-Ion battery pack, capable of adding around 100hp hybrid power boost when required. In everyday driving and at low speeds, the Direct Response Hybrid system contributes to increased efficiency, with impressively low fuel consumption of 5.5L/100km, making it the most efficient hybrid system in its power class.

"The compact V6 engine replaces capacity with a smarter intent, to deliver no compromise performance and efficiency," said Francois Bancon, Infiniti Vice President, Product Strategy. "Modern consumers are interested in smart powertrains like this. We believe that with a full 550hp available, this car will appeal to drivers in search of excitement.

"This engine uses the latest hybrid technology. Our performance hybrid is socially responsible, but when you need it you have all the thrill and sensation you require. It's the perfect blend of science and sustainability."

Driving the 22-inch rear wheels under normal conditions, the vehicle's 750Nm of torque can also be split by up to 50 percent between the front and rear axles to maintain composure in moments of limited grip. Drivers can manually opt to stay in all-wheel drive too.

Smart hybrid powertrain

Highly intuitive, the electrified powertrain of the Q80 Inspiration adapts seamlessly to the inputs of the driver, finding the perfect configuration between traditional fossil fuel propulsion and added hybrid boost.

"There's a reserve of electric power. If the car detects pressure on the gas pedal then it will add to the fun. There isn't just one setting; it's constantly adjusting for the most satisfying drive. It can also instantly back off the hybrid power boost if the vehicle detects too much speed is being carried into a corner," added Bancon.

In acceleration, the instantly accessible boost of electrified power eliminates virtually all lag in turbocharger response, increasing low speed driving pleasure.
The intelligent hybrid system also maximizes the use of the electric motor in urban environments to help deliver low CO2 of around 129g/km. As well as charging the battery in the normal way, the motor recovers energy otherwise lost during deceleration and braking.

Agility blends with stability
Utilizing the experience of high performance V6 engine technology from within the wider Infiniti family, the all-new 3.0-liter V6 incorporates twin turbochargers and direct fuel injection for the ultimate combination of power and efficiency, delivering an impressive spread of torque.

The split of torque between the front and rear axles is similarly adaptive.
Sleek and impressive in design, the Q80 Inspiration remains composed in all road conditions as it feeds up to half the available power to the front wheels upon detecting slippery conditions such as rain, ice or snow.

In normal circumstances the Q80 Inspiration retains a rear-wheel drive format, befitting of a high-end luxury sports model.

The range-topping Q80 Inspiration employs a 9-speed automatic gearbox, further enhancing the agility of the engine's power output, allowing for swift acceleration and maximum efficiency at higher speeds.

The aluminum-based engine is part of a new engine family, which will be introduced within the next two years. Infiniti plans to double its powertrain range over the next five years.

About Infiniti
Infiniti Motor Company Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong with sales operations in over 50 countries. The Infiniti brand was launched in 1989. Its range of premium automobiles is currently built in manufacturing facilities in Japan and the United States. Production in China and the UK will start soon along with the expansion of the brand's portfolio. Infiniti plans to also expand manufacturing into Mexico by 2017.

As the Title Partner and Vehicle Performance Partner of Infiniti Red Bull Racing, Infiniti has a far-reaching technical collaboration with the Formula One team, and Sebastian Vettel, its four-time World Champion driver, serves as Infiniti's Director of Performance. More information about Infiniti and its industry leading technologies can be found at www.infiniti.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.