2022 Infiniti QX55 attempts to summon the spirit of the original FX

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The roofline of the QX55 was roughly copied from that of the 2003 FX. Infiniti

Most people consider le BMW X6 2008 as being the first crossover-coupe – or “coupéover” in Roadshow jargon – the kickoff of a trend that has resulted in all manner of swoopy SUVs. But the first real coupe was actually the first generation Infiniti FX which debuted in 2002. This low-profile, rear-drive crossover had a much sleeker roofline than any other SUV on the market, and it set a new standard for what a sporty SUV could look like and drive. Now Infiniti is trying to capitalize on the legacy of the FX with the new QX55 crossover, which debuts on Tuesday.

This is essentially a “coupe” version of the Infiniti QX50. The company’s chief design officer, Alfonso Albaisa, admits his team made “a conscious effort” to copy the roofline from the original FX and paste it onto the QX55. And I have to say it works. While not as traditionally cut-y as some of its competitors, the sleeker greenhouse makes the QX55 look much fresher and more modern than the QX50. The roof curves and tapers nicely, and it doesn’t look as nailed down or forced as some other coupéovers.

It’s not about the roof line either. The grille of the QX55 is larger and features a unique pattern and gloss finish, and the front bumper has more aggressive entrances. The tailgate has a well-integrated lip spoiler and the license plate is moved to the bumper, where it sits in a restyled diffuser. I particularly like the new LED tail lights, which have a “piano touch” design. 20 inch wheels are standard and nothing bigger is available.

The QX55 will be offered with a single powertrain: Infiniti’s (and Nissan’s) innovative VC-Turbo engine that features a variable compression ratio. In the QX55, this turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four develops 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, matching the horsepower of the QX50, and it’s mated to a continuously variable transmission. Unlike the QX50, which comes standard with front-wheel drive, every QX55 comes with all-wheel drive.

Infiniti QX55 2022

The QX55 doesn’t give up much in terms of cargo space or headroom.

Infiniti

In terms of styling, the interior of the QX55 is identical to that of the QX50. The fluid dashboard design looks great and the materials feel high-quality, but the terrible dual-touchscreen setup remains unchanged. The black and red combo you see in these photos is exclusive to the QX55 – the only other interior color options are black and a black / gray – and there are some new trim options including dark brushed aluminum and black. open-pored. wood. I wish the QX55 had the three tone blue, cream, and brown color scheme that the QX50 has; it would certainly match the more elegant character of the new car.

Because the QX55’s roof isn’t really sloped, passenger space isn’t as compromised as that of other crossover coupes. The headroom of the front passengers is almost exactly the same as in the QX50, and it’s only 1.5 inches less in the rear. The QX55’s standard power tailgate opens to reveal a cargo area that isn’t much smaller than that of the QX50. There is 26.9 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up, compared to 31.1 in the QX50. With the rear seats folded down, the QX55 has 54.1 cubic feet of space, compared to 64.4 in the QX50.

One advantage of upgrading to the QX55 is additional standard features, but that’s partly because there is no base Pure model like with the QX50. The QX55 comes in Luxe, Essential, and Sensory trims, which means there’s also no top-of-the-line Autograph model like on the QX50. A sunroof, heated front seats, wireless charging, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and dual-zone automatic climate control are standard features. Available goodies include a 16-speaker Bose sound system, ventilated seats, adaptive LED headlights, navigation system, heads-up display, and three-zone climate control.

Infiniti QX55 2022

This red and black color scheme is unique to the QX55.

Infiniti

Every QX55 benefits from automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and rear cross traffic alert with automated rear braking. Infiniti’s ProPilot Assist suite of driver assistance technologies is optional, providing sophisticated adaptive cruise control with steering assistance and lane centering. You can also opt for traffic sign recognition, lane keeping assistance and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

But here’s the thing: While the QX55 looks like, I can’t help but think it’s half-zero effort. The original FX (and the second generation model that followed) was something new and fresh; it was unlike any other Infiniti model, and it wasn’t just a sportier version of an existing SUV. The fact that the QX55 is just an existing crossover with a slightly different roof is kind of a disappointment. The FX has really been a game-changer and I think it deserves a better tribute than this. There is room in the lineup for a true successor, a rear-wheel-drive sports SUV to take on the German establishment. Sadly, it seems that Infiniti is more concerned with style than actual substance.

The QX55 should at least help attract new customers to Infiniti. It targets the brand’s “orphans”, fans of Japanese luxury cars who want a distinctive coupe-like crossover – something competitors like Acura and Lexus don’t offer. Infiniti says the QX55 will go on sale in spring 2021. Pricing has yet to be released, but it should be at least a little larger than the QX50 Luxe AWD’s starting price of $ 44,525.


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