Geneva 2015 is about to kick off in full swing — starting what is arguably the largest and most important auto show on Earth in terms of product reveals.
The 2015 Infiniti QX30 is the first in a new range of compact, front and AWD premium models, built with shared engines and platforms with the Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA-Class.
This new QX30 Concept is a lightly-upgraded version of the production model expected as soon as this Fall at US Infiniti showrooms.
What is real? We believe that all the bodywork and metal elements are the final production-specification. (Aside from adding more production-friendly door handles and mirrors.)
Lower trims like the carbon-fiber bumper insert, extra-wild sills and show-car wheels and tires seem like the only things that will be dropped en route to production. Other details like the fantasy roof-rack and the seats will also fall by the chopping block — but the dashboard is likely a keeper, as is the overall cabin size and packaging.
Sized between the BMW X1 and BMW X3, the new QX30 Concept is likely to run 2.0-liter turbocharged engines in both gasoline and diesel form – with Europe obviously taking the diesel exclusively.
Front or AWD are likely for the US-market QX30, which should come in with a price starting from about $35,000 and competing directly with the new Lexus NX200t F Sport.
From what we can see on this concept, the new Infiniti flowing-silk design language is actually remarkably beautiful in this newest iteration. The flowing surfaces and taut side crease is dramatic and sexy, and even flows cleanly around the tailgate shape in an ultra-elegant way.
The QX30’s design feels low and front-drive, much like the GLA250 from Mercedes-Benz — but the flipside of that low ride height is likely to be nimble performance and great handling.
Stylish and Capable: Infiniti QX30 Concept debuts in Geneva
Infiniti’s precursor to a premium compact crossover
Sharp design, rugged looks and command sitting make QX30 Concept the ideal urban explorer
Hints at a full range of powertrains to suit every need
Hong Kong/Geneva – Infiniti has revealed the stylish and highly capable QX30 Concept, the design vision that will inspire a new premium compact crossover.
Making its debut at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, the QX30 Concept cements Infiniti’s ambitions to expand into the global premium compact segment, which is forecast for significant growth with the entry of younger affluent customers.
Combining the sleek lines of the coupe with the command sitting and all-wheel drive of a crossover, the QX30 Concept is just as adept at navigating high street as it is exploring weekend getaways.
“The Infiniti QX30 Concept foreshadows an entry in the premium compact segment that provides a new alternative to customers in this segment,” said Roland Krueger, Infiniti President and CEO. “The vehicle embodies our conviction to give customers the freedom to go wherever they want, whenever they want – in a way that expresses their individualized character.”
Expansion into growing segment
By the end of this decade, Gen X and Gen Y will represent about 80 percent of buyers in the premium compact segment. Research among this new generation of buyers shows an increasing rejection of traditional notions toward premium cars.
Their idea of a premium car has less to do with size or power but more to do with distinctive design and outstanding execution.
With its sharp looks and original features, the QX30 Concept was designed by an international team to appeal to these global customers who are less likely to follow tradition. The concept’s compact footprint matches their search for a product that suits their urban lifestyle. The elevated stance of the crossover also provides a higher visual perspective in city traffic and in parking maneuvers.
Infiniti first signaled its intentions to enter the premium compact segment when it revealed the Q30 Concept in Frankfurt in 2013. The introduction of the QX30 Concept is another building block in Infiniti’s aggressive strategy to grow in key global markets, particularly China and Europe while expanding its offering in established markets such as the United States.
Earmarked for production
The QX30 Concept is the latest in a series of concept vehicles for which Infiniti has announced a definite and clear intent for production.
The Q30 will be built in the U.K. this year while a sports coupe based on the Q60 Concept revealed in Detroit earlier this year will go into production next year. The QX30 Concept-inspired crossover will also be launched next year. Infiniti continues to broaden its lineup to cover the spectrum from smaller premium vehicles, namely the Q30, to full-size crossovers such as the QX70. In fact, Infiniti has drawn on its heritage of creating successful high-performance crossovers namely the QX50 and QX70 to craft the QX30 Concept.
Art in utility
To complement the higher stance of the QX30 Concept, Infiniti designers have added visual cues, which instantly identify the concept as a crossover.
The body looks wider and thicker, thanks to the 21-inch wheels, large tires, and increased blackout around the wheel opening. The unique wheel design mixes three-dimensional milled aluminum and matte rubber material for an unconventional juxtaposition.
The satin chrome front bumper is low with big side openings, giving off an air of rugged protection. The sense of stylish fortification is reinforced by the hardy kick plates under the doors and the tough-looking but sculpted skid plate in the rear.
Even the roof racks have gone beyond their functional use. Extending toward the center line, they artistically “obstruct” the rear passenger’s view through the glass roof, resulting in an inimitable perspective of the outside.
Inside, the bold and dark environment harmonizes with the outdoors appeal of the exterior. All four seats have been streamlined for a suspended look, evoking a feeling of honed athleticism.
The U-shaped seat frame is partially wrapped with a layer of premium Connolly saddle leather offset by blue stitching. The contrast between the exposed and covered parts of the frame lends a three-dimensional quality to the interior.
“The QX30 Concept looks as capable as it is meant to be,” said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director. “The artistic touches we put in lift the crossover to another level from being just another utility vehicle.”
Wide range of powertrains
The QX30 Concept previews a family of vehicles which are designed to be matched with a wide range of powertrains, both gasoline and diesel. The array of powerplants is expected to cater to a variety of lifestyle aspirations around the world, depending on whether customers prefer a sportier or a more efficient drive.
The QX30 Concept also hints at Infiniti’s renowned sporting driving dynamics, and drivers can expect a nifty throttle response, especially useful when negotiating urban traffic.
With big wheels and thick tires, the QX30 Concept not only looks rock-solid but also feels it, greatly helping to increase driver confidence both on-road and off.
The warm and inviting interior of the QX30 Concept beckons and engages the vehicle’s occupants emotionally. The slimmed-down seats now become facilitators of the shared space, instead of barriers between the driver and the passengers. And the crossover becomes a safe place for occupants to connect with one another.
Reflecting the value that customers place on connectivity, the QX30 Concept gives a glimpse into the level of technology available, features not typically found in compact cars. For example, Infiniti InTouch™ keeps the driver connected to his digital world when on the move.
“The QX30 Concept seeks to enrich the segment,” said Krueger. “The car promises effortless elegance whether it’s dealing with bad weather, poor road conditions or urban traffic.”
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, the United States and China. Production in the UK will start in 2015, bringing with it significant 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 four-time FIA Formula One World Championship winning Team.
More information about Infiniti, its Total Ownership Experience® and its industry leading technologies can be found at www.infinitiUSA.com. For the latest news on Infiniti, visit InfinitiNews.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.