Infiniti recently hosted a meeting in Los Angeles to address concerns among its North American dealers and showcase its plans for revitalizing the brand. The automaker aimed to dispel doubts about its future prospects by providing a sneak peek of upcoming models designed to inject life into its largely stagnant portfolio. The gathering included approximately 200 franchise owners who were treated to a preview of two gasoline-powered vehicles and two electric vehicles, all of which fell under the crossover or SUV category.
One of the highlights of the presentation was the introduction of the all-new QX80, slated to make its debut in the 2024 model year. Infiniti intends to position the QX80 as a luxury SUV priced above $100,000, targeting competition from Cadillac and Lincoln. While the starting price is expected to be below six figures, the higher-end trims will likely exceed this threshold. Automotive News describes the QX80’s exterior design as more angular than its predecessor, featuring a new corporate grille. Notable details include “piano key” head and taillights, similar to those found on the QX55, as well as sleek flush-fitting door handles reminiscent of Tesla’s design. The flagship SUV will be based on the next-generation Nissan Patrol and will replace its 5.6-liter V8 engine with a twin-turbo V6, delivering approximately 450 horsepower. Despite the power increase, the new engine is expected to offer better fuel efficiency than the current 15 mpg combined. Luxurious features of the QX80 include an air suspension system that lowers when parked for easier access, a 24-inch dashboard display, and ample legroom for passengers in the second and third rows. The vehicle is anticipated to debut in the summer of 2023.
Another upcoming model is the QX65, positioned to rival the Lexus RX. Derived from the QX60, which is itself based on the Nissan Pathfinder, the QX65 showcases a sleeker coupe-like SUV profile. It incorporates the front grille design from the forthcoming QX80 and distinctive “shark fin” taillights.
While Infiniti was among the first automakers to announce plans for an all-electric lineup by 2030, it now trails behind BMW, Lexus, and others in this regard. However, according to reports, the company’s first all-electric model, the new Q70 sedan, is slated for release by the end of 2026. Attendees at the meeting revealed that the design of the electric sedan builds upon the legacy of the discontinued Q70 but features enhanced proportions, including shorter overhangs and an extended wheelbase. The vehicle will showcase a new lighting signature spanning the full width of the car and has drawn comparisons to the Tesla Model S and Porsche.
Additionally, Infiniti plans to unveil an all-electric midsize crossover the following year, although fewer specifics were provided about this particular model. It appears that signature design elements such as piano-key lighting and retractable door handles will be a consistent theme across the Infiniti lineup. Also, we reported on how Infiniti updated their image and put plans in place for a new dealer experience to help elevate the brand, which plays into the future brand revitalization plans.
Dealer reactions to these announcements varied, with some expressing skepticism about whether this product offensive would be sufficient to reinvigorate the brand, while others were convinced that it would ignite a fresh wave of interest. The reassurance from Nissan, Infiniti’s parent company, about its unwavering commitment to the brand provided some solace to the dealers. Notably, according to reports, this gathering marked the first dealer meeting in almost a decade, underscoring the significance of the event for Infiniti and its retail network.