► This is Infiniti’s new small SUV
► 30mm taller than Q30 hatchback
► 21in wheels, otherwise production ready
Is this the car to make you take Infiniti seriously? The new QX30 concept car is the centrepiece of Infiniti’s Geneva motor show stand and very much in keeping with the zeitgeist, as consumers flock to the junior crossover segment.
It’s spun off the Q30 hatchback concepts – the warm-up act to this autumn’s new 2015 production hatchback, coming later this year. There’ll be a production QX30 too; according to Infiniti president Roland Krueger, ‘QX30 Concept foreshadows an entry in the premium compact segment that provides a stylish alternative to the existing offer in this segment.’
The family is based on the MFA front-wheel drive architecture from partner brand Mercedes-Benz, although production QX30s will offer four-wheel drive. Expect much of the tech to be similar to what you’ll find underneath an A-class – likewise the engine line-up.
What’s new on the Infiniti QX30?
This car sits 30mm higher than the Q30 hatch concept. Its styling looks well resolved, to these eyes, and is more attuned to European tastes than some of the larger, more lumbering SUVs Infiniti sells around the world. An FX is designed primarily for California, not Clacton.
Will it go anywhere? Surely not. Infiniti is a lifestyle brand and about as far removed from mud-plugging as is imaginable.
Over to the design director Alfonso Albaisa. ‘We wanted the spontaneous fluidity of the QX30 concept design to cut through the urban clutter and rigidity, reflecting its go-anywhere and spur-of-the-moment nature,’ he said. ‘The QX30 concept has been designed to make occupants feel safe and protected inside, and customers can drive in or out of the city without worrying about nicks to the chromework.’
And there you have laid bare the point of modern lifestyle SUVs…
How close is this to the production crossover?
Pretty close, we’d say. Remove the 21in alloy wheels, the lightweight carbonfibre body cladding (oh, the irony!) and this looks very close to what we’ll see being built in Nissan’s Sunderland factory from 2016.
The modern Infiniti vibe is alive and well here: the swooping creases down the flanks, the ‘blade’-style roofrails (which unusually curve inwards towards the car’s centreline) and slimline lamps.
An Infiniti people will actually want to buy? This time, just maybe.
Click here for CAR‘s A-Z of the most important cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show.