Infiniti QX80 Monograph: Infiniti’s designers go big | CAR Magazine

Infiniti QX80 Monograph: Infiniti’s designers go big

Published: 12 April 2017 Updated: 14 November 2017

QX80 Monograph at NYIAS 2017
Previews next-gen full-size SUV
Hidden A-pillars for ‘floating’ roof

This monolithic SUV concept is the Infiniti QX80 Monograph, making its debut at the 2017 New York motor show.

Designed on an extra-large drawing board in Infiniti’s Atsugi studio in Japan, it previews an impending restyle for the giant QX80 SUV production model currently on sale in the United States.

The Infiniti QX80 production car is the largest model Nissan’s offshoot brand makes. It’s been on sale in the USA since 2014, prior to which, confusingly, it was called the Infiniti QX56.

Infiniti QX80 Monograph

Why is it called the Monograph?

Infiniti’s gone all Collins dictionary, and quotes the definition of monograph as ‘a detailed study into a particular area of expertise.’

In this case, that’s an exploration of how Infiniti can map its current design cues onto a larger scale vehicle, namely the next-gen QX80.

‘The QX80 Monograph is an exploration of how we plan to take a step forward in the large SUV segment,’ says Infiniti’s VP for product strategy Francois Bancon. ‘This is an important initiative for Infiniti, as the QX80 is popular with buyers in a number of markets – particularly in North America and the Middle East.’

Infiniti QX80 Monograph

Talk me through the design…

Blacked-out A-pillars create the illusion of a ‘floating’ roof, and extended light bars run from the headlights along the wings to the rear-view cameras in lieu of door mirrors.

Expect them to be swapped for conventional door mirrors if and when the design reaches production, although the pop-out door handles (which lay flush with the body to reduce drag and wind noise) may reach the showroom.

Infiniti’s senior VP for design Alfonso Albaisa sounds pretty pleased with it:

’The QX80 Monograph provides the opportunity to reimagine Infiniti’s signature design DNA on a totally different scale. We sculpted our body pure, straight and horizontal, the muscularity both brute and sensual; part Rodin’s Thinker, part Michelangelo.’ His words, not mine.

Infiniti QX80 Monograph

How big is the QX80 Monograph?

More than five metres long, nearly two metres tall, and more than two metres wide. The wheels measure a monster 24 inches in diameter, but are designed to overlap the tyres, making them look more like 26-inchers.

Infiniti hints that this won’t be its last Monograph concept:

‘The QX80 Monograph is the first model to bear the “Monograph” nomenclature. Monograph studies explore ways Infiniti can develop specific elements of its cars.’ 

Click here for our full guide to the 2017 New York show.

By James Taylor

Former features editor for CAR, occasional racer