INFINITI Q80 INSPIRATION CONCEPT
words by samuel cuthbert & PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF INFINITI
Infiniti has decided that their roadmap for expansion includes producing their largest model ever, with the future range-topper due to go into production in 2017. The Q80 would then be likely going head-to-head with the Audi A7, Mercedes CLS, Porsche Panamera, and BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe. Nissan-Infiniti CEO Carlos Ghosn promises that this is no show car, and its dramatic styling should carry on into production without too many changes:
You remember the show car for the Q30? It was 90 percent of the real thing. We have the same intention here.
Infiniti has multiple designs studios around the world, and each studio received the same brief - to design a car that embodies the brand's styling, with a genuine wow-factor that will tempt buyers away from the German marques. The London team won with the design you see here, under the direction of British-born designer Simon Cox. It's not the first time one of his designs has impressed me either. His Cadillac Cien concept was the highlight of watching Michael Bay's "The Island" in 2005 - and when you manage to have me walking away from the cinema thinking about a Cadillac instead of Scarlet Johansson, you're pretty talented.
Personally I love some of the details - like the headlights inspired by the shape of an eagle's wing, and that all-encompassing windshield-into-sunroof drawing a beautiful teardrop shape. It's not all just pretty lines, with Infiniti sounding pretty pumped about their new engine they are working on stuffing under the hood. It's shaping up to be twin-turbo V6 mated to an electric motor, predicted to offer buyers a total of 550hp while being rated to 42.8 mpg - more than enough to be competitive with the next generation of the aforementioned competitors it will go against in 2017. If Mr Ghosn is true to his word and we really can expect the production version to reflect what we see previewed here, I can't imagine Infiniti will have too much trouble finding buyers for the Q80.
If you are still interested, you can listen to Inifiniti's executive design director Alfonso Albaisa describe the Q80 in his own words on the floor of the Paris Motor Show here.