Automotive

Infiniti's Q80 Inspiration concept showcases new styling and technology

The Q80 showcases new design language destined for future production vehicles (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Q80 showcases new design language destined for future production vehicles (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
View 36 Images
The Infiniti Q80 Inspiration makes its debut at the Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
1/36
The Infiniti Q80 Inspiration makes its debut at the Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Infiniti hasn't released all the powertrain details, but makes clear it's a hybrid drive with some future production components (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
2/36
Infiniti hasn't released all the powertrain details, but makes clear it's a hybrid drive with some future production components (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Q80 has a large grille and badge (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
3/36
The Q80 has a large grille and badge (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Staring into the eyes of the Infiniti Q80 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
4/36
Staring into the eyes of the Infiniti Q80 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Q80 is the first look at a future flagship sedan (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
5/36
The Q80 is the first look at a future flagship sedan (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Infiniti Q80 inspires in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
6/36
The Infiniti Q80 inspires in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Q80 has coach doors (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
7/36
The Q80 has coach doors (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Infiniti Q80 Inspiration debuts at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
8/36
The Infiniti Q80 Inspiration debuts at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Q80's four-seat interior is halved by a full-length center console (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
9/36
The Q80's four-seat interior is halved by a full-length center console (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The interior uses quilted leather, Alcantara and metal trim (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
10/36
The interior uses quilted leather, Alcantara and metal trim (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Infiniti simplifies the driver area, pushing information onto an HUD (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
11/36
Infiniti simplifies the driver area, pushing information onto an HUD (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The glass roof ends in a central point (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
12/36
The glass roof ends in a central point (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Q80 showcases new design language destined for future production vehicles (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
13/36
The Q80 showcases new design language destined for future production vehicles (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The C pillars are beefed up with metal-trimmed, body color extensions (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
14/36
The C pillars are beefed up with metal-trimmed, body color extensions (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Q80's low cabin keeps the total height under 53 in (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
15/36
The Q80's low cabin keeps the total height under 53 in (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Side venting (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
16/36
Side venting (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Close-up of the distinctive headlamp (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
17/36
Close-up of the distinctive headlamp (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Infiniti Q80 close-up (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
18/36
Infiniti Q80 close-up (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
A peek inside the rear cabin (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
19/36
A peek inside the rear cabin (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Both driver and front passenger have head-up displays (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
20/36
Both driver and front passenger have head-up displays (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Infiniti Q80 close-up (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
21/36
Infiniti Q80 close-up (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
"The Q80 Inspiration is the epitome of provocation, a car that breaks the mold of traditional premium sedan dimension and body form" - Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti executive design director (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
22/36
"The Q80 Inspiration is the epitome of provocation, a car that breaks the mold of traditional premium sedan dimension and body form" - Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti executive design director (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Infiniti gives us a glimpse of the future
23/36
Infiniti gives us a glimpse of the future
The Q80 Inspiration is powered by a 550-hp hybrid drive
24/36
The Q80 Inspiration is powered by a 550-hp hybrid drive
Plenty of room for entry
25/36
Plenty of room for entry
In addition to new design language, the Q80 plays with new hybrid and autonomous technologies
26/36
In addition to new design language, the Q80 plays with new hybrid and autonomous technologies
View from above
27/36
View from above
View from above
28/36
View from above
The rear passengers have touchscreen entertainment displays
29/36
The rear passengers have touchscreen entertainment displays
Inside the Q80 Inspiration
30/36
Inside the Q80 Inspiration
Inside the Q80 Inspiration
31/36
Inside the Q80 Inspiration
Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept
32/36
Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept
Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept
33/36
Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept
Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept
34/36
Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept
Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept
35/36
Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept
Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept
36/36
Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept

Infiniti is using this year's Paris Motor Show to share its vision for the "upper echelons of the premium sedan category." That vision is the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration, a concept car that pushes Infiniti styling, drive and technology into the future, providing an early look at a potential answer to the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series.

"The Q80 Inspiration concept was born to disrupt the premium sedan category," explains Francois Bancon, Infiniti vice president of product strategy. "Q80 Inspiration is how we see the future in terms of moving people in the higher end of our portfolio. Q80 Inspiration is a precursor of a production model in this segment and, as such, integral to our future."

While Infiniti may eventually compete in the full-size luxury sedan category, and while its sedan may be loosely based on the Q80 show car, we expect it'll look quite different. As Infiniti has done in the past with concepts like the Essence and Emerg-E, it uses a rather radical concept car filled with sumptuous curves and cutting edge technological bits to highlight a few things that will actually show up in production.

One of the things headed for production is the concept's downsized 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, which Infiniti says will lead to a production engine family within the next two years. In the Q80, that V6 teams with an electric motor for a total of 550 hp. The hybrid system allows for both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive and delivers an estimated 5.5L/100km (42.8 US mpg) fuel economy while puffing out CO2 at a rate of 129g/km.

The Q80's low cabin keeps the total height under 53 in (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Q80's low cabin keeps the total height under 53 in (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

The Q80 Inspiration stretches 199.2 in (5,060mm) in length and 79.1 in (2,010 mm) in width. Because of its fastback-like silhouette, the car stands at 52.8 in (1,340) - about half a foot below the S-Class and 7 Series.

The styling between the Q80's dimensional endpoints combines concave and convex surfaces with sharp angles and shapes and bold, oversized elements. The all-glass roof comes to a shield-like point in the rear, lined up with the inner pinnacle of the centered Infiniti logo. That windshield terminus is surrounded by bolstered C pillars trimmed in lustrous metal. Up front, the imposing grille is flanked by two wing-like headlights and underlined by split intakes.

The Q80's interior opens wide thanks to the B pillar-less suicide-door design. That quilted leather and Alcantara-dressed interior has four seats separated neatly by a front-to-back center console. Both the driver and passenger have individual head-up displays, the driver's for key road information and the passenger's dedicated to infotainment provided by a connected smartphone. The two rear passengers have more traditional touchscreen displays for multimedia.

Infiniti simplifies the driver area, pushing information onto an HUD (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Infiniti simplifies the driver area, pushing information onto an HUD (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

The Q80 concept includes an automated technology suite built to "enhance the driver, not restrict them." The driver can turn the automated drive hardware on at the poke of a steering wheel button, choosing when to relax and rely on the onboard cameras, lasers and sensors and when to rely solely on his own driving acumen. Unlike other automated systems that override the driver, Infiniti's design makes suggestions but leaves actual action in the hands (and feet) of the human driver.

"As part of our creativity and exploration philosophy, Infiniti considers that autonomous driving is an integral part of a premium car of tomorrow," explains Bancon. "In our case, we have taken the approach that autonomous driving should empower and enhance the driving experience, not do the driving. Our path of development is not taking us into the area of self-driving vehicles."

It's not clear how much of the Q80 will work its way into Infiniti's production line, but it is clear that Infiniti is serious about pursuing a full-size flagship sedan.

"Q80 Inspiration is a concept vehicle, but there is a production intent associated with it," concludes Bancon. "The naming of the car indicates that something like the Q80 Inspiration will be in our portfolio of the future. This vehicle will inspire all of our future products."

Source: Infiniti

2 comments
Lewis M. Dickens III
Obviously a shame that GM did not get what they had. Mr. Cox really is good. Bill Dickens
Stephen N Russell
Infiniti produce this & make an autonomous model too 1 for U drive, 2 for Autonomous drive For both markets Awesome