Infiniti QX30 Concept is Ready to Join the Compact Crossover Fray
3 Mars 2015 - Autoblog
Today, the compact crossover market is an automotive Klondike. Automakers are scrambling to stake their claim on an increasingly segmented, increasingly valuable landscape.
That's especially true in the premium market, where every Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Lexus NX and Buick Encore sold takes up a piece of market share that requires a great deal of effort for another automaker, in this case Infiniti, to reclaim. That makes the new QX30 Concept, debuting this week at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, an extremely important vehicle for the Nissan-owned brand.
The QX30 Concept has already been "earmarked for production" and will be launched next year, according to Infiniti. When that happens, we'll see a compact CUV with toned down styling from the vehicle shown here, much like the upcoming Q30 production model.
It's fair to say the looks of the QX30 are in direct opposition to those of the aforementioned Lexus NX. Where that car is sharp and angular, Infiniti's designers emphasized the "spontaneous and fluid" look of the new concept. Infiniti's most recent, Q50-inspired design language works nicely in a compact CUV form factor. The double-arch grille and its flanking headlights give the QX30 a refined, almost predatory look. That, as it turns out, is intentional.
"The Q30 Concept was like a panther, lithe and slender. We transformed the QX30 Concept into a mountain lion, strong and muscular," Infiniti's Executive Design Director Alfonso Albaisa said in a statement.
The strong, wavy character lines in the profile lead into the short, chopped rear overhangs. Above the beltline, the rear window is raked forward aggressively, lending the QX30 a coupe-like profile.
In the cabin, we can already see the makings of a production car's interior, with two strong material choices – dark brown and blue leather – highlighting the dash. On the concept, purple accent lighting is emitted from the center stack's controls, while the violet shade carries over into what looks like a digital instrument cluster and the speaker surrounds in the doors. Sections of quilted leather on the seats, meanwhile, look very nice, but we doubt they will make it to production on what is ultimately going to be a reasonably priced vehicle.
While Infiniti says the QX30 "previews a family of vehicles which are designed to be matched with a wide range of powertrains," the concept being shown in Geneva has a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that's been mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. That's right, no electric motors, battery packs, or unicorn tears powering this car, just good ole' gasoline. That makes us think the QX30 is a lot closer to production form than its handsome sheet metal expresses.