infiniti presents the Q inspiration concept at NAIAS 2018


infiniti presents the ‘Q inspiration’ concept at the 2018 north american international auto show proposes how an innovative VC-turbo powertrain, autonomous drive technologies, and a unique human-centric interior could enrich the experience for drivers of luxury sedans.

all images © infiniti

the exterior of the infiniti ‘Q inspiration concept’ features a concise design with dynamic and confident proportions. it is the first manifestation of the japanese-automaker’s form language, for an era of advanced powertrains. the front of the car is dominated by a large double-arch grille, and is matched with sharp louvers running up the sides of the hood, and blade-like vents fore and aft of the wheels. the japanese-automaker’s human-eye headlamps have evolved to accommodate precise LED strip headlamps. extending rearward from the slashes on the bonnet, precise shoulder lines blend into the smoother bodywork of the mid-section of the concept, across the car’s pillarless rear-hinged doors. the shoulder reappears toward the rear of the car, exhibiting a sensual, curved quarter and wheel arches, accompanied by a graceful, arcing roofline flowing into the rear deck.

the concept combines classical sedan forms with coupé-like proportions and an elongated silhouette, demonstrating infiniti’s design vision for this car segment. the cabin follows a minimalist approach, enveloping the driver and passengers in a serene and comfortable environment. the intelligently-packaged four-cylinder VC-Turbo liberated the design team from the constraints of powertrain architecture to realize a spacious interior.

the VC-Turbo represents a breakthrough in combustion engine design. the ‘Q inspiration’s’ engine continually transforms, adjusting its compression ratio to optimize power and fuel efficiency. it combines the power of a larger V6 gasoline engine with the torque and efficiency of an advanced four-cylinder diesel engine. it can change its compression ratio seamlessly with an advanced multi-link system, continuously raising or lowering the pistons’ reach to transform compression ratio – offering both power and efficiency, as the driver demands.

the high compression ratio gives greater efficiency while a low compression ratio allows for greater power and torque. the ‘Q inspiration’s’ engine offers any compression ratio between 8:1 (for performance) and 14:1 (for efficiency). its single-scroll turbocharger, mounted directly to the cylinder head’s integrated exhaust manifold, enables immediate throttle response at any speed or compression ratio. the ‘VC-turbo’ changes compression ratios seamlessly.

while minimalist, the human-centric cabin remains innately comfortable. this approach reduces the noise of the interior, helping the driver to rediscover their enjoyment of driving, focusing entirely on the road ahead without unnecessary distractions. with wellbeing and relaxation at its core, the ‘Q Inspiration’s’ human-machine interface – a touchscreen for each passenger – offers a meditation-regeneration mode. this minimizes the level of information displayed, and offers guided meditation to help occupants leave any stress behind when they start a journey. the car can also monitor passenger biometrics.

inside, efficient interior packaging creates space for four passengers to relax in total comfort. while the ‘Q inspiration’ is similar in size to existing mid-size sedans, interior space for each passenger is on par with larger luxury sedans. each seat features a floating touchscreen, positioned to allow occupants to freely cross their legs in comfort. the floating center console maximizes leg room, paired with thin-frame zero-gravity seats, designed to minimize fatigue on long journeys. pillarless rear-hinged doors and low sills make it easy for passengers to get in and out. the driveshaft providing power to the rear wheels is positioned to create a flat cabin floor, offering additional space.

the dashboard is trimmed in carefully treated kabazakura wood, with an authentic, highly tactile matte finish whose grain is still detectable to the touch, thanks to a delicate application of clear-coat protection. kabazakura is a member of the birch family. As the wood extends rearward from the front of the cabin, along the top of the doors, it merges with slashed white leather. the seats, center console and doors are trimmed in soft white leather, finished with infiniti’s patented dot-quilting, for an informal, unbuttoned twist on the traditional buttoned-down diamond patterns of a chesterfield sofa. the white leather of the seats is lined with a flash of coral orange leather, matching the coral highlights of the aluminum alloy wheels. black leather extends to the floor and over the far reaches of the digital dashboard.