Infiniti Q80 Inspiration Concept Signals Future of Infiniti Design, Previews Top-End Luxury Sedan
By Jeff Youngs, October 07, 2014
Infiniti has entered the full-size premium hybrid sedan market with its aggressive-looking, low-profile Q80 Inspiration concept car, which made its debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. Infiniti calls the Q80 Inspiration "a bold concept that hints at future Infiniti design language and smart powertrain technology."
"The Q80 Inspiration concept was born to disrupt the premium sedan category," said Francois Bancon, Infiniti's vice president of product strategy. "We aim to do this with elegance, style, and emotion. Q80 Inspiration is how we see the future in terms of moving people in the higher end of our portfolio. This car is making a statement. Q80 Inspiration is a precursor of a production model in this segment and, as such, integral to our future."
Wider and longer than the standard version of Infiniti's current largest passenger car model, the Q70, the Q80 Inspiration is full-size in width (79.1 in.) and length (199.2 in.), but the car is only 52.8 in. at its highest point. The fastback design contributes to its racy appearance, Infiniti says.
The vehicle's wide-opening portal-style doors reveal a stylish interior that features quilted leather seats; Alacantara, leather, and metal finishes; a panoramic sunroof; and simplified driver and passenger interfaces. The driver's side features head-up displays for both the driver and the front passenger. On the passenger side, external information is displayed via a smartphone connected to the vehicle's telematics system. Each rear passenger has a touch screen positioned in the rear of the front-seat backrest to tap into their on-board entertainment package.
"There is a tendency with modern design that every time you add interior features and technology you add complexity," added Albaisa. "The idea with Q80 Inspiration was to re-define and simplify how we interact with people in the car. Of course the Q80 Inspiration has the key features which are premium, smart and engaging, but simplicity was our main objective."
Under the hood, the Q80 Inspiration features an all-new, downsized, twin turbocharged, 550-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6 engine and hybrid electric powertrain. A smart drivetrain allows the driver to switch from rear-wheel drive to all-wheel drive on demand, or as conditions dictate.
Infiniti's autonomous driving technology uses cameras, lasers, and sensors to establish a connection between the driver and the autonomous driving technology system. The system emits tones suggesting a course of action for the driver, in heavy traffic or in highway mode--such as to accelerate and pass another vehicle or brake and fall in behind.
"Autonomous driving should empower and enhance the driving experience, not do the driving," said Bancon.