2011 Infiniti QX56 Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2010

Critical Facts

  • Completely redesigned, second-generation model
  • New platform and new 5.6-liter, direct-injected V-8 engine
  • New 7-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear- or 4-wheel drive
  • Optional 8-passenger capacity
  • Improved aerodynamics and fuel efficiency
  • Optional Hydraulic Body Motion Control system

Technology Facts

  • Available Technology package filled with features
  • Radar-based cruise control
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Land Departure Prevention
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Intelligent Brake Assist
  • Distance Control Assist
  • Adaptive front lighting


The Infiniti QX56 debuted in 2004. The automaker's first full-size SUV was based on the Nissan Titan pickup (it was also a near mechanical clone to the Nissan Armada that arrived at the same time). The QX56 shared the Titan's traditional body-on-frame platform and 5.6-liter 8-cylinder powertrain, but the Infiniti was fitted with a more sophisticated independent rear suspension. Unlike the smaller Infiniti FX model, the 5-door QX56 offered seating for up to 8 passengers when properly equipped. When the Infiniti Q45 sedan was dropped after 2006, the QX56 became the automaker's flagship model.

Infiniti significantly updated the QX56 in 2008 with new front and rear fascias, new wheels, and a redesigned roof rack. The interior received a facelift-the first since its launch-and revised electronics. The QX56 was mostly unchanged for the 2009 and 2010 model years.

The 2011 model year marks the arrival of an all-new Infiniti QX56. The flagship Infiniti SUV rides on a new platform and is fitted with a new engine that is more powerful and more fuel efficient than its predecessor. Completely redesigned, the new Infiniti QX56 has a bold shape-immediately recognized as part of the Infiniti family.

Compared to the outgoing model, the new QX56 is longer and wider, but is lower in overall height. Improved aerodynamics, including an underbody spoiler, rear liftgate spoiler, and redesigned side mirrors help lower the drag coefficient to .37 and zero lift, says the automaker. The Infiniti signature lighting package includes bi-Xenon headlamps and LED taillights.

The 2011 Infiniti QX56 is scheduled to arrive in dealerships during the summer of 2010.

Model Lineup

2011 Infiniti QXInfiniti offers the all-new 2011 QX56 in two models: QX56 2WD and QX56 4WD. Both feature the same 400-hp powerplant and 7-speed automatic transmission. The only significant difference between the two models is found with the 2- or 4-wheel_drive (2WD or 4WD) powertrain options.

The QX56 debuts with a full range of standard luxury and performance features befitting a flagship model. The QX56 cabin is fitted with 3-zone automatic temperature control, FineVision electroluminescent gauges, and an Infiniti signature analog clock. Leather upholstery, navigation system, premium audio package, and Infiniti's Around View monitor (multiple cameras project a composite "overhead" view on the navigation screen for increased visibility during parking maneuvers) are standard.

The standard interior package features 7-passenger seating capacity (8-passenger capacity is available with the 2nd-row 60/40-split folding bench seat). The driver's seat is 10-way power adjustable, while the front passenger's seat is 8-way power adjustable. Heated front seats are standard, with optional climate-controlled (heating and cooling functions) front seats and heated 2nd-row seats. The 2nd-row captain's chairs (standard with 7-passenger seating) offer a flip-up function for easy entry/exit into the 3rd row.

An 8-inch WVGA color touch-screen display resides in the center console for use with vehicle information systems, comfort and convenience features, and the Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System. The infotainment features include XM NavTraffic with Real-Time Traffic Information, XM NavWeather, and the Zagat restaurant guide. A Bluetooth hands-free phone system is standard. Other standard equipment includes a single in-dash CD/DVD player with MP3 playback, XM satellite radio, USB connection port for use with iPod Interface or other compatible devices, and streaming audio via Bluetooth.

Optional equipment packages include the Deluxe Touring package with 22-inch forged aluminum-alloy wheels (standard wheels are 20-inch) and P275/50R22 all-season performance tires, Hydraulic Body Motion Control system, climate-controlled front seats, heated 2nd-row seats, remote-activated 2nd-row rear seats for easy 3rd-row entry/exit, semi-aniline leather seating surfaces, and the Advanced Climate Control System (ACCS). The package on the QX56 4WD includes headlight washers. A Theater package includes twin 7-inch color monitors (the screens automatically adjust with an auto-bright system for daytime, clouds, night, and tunnel lighting), a pair of wireless headphones, remote control, AUX inputs for playback of video games, and a 120V power outlet. The Split Bench Seat package includes the 2nd-row bench seat with 60/40-split folding.


2011 Infiniti QXThe only powerplant available on the 2011 Infiniti QX56 is an all-aluminum, 5.6-liter, DOHC 8-cylinder engine. Although the engine has the same displacement as its predecessor (that powerplant was shared with the Nissan Titan and Nissan Armada), the new V-8 features direct injection and Nissan's advanced Variable Valve Event & Lift System (VVEL). It is shared with the Infiniti M56 sedan.

Under the hood of the QX56, the engine is rated at 400 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. of torque. Mated to the new powerplant is a 7-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission (last year's model was fitted with a 5-speed automatic) sending power to the standard 2WD or optional 4WD driveline. The 4WD model features a new 4-wheel-drive system with driver-selected modes (pavement, sand, rock and snow). According to Infiniti, the new powertrain offers a 25-percent increase in horsepower and delivers 10 percent better fuel economy when compared to the 2010 Infiniti QX56.

The QX56 is built on a traditional body-on-frame chassis shared with the all-new Nissan Patrol (the Patrol is not sold in the U.S. market, but will likely arrive as the Nissan Armada later this year). The suspension is independent double wishbone, front and rear. New for 2011 is an available Hydraulic Body Motion Control system designed to help reduce body lean while turning for a more stable and more comfortable ride. The steering is power-assisted with an engine-speed-sensitive variable-assist boost. Four-wheel disc brakes, with 4-wheel ABS, are also standard across the lineup. When properly equipped, the QX56 has a maximum towing capacity of nearly 8,500 pounds.


2011 Infiniti QXAccording to Infiniti, the QX56 also offers Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones and steel side-door guard beams. In addition, driver and front passenger in all 2011 Infiniti QX56 models benefit from the Infiniti Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) including dual-stage front air bags, front-seat-mounted side air bags, and front and rear side curtain air bags with rollover protection (designed to protect all outboard passengers in all three rows). Front seats are equipped with active head restraints, pre-tensioners, and load limiters on the seat belts. Rear outboard seats, second and third row, are fitted with the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system. Standard active safety systems on Infiniti QX56 models include ABS, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), and a direct-reading tire-pressure-monitoring system. Optional safety systems include Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Front Pre-Crash seat belts.


The 2011 Infiniti QX56 is available with a Technology package that includes radar-based intelligent cruise control (Full-Speed Range), lane-departure warning, Lane Departure Prevention (LDP), and Blind Spot Warning (BSW) to reduce fatigue and improve safety on the highway. The package also features Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Distance Control Assist (DCA), and Front Pre-Crash seat belts if a collision is imminent. Lastly, an adaptive front lighting system with auto-leveling headlights helps to automatically illuminate the bends in the road when the QX56 turns corners.

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