Looking much more production-ready than its predecessor, the new concept is named simply QX50, and it features two new technologies for Infiniti.
By far the most important one is a potential application for the VC-Turbo engine with variable compression ratio. Infiniti brags that the powerplant is the world's first production-ready version of such an engine, hinting that it may actually be offered on its upcoming models as early as 2017.
Combining the power of a “high-performance 2.0-liter turbocharged engine” with the torque and fuel economy of a modern diesel, the VC-Turbo in production form should be quite a trendsetter, particularly as it can offer a compression ratio between 8:1 and 14:1. In the QX50 Concept, the mill develops approximately 272 PS and 390 Nm (287.7 lb-ft) of torque, and according to the carmaker its engineers are targeting “a 27 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over V6 gasoline engines of similar power output.”
The second piece of technology arriving on both the QX50 Concept and its future production version is Infiniti's next roll out of “autonomous drive support technologies.” Instead of concentrating on removing the driver from the equation, these technologies will apparently act as a “co-pilot,” which is another way of saying that new Infinitis won't be fully autonomous, but will be very safe.
Styling wise, the QX50 Concept looks very cab-forward compared to its predecessor, suggesting that it will switch to an FWD-based drivetrain layout, with a transversal engine. In production form, this would be a huge departure from the front-midship platform that the current QX50 uses, but most buyers don't really care about these types of details. We will probably know more once the model is unveiled in Detroit.