We welcome a new member to The Management Fleet, an Infiniti QX70 S. But will it find the correct balance between SUV and sports car.[Not a valid template]
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Some of you may recognise this as the Infiniti FX. Others, prompted perhaps by a rather bizarre marketing slogan from Infiniti, will see a ‘bionic cheetah’. Of course some of you may simply know it as, ‘oh…y’know…the one in the middle’.
Since Infiniti’s mass nomenclature shuffle in 2013, this performance crossover is actually called the QX70, the company’s rival to the Volkwagen Touareg among others. Incidentally, it’s also the latest Infiniti to join our long term fleet: regular readers may remember the Q50 S we put to work towards the end of last year.
In the past we’ve been a touch sceptical when it comes to performance crossovers, the underlying issue being that when you splice sports car DNA with that of an SUV, something’s bound to give. And more often than not, it’s both. Said crossover rarely handles with the precision of a sports car given its sheer size, and is often not as comfortable or practical as an SUV given the packaging compromises for that sporty styling and feel. Of course the Porsche Macan S came along in 2014 and completely knackered this presumption, and since we have three months to really get to know our brand new QX70 S, we figured we’d give the segment another crack.
And given the hardware in tow, Infiniti is off to a pretty good start. The 3.7-litre V6 belted down under the bonnet produces a solid 321bhp and 267lb ft of torque, so we expect the all-wheel drive QX70 to at least be pretty nippy. Mated to the V6 is a seven-speed automatic (including paddles), while independent suspension covers all four wheels for maximum manoeuvrability. Infiniti’s clever steer-by-wire technology hasn’t made its way across from the Q50 saloon just yet though.
The eagle-eyed amongst you will also have noticed that our test model boasts the top of the range S Design package. There’s no mechanical difference, but this does mean our Moonlight White model comes equipped with sports seats, dark chrome detailing, contrast stitching in the cabin, and some menacing looking 21in six-spoke alloys. Comfort and practicality boxes have been appropriately ticked too, with good head and legroom in the cabin, Sequential Welcome Lighting (how have we lived without that?) and a Bose surround sound system. Plus a whacking great boot space, perfect for four full-sized golf bags or a photographer and camera equipment, depending on your specific requirements.
Across the next three months, we hope to find out just where Infiniti’s performance crossover is on the spectrum, and whether ultimately it is more sports car than SUV.
|V6 / 3696cc
|325bhp @ 7000rpm
|267lb ft @ 5200rpm
|Seven-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
|Aluminum independent double-wishbone with stabilizer bar
|Aluminum and steel independent multi-link with stabilizer bar
|Vented / 12.6 x 1.3in (front) / 12.1 x 0.6in (rear)
|8.0J x 18in front and rear
|265/60 R18 front and rear