Paris 2014. Infiniti Q80 Inspiration

Infiniti unveils the Q80 Inspiration concept – its vision for the premium saloon category – at the Paris Motor Show

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And just when we thought the Q50 S was as good as it got…

Infiniti has released images of a brand concept for the premium saloon category, the new Q80 Inspiration. All curves and sleek angles, the concept – as most of them do – hints at a possible future design DNA for the Japanese marque. Designed to ‘disrupt’ the premium saloon category, the four-door fastback measures a sizeable 16.7ft in length and 6.5ft in width.

Despite the eye-catching exterior design – and with a production run hinted – the real punch comes on the inside. The rear bench for instance has been replaced with two individual seats, access to which is achieved via some pretty snazzy portal doors reminiscent of the Rolls-Royce Phantom. The front passenger has a head-up display, besting slightly the touchscreens for both rear seat passengers mounted into the back of the front headrests. As well as leather and metal trim finishing, a glass roof stretches the length of the roofline.

Power – all 550hp of it – comes from a 3.0-litre twin turbocharged V6 and a hybrid electric powertrain, which Infiniti suggests could form the basis of a new powerplant further down the line. Power is sent to all four wheels via a ‘smart drivetrain’, though this can be switched exclusively to the rear axle as conditions dictate.

Perhaps most significantly, the Q80 Inspiration previews Infiniti’s philosophy on autonomous driving courtesy of a series of cameras, lasers and sensors. Each emits a warning signal (via high-pitched tone or via the head-up display) to suggest a course of action for the driver in heavy traffic or on the highway. Quite how this differs from traditional driver assistance systems at present remains to be seen, so we’ll reserve judgement for the moment…

Categories: Road


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