Infiniti unveiled the Q80 Inspiration concept car at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, it what it called a signal of its intent to break into the top tier of the premium sedan category; the concept will lead to a future model. The four-door fastback is powered by a hybrid electric powertrain that is expected to deliver 550 hp (410 kW) with fuel consumption of 5.5 L/100 km (42.8 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of about 129 g/km.
The powertrain incorporates a new aluminum-based downsized twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that is part of a new engine family which will be introduced within the next two years. (Infiniti plans to double its powertrain range over the next five years.) The 450 hp (336 kW) V6 gasoline engine will be supported by an electric motor powered by a Li-ion battery pack, capable of adding around 75 kW (100 hp) hybrid power boost when required, and a 9-speed automatic gearbox.
|Q80 Inspiration. Click to enlarge.|
Combined engine and motor system torque is 750 N·m (553 lb-ft). Acceleration from 0-60 mph takes less than 4 seconds, and the top speed is limited to 155 mph (250 km/h).
Driving the 22-inch rear wheels under normal conditions, the vehicle’s torque can also be split by up to 50% between the front and rear axles to maintain composure in moments of limited grip. Drivers can manually opt to stay in all-wheel drive too.
Infiniti’s Q80 Inspiration also previews the company’s philosophy on autonomous technology—i.e., that it should enhance the driver and not restrict him or her. This driver-centric approach, integral to Infiniti’s vision for the premium sector, is exemplified in on-demand systems.
Using cameras, lasers and sensors, the technology can be employed by the driver when needed through a button on the left-hand side of the steering wheel.
Ongoing dialogue between the driver and the autonomous driving technology system, via an HUD display projected on the windshield, enables the driver to utilize the driving assistance at his/her own discretion.
The system emits tones suggesting a course of action for the driver in heavy traffic or in highway mode. The final decision—whether to accelerate and overtake or whether to brake and fall in behind the car ahead—always rests with the driver.
With the HUD, the driver is in command of what is projected onto the windscreen via an Infiniti InTouch-style touchpad in the center console.
The company also introduced the the new 2015 Infiniti Q70 to Europe during the show. Powered by a new 2.2-liter, four-cylinder turbo diesel engine, it delivers 170 hp (127 kW) of power and 400 N·m (295 lb-ft) of torque.