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Infiniti teasing 2020 QX55 but AutomotiveMap has already seen the vehicle (and can tell you about it)

Infiniti is teasing its new QX55 model ahead of its official debut next year.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motor Company

This week Infiniti released another photo of the forthcoming 2020 Infiniti QX55, but AutomotiveMap has already seen the entire vehicle, interviewed Infiniti's Vice Chairman about it, and can tell you all about it.

The QX55 is a small SUV that will go on sale next year. It's the first of five vehicles the luxury arm of Nissan has promised to deliver in the next three years.

Mike Colleran, Vice Chairman and Global Division Vice President, Marketing and Sales Operations for Infiniti Motor Company is quick to point out that the model has FX model bloodlines. But, Colleran warns, don't think of the QX55 as a direct FX successor.

That's instantly apparent in its design where a bulging hood and sleek lines that the QX55 looks as much like a throwback as it does a fast forward. Its face is commanding, but not as upright as what is seen on Infiniti's larger SUVs, including the 2020 Infiniti QX80 and the redesigned 2021 Infiniti QX60. It has its own unique grille that hasn't been seen on any other Infiniti yet.

The QX55's sides have sweeping dynamic lines that run backward to wing-like taillights. Colleran describes the look as "active" and "fun" with a focus on performance and design.

Infiniti isn't just thinking of the QX55 as a way to move people. Colleran describes it as a "baby FX" that he very clearly points out is "not meant for families." It's a way to introduce and keep buyers in the brand.

This design is meant for drivers who value performance, like the FX was. While powertrain information wasn't disclosed, Colleran is quick to point out that the QX55 will not be electrified.

The engine that would make the most sense inside the QX55 is Nissan's VC-Turbo engine, which is also in the 2020 Infiniti QX50. On its face, the QX55 appears to be smaller and lighter than the QX50 so the peppy engine could provide a good amount of zip without being a fuel sucker. This is an equation the 2019 Nissan Altima, which also has this engine as an option, has gotten right.

Based on Colleran's statements and a quick once over of the vehicle while at the Spaceport America last week, it appears that the QX55 is designed to be what many in the automotive community hoped that the Infiniti QX30 would be when it debuted.

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Hyundai has completely refreshed the Santa Fe for 2021.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Hyundai Santa Fe is getting more than just a traditional mid-cycle update for the 2021 model year. It's closer to a generational shift with new powertrains, a new platform, and more premium features.

If you're saying to yourself, "Didn't they just change it?" to yourself right now, you're not wrong. The current Santa Fe shifted generations just about two years ago as the company prepared to introduce the three-row Palisade. When the Palisade arrived, the Santa Fe was relegated to the new two-row Santa Fe and a holdover three-row Santa Fe for a year before going to just a two-row model for 2020.

The SUV has a fresh grille and headlamp design as well as new front and rear fascia.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has a face that looks like a blend of the Palisade and the Vision T concept car, which was first shown at last year's LA Auto Show. Its headlights carry over the Spartan helmet-like design that first appeared on the Kona. T-shaped LED daytime running lights flow from the headlights to the sides of the grill. The lower grille eschews the crucible-shape that is on the Palisade and offers a new, sophisticated look.

Hyundai has made the car beefier looking but also gentler with posterior that's sophisticated with arrow-like taillights that are connected through the center of the tailgate by a light bar.

Twenty-inch wheels are available as part of a Luxury Package that includes front and back lower bumpers and side cladding that match the body paint color, rather than the traditional matte black.

Hyundai has already revealed that the 2021 Santa Fe will come with hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants in Europe. They have not confirmed which, if either of those powertrains is coming to the U.S. More information is expected to be revealed soon.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai aimed for a premium SUV with the Palisade, to thunderous applause from industry experts and buyers, and it looks like that design mantra is holding true in the New Santa Fe. The company promotes the model as having more "space, comfort, and convenience" than the outgoing model. That's thanks in large part to the new platform the SUV is riding on.

The new third-gen Hyundai platform allows for improvements inn performance, handling, fuel efficiency, and safety. Additionally, it features more crash resistance. With the SUV market growing increasingly competitive, it's understandable that Hyundai would want to shift the model to the new underpinnings ASAP.

The lower half of the dashboard has been redesigned for 2021 and the cabin has been outfitted with soft-touch materials. The center console has also been redesigned and now floats and features similar instrumentation to the Hyundai Nexo and Palisade. This leaves a good amount of space between driver and front passenger for storage.

A new 10.25-inch infotainment screen floats on the dashboard.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The new 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen appears to float above the dashboard. A new 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster sits in front of the driver.

The new Santa Fe will be available in Europe starting September 2020. There is not yet confirmation as to when it comes to the U.S. or what it will cost.

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The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon will debut on June 24.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The Volkswagen what? You're not alone if you haven't heard of the Arteon. The model is easy to forget in a carscape that's crowded with a rich number of much more premium and luxury cars that compete directly with the model in the U.S. due to the car's high price point.

The Arteon is the successor to the Volkswagen CC. The company makes them in Germany and China. VW designed the car to be an upmarket offering.

2020 Volkswagen Arteon The current interior of the 2020 Arteon doesn't have the appointments or features of many modern premium and luxury cars, despite Volkswagen positioning the model to fit in with that crowd.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

It's a model that hasn't quite caught on with American audiences despite the popularity of other models in the Volkswagen lineup like the Atlas, Tiguan, and Jetta. In the first quarter of the year, Volkswagen sold under 800 Arteons. Alfa Romeo sold more than twice as many Giulias during that same time and Toyota sold that many RAV4s every 17 hours.

Volkswagen will debut a refreshed version of the Arteon on June 24. The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon will have a completely new cockpit area and feature a new roster of high-tech infotainment system functions.

It will also benefit from the addition of new safety and driver assist systems, including Travel Assist, which takes over steering, acceleration, and braking at speeds up to 130 mph. Further restrictions of the vehicle's capability will likely be forthcoming.

Additionally, Volkswagen will premiere the new Arteon shooting brake alongside the sedan. VW has already acknowledged that the U.S. isn't getting this version of the car. It's planned exclusively for Europe according to a release from the company.

With just the interior getting refreshed, the U.S. version of the car is likely to continue to have its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. For the 2020 model year, Volkswagen sold the car in the U.S. in three trim levels: SE, SEL, and SEL Plus. It was priced starting at $35,995.

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