New Model News

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.

Jessica Hawkins, stunt driver, sits behind the wheel of the 2020 Land Rover Defender on the set of 'No Time to Die'.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

When James Bond knocks, you answer. Whether it's Aston Martin or Land Rover, British auto brands have been well represented in the forthcoming James Bond movie "No Time to Die".

The new Land Rover Defender 110 appears alongside Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Naomie Harris, Ralph Finnes, and Ben Whitshaw. It is featured in a change sequence that showcases the vehicle's prowess in extreme off road conditions. Behind the scenes photos of the action show stunt coordinator Lee Morrison, who has worked on Jason Bourne, Indiana Jones, and James Bond movies, and stunt driver Jessica Hawkins, who competes in the W Series, at work.

The Land Rover Defender 110 driving through thick mud during filming of "No Time to Die."

"Designing and coordinating the action sequences for the Bond franchise requires a non-compromising mindset." said Morrison. "We needed an unstoppable vehicle to help us battle against the elements, steep descents and river crossings so we chose the new Defender. I'm beyond impressed that the Defender is not only back but much, much better!"

The Defender appears alongside the Range Rover Sport SVR, Land Rover Series III, and Range Rover Classic as the Bond character, played by Craig, traverses the globe to rescue a kidnapped scientist.

Land Rover's design team worked closely with Special Effects and Action Vehicles Supervisor Chris Corbould to spec the Defender vehicles in the film. They are based on the Defender X model in Santorini Black, with darkened skid pans, 20-inch dark finish wheels, and professional off-road tires. The modes were the first Defender vehicles to be built at Jaguar Land Rover's new production facility in Nitra, Slovakia.

No Time To Die | Land Rover USA www.youtube.com

Land Rover has had a long-standing partnership with EON Productions on the Bond films, going back to 1983 when a Range Rover Convertible appeared in "Octopussy".

The Land Rover Defender 110 featured in "No Time To Die" will be on display for the first time in Los Angeles during the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. Consumers can see the vehicle at the 2019 Los Angeles International Auto Show between November 20 and December 1, 2019.

"No Time to Die" will be released starting April 2, 2020 in the U.K. and in the U.S on April 10.

The Defender 110 will be priced from $49,900 in the U.S. and will go on sale in the spring.

Kia has introduced a concept car that gives a hint at what future SUV design will look like.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia Motors is giving a hint of its future electric vehicle design with the debut of the Kia Futuron Concept, an all-wheel drive high-riding hatchback that they're calling a "sports car on an SUV platform."

The automaker choose the name of the vehicle because it's a portmanteau of the words future and on. They say that it will help give consumers an idea of what to expect from Kia in the future. Looking closely, it's likely that many hallmarks of this concept car will play out in future Niro designs and in a forthcoming subcompact SUV that is related to the Hyundai Venue.

Kia Futuron Concept side The high-riding coupe has sleek lines and a sophisticated overall aesthetic.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

With the design, Kia is emphasizing elegant proportions rather than funky characteristics like what you'll find in their Soul. Sweeping lines that flow from front to rear are common in modern concept vehicles and this is no exception. Kia's designers were drawn to the 360-degree styling because of its flowing shapes that easily move from the exterior to the interior, expanding and contracting.

The face of the car has a new interpretation of Kia's tiger nose grille, with a wide opening across the front of the car. That grille incorporates LED headlamps with a distinct light signature.

Kia has given the Futuron Concept an all-electric powertrain with all-wheel drive. It has a high-capacity battery (no exact numbers are available) and in-wheel electric motors.

Kia Futuron Concept top roof It features a panoramic glass roof.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The interior of the model features leaned back seats that allows for an "interactive driving experience suitable for urban city environments." The two front seats are made out of flexible materials that offer seating flexibility in the vein fo what first-class passengers would find on an airliner.

Its roof has diamond-shaped panoramic glass. Inside the greenhouse is a network of LiDAR sensors capable of Level 4 autonomous driving features.

Kia Futuron Concept seats Kia has given the SUV unique seating that is meant to provide first-class comfortability.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia touts the car's seamless cockpit area that features the instrument cluster wrapped in harmony with the rest of the car's audio and visual displays and through the steering wheel.