2021 Infiniti QX80 adds tech, gets renamed trim levels and price hike

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

The Infiniti QX80 is getting more expensive for the 2021 model year, but with that added cost comes a bevy of upgrades made over the last two model years.

For 2020, Infiniti added then-new ProPILOT Assist and Sensory package content, fresh IT system technology, and an available 17-speaker Bose Performance Series Audio system.

The three-row 2021 Infiniti QX80 has revised its trim levels to now include entry-level Luxe, mid-grade Premium Select, and top-tier Sennsory. It will continue to be available in two- and four-wheel drive configurations. The 2WD QX80 will start at $69,050 and the 4WD will be $72,150.

2021 Infiniti QX80

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

The QX80 Luxe will offer sumptuous appointments and the SUV's signature beefy body style along with a long list of standard technologies including blind spot intervention, lane departure prevention, distance control assist, rear seat belt reminder, adaptive cruise control, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay,

Upgrading to the QX80 Premium Select delivers enhancements previously available in the QX80 Edition 30 including dark chrome and black highlights the QX80's front grille, fender vents, door mirror caps, and rear tailgate strip. The model rides on dark chrome 22-inch forged alloy wheels. Buyers can choose from three interior color schemes: Graphite, Truffle Brown, and Sahara Stone. The Matte Brown accent trim has been revised.

Moving to the QX80 Sensory grade gets buyers quilted semi-aniline leather-appointed seats, Charcoal Burl trim and a new graphite tricot headliner. It too rides on 22-inch forged allow wheels, but this model's have chrome mirror caps. The company's Hydraulic Body Motion Control system is standard in this trim level.

In addition to the grade name and offerings changes, each model comes equipped with the second generation of Infiniti's Smart Rearview Mirror. It now has a wider 9.6-inch display, high resolution camera, and LED flicker mitigation technology.

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 will reach U.S. dealerships this autumn.

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Acura is revealing its next-gen MDX slowly, first with this, the MDX Prototype.

Photo courtesy of Acura

The MDX is the best-selling Acura in the lineup. It's also America's best-selling luxury three-row SUV. But that's not good enough.

Acura is redesigning the MDX and as it prepares to enter a fourth generation, a prototype of the new SUV will be shown on October 14. This looks to follow the same pattern as the TLX launch, which saw a prototype revealed about six months before the true model debut, just after the PMC Edition was put on sale.

Acura says that the next-gen MDX will usher in " new levels of Acura design, performance, technology and craftsmanship, assuming the mantle as the brand's new flagship model". And that's a good thing. The brand revolution that started with the RDX and continued with the TLX looks to go even further in a bid to re-establish Acura on its premium model throne.

The ofirst MDX was the industry's first three-row SUV based on a unibody platform, a design that has since gone mainstream as crossovers and lifestyle SUVs overrun a vehicle type that started as rugged off-roaders and family trucksters. Since it's debut, the MDX has garnered praise from buyers and critics alike including winning the 2001 North American Truck of the Year and 2001 Motor Trend SUV of the Year awards.

Over the past two decades, cumulative sales have surpassed 1 million units, securing MDX's place as the best-selling Acura model, accounting for roughly one-third of the brand's U.S. sales since its launch.

"We're accelerating Acura's commitment to Precision Crafted Performance and this fourth-generation MDX is the most ambitious and consequential redesign of an Acura core model in our history," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and Acura brand officer. "This all-new MDX will take us into new territory in terms of performance, prestige and emotional appeal."

The teaser image (above) and video (below) that were released today highlight the sharply sculpted beltline running the perimeter of the wider, lower and longer MDX, connecting the Jewel Eye LED headlights at the front to the Chicane LED taillights in the rear.

The MDX Prototype pulls heavily from the RDX and TLX with design nods to each. Still, it's unmistakably a three-row SUV. Though we don't know for sure what's under the hood, expect the MDX to have more a dynamic driving style when it debuts, following in the vein of the RDX and TLX redesigns.

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The material Jaguar Land Rover is adding to its vehicle interiors is called Econyl.

Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

As automaker work toward more sustainable business practices, Jaguar Land Rover is working with Econyl nylon to develop high-quality interiors made from ocean and landfill waste. The automaker promises that next-generation Jaguar and Land Rover models will feature floor mats and trims made with Econyl fiber from recycled industrial plastic, fabric offcuts from clothing manufacturers, fishing nets from the farming industry, and those abandoned in the ocean– known as 'ghost nets'.

Econyl nylon was created by Aquafil. It's already been sued in the high-end fashion, sportswear, and luxury watch industries to create handbags, backpacks, swimwear, and watch straps. In one year, the company recycles as much as 40,000 tons of waste, making it in to the nylon. For every 10,000 tonnes of Econyl raw material produced, 70,000 barrels of crude oil are saved and 65,100 tons of carbon emissions equivalent are avoided.

Jaguar Land Rover Econyl interior Jaguar Land Rover has committed to including more sustainable materials in its interiors.Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

Turning to sustainable materials isn't a new idea. For years Ford has been incorporating all manner of materials into its vehicles including tomatoes, soy, and coffee chaff from McDonald's. General Motors recently showcased a breakdown of how recycled materials are used inside their automobiles.

Bentley's facility in Crewe, England is collecting rainwater for use in its office building allowing the company to not have to draw from the local water system.

Each year automakers release their sustainability report, which champions all the ways that the company is moving forward in its resources conservation plans. This year's GM report sets forth numerous goals. Among them, by 2030, 50 percent of the parts used in General Motors vehicles will be made with sustainable materials. Additionally, GM's Spring Hill plant in Tennessee will run solely on solar power by 2022.

FCA made big strides in 2019. Their 2020 sustainability report touted their 40 percent reduction in water use and 27 percent carbon footprint reduction per vehicle.

Jaguar Land Rover Econyl interior Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

This week Polestar announced that its Precept concept vehicle is headed into production. When the Precept debuted a few months ago, the company bragged about its sustainable interior.

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