Concept Cars

INFINITI partners with world- famous furniture maker

Infiniti's first all-electric vehicle is coming but first the QX Inspiration Concept is here. The all-electric concept crossover shows the design and engineering progression the automaker is taking as they move toward electrification. To help show that off, Infiniti has enlisted the help of world- famous furniture maker, Tendo Co.

Tendo was founded in 1940, a full 49 years before Infiniti was born, in Japan's Yamagata Prefecture. It is heralded for its artisan woodworkers and craftspeople. The company's business includes working alongside architects and designs to create timeless products. It was because of this heritage that Infiniti went to Tendo for its interior design.

"Our first ideas and sketches for the interior were founded in this notion of creating a space that was more akin to a lounge or living space. We took advantage of the spacious layout enabled by the electric powertrain, and created a furniture-like expression for every element of the interior. At the same time, we wanted to explore a Japanese sense of beauty, tying the car to our cultural roots," said Mie Tanaka, color design assistant manager at Infiniti Motor Company.

Infiniti Design Infiniti used sugi, a Japanese cedar tree, to give the interior of its concept crossover a warm hue. Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motor Company Ltd.

"We approached Tendo with this, and, while we had our own idea about how the QX Inspiration's 'furniture' could look, Tendo's many decades of experience in wood-working and design helped us to create something really special. The result is a beautiful, relaxing space that is rich in Japanese craftsmanship and materials. It is unlike anything we have been able to produce before."

With a design directive that included the use of organic materials and subdued colors, the two teams decided to use sugi, a cedar tree from Japan, for wood accents in the cabin. Its natural coloring and soft, light grain project warmth. The Sufi used in the car was grown in the Yamagata Prefecture and can be found on door panels as well as woodwork throughout the cabin.

Our team values the Japanese notion of 'monozukuri' – an appreciation of making things – so we have handcrafted each part of the Infiniti QX Inspiration's interior with care," said Sakae Igarashi, assistant manager, Tendo Co. "We are proud with what we have created and achieved with INFINITI. It is always a pleasure to work with fellow designers who can imagine beautiful things and create wonderful features. It has been an honor to work on this project."

The QX Inspiration Concept is just the first hint at the future of electrified mobility for Infiniti. Plans call for electric, hybrid, and performance hybrid vehicles to enter the lineup soon.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The 2022 Infiniti QX55 is a new addition to the company's portfolio.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

There was the Infiniti FX. Now there's the Infiniti QX55. Considered the spiritual successor of the beloved crossover of the premium automaker's past, the QX55 is designed to deliver comfort and style as the smallest SUV in the company's portfolio.

The Infiniti FX was in production for three generations from 2003 to 2017. In its first two generations it was known as the FX, but the name later switched to the QX70 when the automaker redid its nomenclature to the current form.

At the QX55's front is the company's signature double-arch grille that consists of an origami-inspired mesh pattern. On either side of the grille are standard LED headlights. The car's design lines flow from the hood and front fenders, across the doors, and over the rear wheels. All QX55 models come standard with 20-inch wheels.

2022 Infiniti QX55

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

At the back is an cleanly designed tailgate. The crossover's digital "piano key" taillights combine 45 separate LEDs in a single housing to create a light signature, like that was seen most recently on the Infiniti QX60 Monograph.

Infiniti has given the QX55 a fresh logo that houses the power liftgate release. Hyundai and Volkswagen models have similar design.

Every QX55 features the company's VC-Turbo four-cylinder engine under the hood. It is paired with a continuously variable transmission that makes 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is standard on models sold in the U.S. and Canada.

Drivers will be able to choose from the QX55's four drive modes: Standard, Eco, Sport, and Personal.

Buyers have the option of getting leatherette, leather, or semi-aniline leather appointments for the QX55's seats.

The interior of the QX55 has a dual-screen center stack, InTouch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay compatibility, multiple USB inputs, and Android Auto compatibility. The top screen is eight inches and the bottom is seven inches. A 16-speaker Bose audio system is available.

The 2022 Infiniti QX55 will be sold in three grades: Luxe, Essential, and Sensory. It will arrive on U.S. shores in the spring of 2021.

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Porsche has allowed prying eyes into its archives to see some previously unseen concept cars.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

A car's journey from paper to dealership lot is longer than most probably realize, with each generation taking the better part of a decade to bring to fruition. Before a car becomes a car, it's a prototype. Before it's a prototype, it's a concept car. Stretching back even further, there's models and drawings.

Porsche has hidden a number of its concept cars away from the prying eyes of the public for years and only recently opened the proverbial vault of treasures. Here's what was found, with descriptions by Porsche.

Porsche 919 Street

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The Porsche 919 Street (2017; 1:1 clay model) was developed on the basis of the technology used in the Porsche 919 Hybrid, promising to make the exhilarating driving experience of the LMP1 race car available to amateur drivers. Under the outer shell are the carbon monocoque and powerful 900 PS hybrid racing drivetrain that helped the Porsche 919 to achieve numerous victories at Le Mans. The dimensions and wheelbase were also the same as on the race car.

Porsche Vision Spyder

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

With its spartan, puristic cockpit, the characteristic radiator grilles over the mid engine, red graphic elements and the suggested fins at the rear, the compact Porsche Vision Spyder (2019; 1:1 hard model) clearly calls to mind the Porsche 550-1500 RS Spyder from 1954. At the same time, the study was intended to further develop the design identity of Porsche and provide a pool of ideas for future details – for example, the ultra-modern roll bar.

Porsche vision “Renndienst”

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The Porsche vision "Renndienst" (2018; 1:1 hard model) is the free interpretation of a family-friendly space concept for up to six persons. The design team designed a futuristic "space shuttle" with exciting proportions. The study shows how the Porsche design DNA with its characteristic surface modelling can be transferred to an unknown vehicle segment for the brand. In the interior, passengers find a comfortable and modular travel cabin. The driver sits in a central driver's seat. The all-electric drive technology is located in the underbody. As a result, passengers can enjoy an unexpectedly generous space and travel experience combined with Porsche-like flair.

Porsche 906 Living Legend (2015)

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

In this vision of a super sports car, the Porsche 906 (2015; 1:1 hard model) provided the proportions and design cues. Particularly innovative is the visual impression of the car being two bodies pushed into each other. The gap between the elements serves as a ventilation duct for a powerful mid-engine.

Porsche Vision 918 RS

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The Porsche 918 Spyder (2019; 1:1 hard model) was a milestone as the first hybridised super sports car from Weissach. In 2019 the designers created a new fascinating evolutionary stage of the 918. With further developed drive and chassis technology as well as an aerodynamically perfected body, the Porsche Vision 918 RS would once again set standards on the road and racing track.

Porsche Vision 920

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

How to combine the formal language of Porsche's road sports cars with the functional design of a prototype racing car? With the Porsche Vision 920 (2019; 1:1 hard model) the design team has created an extreme hypercar. The aerodynamically optimised body and the central cockpit blur the boundaries between racing track and road.

Porsche Vision E

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

In Formula E, the technology of the future is tested under high performance and pushed to its limits. Based on the Porsche 99X Electric, the design team developed a radically light single-seater racing car for private racers called the Porsche Vision E (2019; 1:1 hard model). The fully electric driving experience should be breathtaking.

Porsche 919 Street

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

With the Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche has won the 24 hours of Le Mans three times. Based on the LMP1 racing car, Michael Mauer and his team developed this vision of a special series for private racing drivers called the Porsche 919 Street (2017; 1:1 clay model)

Porsche 917 Living Legend

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

At the wheel of the Porsche 917 KH in the red and white livery of Porsche Salzburg, Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood won the first overall victory for Porsche at Le Mans in the summer of 1970. When Porsche returned to the LMP1 sport in 2013, the team in Weissach developed a modern interpretation of the winning car of yesteryear. The Porsche 918 Spyder served as the technical inspiration for the Porsche 917 Living Legend (2013; 1:1 clay model). "In the super sports cars from Porsche, you always have the feeling of practically sitting on the road between the high wheel arches," says Michael Mauer. "We wanted to emphasise this even further."

Want to see more? The previously unpublished design studies are being presented exclusively by the Porsche Newsroom in a series of articles. The 9:11Magazine web TV format has also dedicated an episode to selected studies and examines the connection between the studies and the current production models together with Porsche Chief Designer Michael Mauer. For fans of the brand, the book entitled "Porsche Unseen" has been released by Delius Klasing.

Porsche Unseen - The Book www.youtube.com

A selection of studies will also be on display later for fans to admire live: the Porsche Museum will be integrating the models in the exhibition in 2021.

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