Design

Nissan's 'Timeless Japanese Futurism' does not include a tablet-style infotainment screen

The Nissan concept shows off a single wide screen instead of two separate disolays.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Don't blame it on the rain. Blame it on Tesla and Volvo, the pioneers of the tablet-style infotainment screen. They literally flipped the infotainment script on what customers expected from their systems with display graphics that were cleaner and truly different in the vast sea of colored buttons and song names cut off on the display.

In the years since, many automakers have followed suite, most notably with Ram's 12.3-inch and Ford's 10.1-inch vertical displays. Nissan, like Hyundai, will be bucking the trend.

Nissan ariya concept 2020 The interior off the model shows off its roominess with horizontal space showcased by long design lines across the dashboard. Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

When developing its display for the Ariya Concept, Nissan prioritized design and vision over the tablet trend. Instead, the design team created a curved two-screen display that was made to look wave-like and give a sense of horizontal proportion.

The layout reflects Nissan's new Timeless Japanese Futurism design language, also expressed in the Ariya Concept's unique shield (instead of a grille). This look is something that Mercedes-Benz has begun to embrace, and Cadillac has executed in the new Escalade.

"The human eye naturally looks from side to side when driving," explains Tomomichi Uekuri, senior manager of HMI engineering team. "People can see and absorb more information if it's laid out horizontally. Peripheral vision works this way as well."

According to the automaker, "In addition to conveying information better for the human eye, the layout does so from a safer location — in the line of sight, closer to the road. By matching the cabin's horizon aesthetic, it becomes a seamless part of the dashboard. Nissan's design team calls this "engawa" – the undefined space between where you are, and where you are going."

The Nissan Ariya Concept's display combines the information traditionally found on a driver's information display and infotainment screen and masks them under one display. Information can be changed out and moved by swiping.

"The display's wave construction is innovative and utilizes an ergonomic layout for both the meter display and the center display, not only for visibility, but also allows the driver to easily reach the center display touch screen," Uekuri explains.

It looks great, but how close is that to reality? The Ariya Concept, while futuristic, serves as a showcase of the possible. It's interlay in the realm of possibility that the design language of the model carries over into the next Rogue or Murano. It could go into Nissan's new all-electric SUV.

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Owners of 2020 and 2021 model year Infiniti vehicles will be eligible.

Infiniti

Apple CarPlay is a great feature that can add maps, streaming audio, and voice controls to even base model vehicles that would otherwise lack such technology. It also offers a standardized interface that works similarly to a smartphone's built-in software, so there's no confusion about how to operate the system. Until recently, users had to have their phones physically tethered to the vehicle with a wired connection, but many automakers have begun offering wireless connectivity. Infiniti is one of them, but in an unusual step, the company says that it will upgrade older model year vehicles with the technology at no cost.

Infiniti Wireless Apple CarPlay The upgrades will be free for owners.Infiniti

This means that if you own a 2020 or 2021 Q50, Q60, QX50, or QX80, you are eligible for the upgrade. Wireless Apple CarPlay became available for Infiniti vehicles starting with the 2022 model year, so it's a new feature for the automaker. The first model to support the feature was the 2022 QX55 and the new 2022 QX80 will offer the tech with its 12.3-inch touchscreen system. The 2022 Q50 and Q60 will both leave the factory with the feature, as will the upcoming QX60.

It's unclear how or if the upgrade will affect other vehicle systems, but it's a worthy move for anyone who owns a 2020 or 2021 Infiniti vehicle, if only to boost resale value down the road. Cars such as the 2021 Q50 came standard with a dual-screen infotainment system and wired Apple CarPlay, so the ability to go wireless would be a big bonus for some drivers.

Infiniti Wireless Apple CarPlay Owners have until March 31, 2022 to complete the upgrade.Infiniti

If you own a 2020 or 2021 Infiniti model, you have until March 31, 2022, to complete the upgrade. Infiniti says its dealers will perform the update at no cost to owners, so make your appointments now. The automaker has not announced plans to offer wireless Android Auto.

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The QX60 is all-new for 2022.

Infiniti

Infiniti has released detailed specs and features for its all-new QX60 SUV. The upscale family hauler will land later this year with a reasonable starting price, updated tech, a nicely appointed cabin, and plenty more. The automaker offers its new SUV in four trims, each of which is available with all-wheel drive: Pure, Luxe, Sensory, and Autograph.

The QX60 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 295 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available, and all models get a new nine-speed automatic transmission. Infiniti says that the gearbox has a low first gear that helps deliver better acceleration and power off the line, and taller upper gears for smoother cruising on the highway. The revised all-wheel drive system is more responsive and engages more quickly than the system in the previous model.


2022 Infiniti QX60 The QX60 gets leather and several luxury features as standard kit. Infiniti


An upgraded interior is in the cards for the new QX60, as all models now get leather, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel as standard equipment. Front passengers' backsides are treated to Infiniti's excellent zero-gravity seats and a stiffer second-row seat frame reduces vibration and noise in the cabin. Infiniti says that the cabin itself has more sound-deadening materials and thicker glass in the second row, which together yield a 7 percent improvement in noise on the highway.


2022 Infiniti QX60 A digital gauge cluster comes on all but the base model.Infiniti


A 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen is standard that runs wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Six USB ports, nine speakers, HD Radio Bluetooth, voice commands, and SiriusXM radio are also standard. All but the base Pure trim level come with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and the top Autograph model gets a 10.8-inch full-color head-up display and a smart rearview mirror.

The new QX60 goes on sale this fall in the U.S. and Canada. Pricing starts at $47,875 for the base Pure model and tops out at $64,275 for the top Autograph AWD trim.

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