Future Product

The new plan is to reboot Infiniti as 'Nissan-plus', rapid model rollout coming

Infiniti already has plans for a number of new vehicles in the works.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

It's no secret that Infiniti has been struggling with its brand identity. It shows right there on the balance sheet where sales are down significantly, suffering a fate similar to its parent company Nissan. But, there's a plan underway to change that.

Reporting from AutomotiveNews indicates that the brand will no longer be looking to go in the direction of other luxury manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Instead, they'll be considered "Nissan-plus" according to a representative from the company.

2020 Infiniti QX50 The Infiniti QX50 is a premium compact SUV that is designed for comfortable cruising. Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

The move is part of a larger four-year turnaround plan made public by Nissan last week that advertised the introduction of 12 new models in the last 18 months. Infiniti vehicles were not explicitly part of that news release but we already know that the company plans to unveil the new QX55 and redesigned QX60 in the coming months.

AutomotiveMap has seen the 2020 Infiniti QX55 in person at a private media event and the 2021 Infiniti QX60 in picture form at the same event. The company also teased forthcoming electrification plans.

Infiniti COO Ashwani Gupta outlines what the plans for Infiniti are beyond then explaining that Infiniti and its parent company Nissan would begin sharing platforms in a move to slash costs. This is not unusual in the auto industry. In fact, Volkswagen Group has based its electrification strategy on flexible platforms that can be utilized by its Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche brands, among others.

In addition to the platform sharing, Infiniti will share powertrains and assembly with its mass market counterpart. Today, Infiniti vehicles are made at six plants: two in Japan, two in China, one in Mexico, and one in Smyrna, Tennessee. The forthcoming QX60 is made beside the Nissan Pathfinder in the U.S. so we should see both redesigns at the same time (likely at the L.A. Auto Show later this year).

2020 Infiniti QX80 Infiniti recently updated the interior design of its QX80. Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Those new models will begin to rapidly roll out in 2023.

The U.S. and China will be the company's primary market focus as the company reshapes its brand. In the early part of the century, Infiniti was known for creating fresh versions of Nissan vehicles that were upmarket. The company abandoned this strategy in an effort to give the Infiniti brand its own unique line of models. With global sales in decline, the company appears to be reverting to old strategy to shore up its finances and future.

Infiniti isn't the only brand attempting to return to the successes of the late 90s and early 2000s. Acura has begun rolling out a bold strategy featuring performance-focused models, including the 2021 Acura TLX and TLX Type S.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The design study gives customers an idea of what to expect out of the next-gen QX60

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

It’s not the next-gen Infiniti QX60, but it is darn close. The Infiniti QX60 Monograph is a concept car and design study of the forthcoming new version of the three-row SUV.

"We commenced the design of the Monograph knowing this was an opportune time to start a discussion about where we are planning to take the QX60 in the future and more broadly, where we are heading as a brand with our design language'" said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president, Global Design, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.

Infiniti QX60 Monograph Slim headlights and an athletic stance make the face of the SUV unique.Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Consider it a detailed plan. Even Infiniti itself is relaying that the QX60 Monograph “provides tangible insight” into the new model from proportions to design elements. With the new QX60, Infiniti looks to not break the mold, which their buyers love, but instead refine what customers expect.

"In crafting this Monograph, we wanted to change the tonality of the QX60 and transform the nameplate from a sculptural and architectural point of view. We raised the visual center of gravity, giving it a strong, straight shoulder line that carries through to the hood, with a higher, more prominent grille, and longer-looking cabin to deliver a sense of muscularity and a commanding presence" Albaisa said.

The QX60 Monograph is more muscular than the current QX60, with distinctive athletic styling that sets it apart from the usual SUV crowd and gives it its own Infiniti identity. A long wheelbase, teardrop-like greenhouse, and sweeping lines give the SUV a new profile. A horizontal window line and wide backside are designed to give the concept a sense of poise and stability.

Infiniti QX60 Monograph The SUV’s grille features a fresh design.Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Infiniti is showcasing the QX60 Monograph with a platinum plant color that mimics the qualities of liquid metal. It features a black roof that is on-trend for the current design environment. On top of the car is a panoramic roof that features a “kimono fold” pattern.

"The QX60 Monograph embodies the Japanese concept of 'Ma,' a sense of minimalism where designers seek harmony, adding just the right amount of elements with very specific meaning to create something special. This is evident on the body, where at a glance it is simple, but when you get closer, you see that there are elements that are playing against each other in a sense of harmony." Albaisa explains.

At the front of the SUV is a new take on the traditional Infiniti grille - a two dimensional surface that projects a sense of three-dimensional depth. It’s a mesh pattern that repeats on the car’s side intakes.

Infiniti QX60 Monograph Infiniti has given the SUV a black roof.Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Infiniti calls the lighting at the front and rear of the SUV “Digital Piano Key” technology saying that it projects a “futuristic appearance”. The taillights are tinted and appear to wrap around the sides of the vehicle. The lamps are accompanied by a glowing “infinite road” brand emblem.

Infiniti QX60 Monograph The model’s taillights appear to wrap around the vehicle.Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

The interior of the model was not shown and not detailed as part of this design study. It is expected that a thoroughly modern, new interior is on tap for the next-gen QX60.

The production version of the next generation QX60 is expected in 2021.

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The Lordstown Endurance all-electric pickup truck is moving closer to production.

Photo courtesy of Lordstown Motors

The Lordstown Endurance isn’t under production yet, but the company is already receiving orders for the all-electric pickup truck - 40,000 of them. The model is targeted at commercial fleet vehicle buyers like city governments and large corporate entities that require the capability of a full-size truck.

Each pre-order is a non-binding agreement to purchase the truck, the same as the reservations received by Ford for the Mustang Mach-E and Tesla for the Cybertruck. The purchases equal $2 billion in revenue for the company, which is based in Lordstown, Ohio.

2021 Lordstown Endurance The design of the interior of the Endurance is crisp and modern.Photo courtesy of Lordstown Motors

Lordstrown has kicked up the cadence of its news releases as the company moves closer to production. In June, the company debuted the truck and announced its $52,000 price point.

July marked the release of the first renderings of the interior of the Endurance and the debut of the first commercial starring the truck. Then, in August, Lordstown announced that they had entered into an agreement with DiamondPeak Holdings to become a publicly traded company.

Lordstown Motors is operating out of the former General Motors Lordstown Assembly site. The new company has its plant next to the battery facility that General Motors is developing to assist with the products coming to market in the future, like the Cadillac Lyriq.

2021 Lordstown Endurance The large screen combines most vital functions of the car’s command center into one place.Photo courtesy of Lordstown Motors

Now, the company as revealed its first pictures of the interior of the truck. Notably, the Endurance has its large screen spanning the width of the driver and center console, housing most all vital functional controls of the vehicle.

Reservations for the truck continue to be taken via the company’s website.

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