by Sommer Thornton
Infiniti pushes the limits of the premium sedan class with its Q80 Inspiration Concept whip unveiled at the Paris Motor Show. The bold, efficient beastly powertrain and sophisticated luxury technology are Q80 elements we hope make it to production. The sexy concept whip would attract sports car fans and luxury sedan seekers with its hypercar performance and elegant design.
The Q80 concept is aimed at disrupting the premium sedan category. The new Q80 Inspiration indeed looks futuristic with its long wheelbase over 10 feet long and wide stance of over 6 feet.
Innovations continue inside, where driver and passengers are ushered in to four individual seats via wide portal-style doors.
The sleek Q80 concept sits on 22 inch 5-spoke light weight alloy wheels and has LED headlights and taillights. The sporty concept saves weight with its carbon fiber/ aluminum monocell and carbon fiber, chrome, and aluminum components.
And the stylish RWD Q80 has active front shutters to help its ripped body glide at high speeds. The Q80 is tailored with no side mirrors and a panoramic glass sunroof.
Infiniti gets an “A” for ambition with this concept whip that boasts sex appeal, brains, brawn, and performance! Along with a contemporary fastback design, Infiniti adds the latest hybrid technology under the hood. The Q80 has a 3 liter V6 engine and hybrid electric powertrain to kick out a combined 550 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque- beastin.
The 24-valve DOHC engine has direct injection and variable valve timing to reach 60 mph in under 4 seconds. The Q80 will have a top speed of 155 mph but is surprisingly efficient, with an EPA that’s said to be in the 40 mph range. The Q80’s V6 is a precursor to a family of engines that will be introduced with the brand in the next few years.
Coupled with innovative hybrid powertrain, a sport drivetrain reinforces sporty appeal with the ability to switch from rear-wheel drive to all-wheel drive on demand. The V6 is matched to a 9 speed automatic transmission and features adaptive suspension.
I assumed the interior of the Q80 Inspiration would be as tricked out as the exterior. The interior is donned with quilted leather Alcantara and trimmed in carbon fiber, aluminum and wood.
The 4-seater lux-mobile has sophisticated style and innovative autonomous technology. Using cameras, lasers, and sensors, autonomous tech can enhance the driver experience and awareness; like suggesting a less congested route with navigation.
The interior also features a hi-resolution HUD for drivers and another HUD for passengers to display external data via the whips telematics system. And each rear passenger has their own touch screen along with the driver’s InTouch- style tablet at the center console.
I hope parts of this audacious whip make it into some of the Infiniti premium sedans in the near future. Lexus and Volvo should take note.
Watch Michael Bartsch, vice president, Infiniti Americas, and Alfonso Albaisa, executive design director, Infiniti Motor Company, Ltd. discuss the importance of the Q80 Inspiration as a beacon of design for vehicles that are will to appear in their dealer showrooms.