Infiniti chose the 2010 New York Auto Show for the global debut of the all-new, second generation Infiniti QX56. After being entertained by Cirque du Soleil dancers (Infiniti is their sponsor), the wraps were taken off the QX, and Infiniti ‘s Carlos Tavares took to the stage. My first reaction to the QX was one of relief-I thought the first generation QX was possibly one of the ugliest SUV’s ever built. Where the old QX was awkward and lacking any design cohesion, the longer, wider and lower new QX remedies those ills with a package that looks like a proper, full-size SUV should. My only complaints are the front grill (a bit overwrought) and the venti-ports on the front fenders (this is not a Buick, people). Still, a dramatic improvement over the old car.
Power to the QX is delivered from a new, 5.6L V-8, good for 400hp and 413 lb. ft. of torque, coupled to a new 7-speed automatic. Infiniti boasts the new engine has 25% more power than the old QX, while delivering a 10% improvement in fuel economy. Buyers can choose from rear wheel or all-wheel drive. Maximum towing capacity is 8,500 lbs. The QX offers standard seating for seven passengers, with the option for eight.
During his presentation of the new QX, Mr. Tavares frequently referenced the SUV’s luxury, and “five star travel experience.” Without coming right out and saying so, the impression was the new QX56 has the goods to go up against the Lexus LX570 and the Range Rover, considered by most the top-tier luxury SUVs. The 2011 QX56 starts at $56,700USD for two-wheel drive, and $59,800USD for all-wheel drive-the exact same price as the outgoing model, and with more standard equipment. Can the QX deliver a true five-star travel experience while costing a staggering $17,000 less than the Lexus LX570? Stay tuned!
The 2011 Infiniti QX56 arrives in showrooms this summer.