Last week at the Paris Motor Show Infiniti introduced the progressive Q80 Inspiration to the world and provided a glimpse into its high-performance hybrid-electric powertrain future.
“After showing Q30 Concept and Q50 Eau Rouge, Infiniti is eager to show the upper range of our portfolio expansion,” said Infiniti Executive Design Director, Alfonso Albaisa. “In Q80 Inspiration, we wanted to capture that unforgettable feeling when you experience something important, something beautiful, something magnetic for the first time.”
“From a design perspective, the Q80 Inspiration is the epitome of provocation, a car that breaks the mold of traditional premium sedan dimension and body form,” said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director. “It delivers feminine elegance and muscular menace in equal measure and strikes big in terms of styling, craftsmanship, choice of materials and attention to detail.”
The car’s initial design was done at Infiniti’s new studio in Paddington, London, under the direction of British-born Simon Cox. Cox has form on concepts, having done a string of dramatic and Cadillac carss. The design was then transferred to Japan, finished and built there for its global debut in Paris.
The concept takes the form of a four-door fastback. Created to serve as “a design and technological highlight to which Infiniti’s four worldwide design studios will refer regularly in coming years,” the Q80 Inspiration may be more design study than pre-production prototype. But the concept is to be taken seriously, “as clear intent to have an entry into the newly defined premium fastback segment.” This was confirmed during the show in which we are expecting to see a production version follow the concept.
The Q80 features a teardrop greenhouse, with four doors opening “portal style” into a four-seat cabin (1 + 1 + 1 + 1, as Infiniti calls it) made up of carbon fiber, aluminum and leather. The Q80 Inspiration concept boasts phenomenal performance with 550hp at its disposal, delivered by an all-new, downsized twin turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 and hybrid electric powertrain.
We suspect the new engine offers a precursor to a family of engines that will be introduced to the Infiniti portfolio within the next two years. Coupled to the innovative hybrid powertrain is a smart drivetrain with the ability to switch from rear wheel drive to all wheel drive on demand, or as conditions dictate. Expect to see more in late 2015.