A new Infiniti QX60 SUV will enter a crowded market by the end of the year.
Only the 3.5-liter V6 is carried over, everything else is new.
Fully endorsed by Kate Hudson.
After months of camo shots and teasers, Infiniti finally pulled the cover off its coming QX60 three-row luxury crossover for all the world to see. It even had help in the launch from “Hollywood movie star” Kate Hudson, who was in a video about the Q that should be out about the time you’re reading this. So if Kate Hudson drives one (at least she did in the video) it’s got to be cool, right?
Let’s check it out.
The QX60 is all new for 2022, except for the 3.5-liter V6. The new crossover shares a lot of architecture and all of its drivetrain with the also-new Nissan Pathfinder, except that everything in the QX60 is tuned specifically for Infiniti luxury.
Even the 3.5-liter V6 produces more power and torque than its Pathfinder sibling. The QX60 makes 295 hp vs. the Pathfinder’s 284 and torque is at 270 lb ft vs. 259. The two trucks share their rated 6,000-pound towing capacities, good enough to haul an Airstream or just about whatever you want to haul.
The QX60 shares its new 9-speed automatic with the Pathfinder, replacing the CVT that previously rode in both. The new transmission sounds promising.
“The all-new QX60 has a very direct and linear acceleration feel,” assured Dave Kiesel, manager of powertrain performance at Infiniti. “It gives the driver confidence to not only increase their standing start but also passing on the freeway and in the city. You just step on the pedal, it downshifts, and you go.”
Kiesel said the 9-speed also has a larger ratio spread, almost 10:1, meaning there is a wider gearing selection for the vehicle’s shifter brain to choose from.
“This gives the customer the ability to have a standing start performance that is confident and responsive and then the corollary of that is that you also maintain your fuel economy on the freeway.”
And you could even call it sporty.
“In sports mode the transmission will actually simulate a heel-and-toe, like a race car-type response, where it matches the engine’s rpm to the drive load and basically makes it much smoother, much more responsive on the re-acceleration.”
(None of those claims have been independently verified yet.)
The 3.5-liter V6, meanwhile, is still from the award-winning VQ engine family that has served Nissan and Infiniti so well for many years. It was so good, in fact, that they didn’t change a thing on it. If it ain’t broke…
The QX60 comes standard with front wheel-drive, but awd is an option. The awd powertrain gets torque-vectoring that functions via individual application of brakes to send torque to the wheels that need it. While it should perform almost like a sporty car, with the outside wheels getting more twist in turns, it will also keep you going in a straight line in snow and ice. The system is called Active Brake Limited Slip and it’s part of Infiniti’s “Intelligent AWD.” The AWD is a direct coupling in the QX60 rather than an electromagnetic system, so it engages gears faster. When necessary, it can send up to 50 percent of torque to the rear wheels.
But few buyers will likely nitpick their way through the spec sheet, at least not the drivetrain section of it. The QX60 is, more than anything, a lifestyle choice driven by imagery dribbled into your ear and onto your social media feed by the marketing department, hence the Kate Hudson movie (pray gawd it’s not one of those phony heist films).
Like so many other luxury and non-luxury vehicles today, it’s all about the tech available.
Infiniti said that the QX60 “packs a raft of Infiniti’s intuitive technology features that make it the most family-friendly SUV yet from the automaker.”
“The all-new 2022 Infiniti QX60 was designed with busy lives — friends, family, community — in mind,” said global head of product strategy Eric Rigaux. “We focused on creating a serene environment inside that’s beautiful and practical, packed with new Infiniti IQ technology. In so many ways, the all-new QX60 is not just spacious, but stunning, and smart.”
Both stunning and smart? Wow!
Specifically, all new Qs get a 12.3-inch interactive display touchscreen for infotainment with wireless Apple CarPlay and USB-based Android Auto. An optional 12.3-inch dynamic meter display shows speed, NAV and other info. It can be paired with an “enhanced” 10.8-inch head-up display. There’s an optional wireless charging mat in the center console, and a WiFi hotspot for up to seven devices (to match the seven seats).
For the driver, Nissan/Infiniti’s ProPILOT Assist with Navi Link can actually anticipate a corner and slow the car down for it. The system is also supposed to make steering, braking and acceleration inputs “more naturally.” There’s also a Smart Rear View Mirror available in case your passengers’ heads are unusually large and getting in the way.
You can get a 17-speaker premium Bose Performance series sound system that was specifically designed for the Q.
The interior ambiance was aimed squarely at luxury.
“Stepping inside, you'll see a sense of artistry and technology,” said Alfonso Albaisa senior vice president of global design. “The architecture of the interior is also changed dramatically. It is much more horizontal, with the air vents that connect to each other giving you this enhanced sense of space …it gives a beautiful sweep, which we really love on this interior. And as you can see, our quilting is inspired by the intersection of ripples on the water. At a glance it seems geometric. But when you look closely, you can see that there is an arcing gesture that these are intersecting. And they create, again, a sense of nature, and a sense of beauty.”
Outside, Infiniti also tried to make the QX60 stand out in an increasingly crowded field of SUVs.
“One of the things we were feeling and we were hearing is that there is a desire for a little bit more road presence, an outstanding character on the road,” said Albaisa. “We felt this can be helped dramatically by design. Fundamentally, we wanted the body to be much more powerful in its proportion, the hood to be much straighter, and the nose to be more vertical, and that these would deliver this sense of a commanding presence.”
Did they succeed? That’s up to you.
The QX60 will arrive in showrooms in late-2021. Pricing and trim levels and what they offer will be revealed next month, but consider that today’s QX60 stickers from the mid- to upper 40s, putting it in line with three-row competitors like the Genesis GV70 and GV80, Acura MDX, Lexus RX and Lincoln Aviator, all of which are striving to out-feature each other, too. Sales across the board were off last year, creating a tremendous demand for cars, trucks and crossovers that will probably still be going when the new Q comes out toward the end of this year. So it has that going for it, along with all the technology listed above.
And Kate Hudson, too.
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