Announced and Teased: 2021 Infiniti QX55 Sport-Ute “Coupe”
Small, Swoopy SUV Inspired by First-Generation Infiniti FX
Sport-utility "coupes" are becoming one of the hottest luxury SUV segments, offering the elevated stance of their boxier counterparts, but wrapped in a swoopier package. The latest vehicle to throw its hat into the ring is the upcoming 2021 Infiniti QX55, announced at this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
Infiniti revealed few details surrounding the QX55, but it did show a teaser brushstroke of the SUV. Up front, muscular shoulders and what could be a clamshell-style hood recall the more traditional QX50 crossover, which was new for 2019. However, from the A-pillar back, the teaser image shows a roofline that looks very much like a legitimate sports car, rather than the slightly awkward turtle-shell contours of the BMW X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe. Pronounced haunches on the brushstroke lead to what we hope is an angular, Kamm-style tail.
Infiniti says the QX55 was inspired by the distinctive first-generation FX sport-ute, but we see more Aston Martin DBX concept in the roofline (that's not an insult in the slightest). Of course, making final styling assumptions based on such a crude doodle is quite foolish, so we'll reserve judgment for when the 2021 Infiniti QX55 is fully revealed, possibly as soon as this year's Los Angeles Auto Show in November.
"QX55" is a new nameplate for Infiniti, representing the SUV's tweener status in the Infiniti lineup—using a similar strategy, BMW places its X4 and X6 coupes above their respective X3 and X5 SUV counterparts. Likely based on the QX50 crossover, the QX55 should get that vehicle's running gear, including its standard Variable Compression Turbo (VC-T) 2.0L I-4 with 268 hp and 280 lb-ft. We also presume that the QX50's continuously variable transmission and front-wheel-drive-biased all-wheel drive will make the jump. If that's the case, the QX55 might ape the styling of a coupe while offering the relaxed (read: not very sporty) driving experience of other luxury crossovers.
Nevertheless, the style-conscious 2021 Infiniti QX55 could be something of a return to form for the company, whose FX crossover arguably invented the "sport-utility coupe" segment when it was introduced for 2003. While the QX55 might not be as athletic as that SUV—which actually shared architecture with the Nissan Z sports car—it will likely be just as fashionable. And crucially for Infiniti, it might be even more popular. The QX55 arrives at dealers next summer.