The 2022 Infiniti QX55 may be all new, but in some ways it’s a revival. Back in 2002 when sport utility vehicles were generally big square boxes, Infiniti, the luxury division of Nissan, created a cocktail of sports car style and truck brawn unlike any other. The vehicle was the Infiniti FX, and it was the first time “coupe” met “crossover.”
Discussing the old design earlier this year and crossover coupes in general, Infiniti’s senior global designer Taisuke Nakamura said that the category actually “didn’t exist before the FX.” The stylish FX was a big hit for Infiniti and “helped set the convention-pushing direction we’ve taken since,” said Nakmura.
Infiniti hopes a little bit of the FX magic will translate to the new QX55, a similarly sleek crossover coupe that the automaker has said is a direct reinterpretation of the FX’s silhouette. It stands out even among coupe crossovers but it isn’t a retro look.
“Recalling the past while looking toward the future is what inspired us to create the QX55,” said Nissan’s global design chief Alfonso Albaisa. Albaisa, a fan of the original FX and present at its creation, wanted the new SUV to be distinctive. “Some SUVS try to deliver something to every buyer. We wanted to deliver a product that can be everything to a really passionate buyer.”
Albaisa said that the QX55 gives the look a new context and a new scale: smaller. Infiniti’s targets are newer competitors like the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe.
The QX55 is due to arrive at dealers in the spring of 2021 and is based on Infiniti’s more traditional QX50 compact SUV. Both are powered by the same turbocharged 268-horsepower, variable-compression four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission. They should be similar to drive, though all-wheel drive is standard on the QX55 and only optional on the QX50.
Performance wise, the QX55 compares well on power with the X4 XDrive30i and the GLC300 4Matic Coupe, with a little more power than either and falling right between the two in terms of overall weight. The QX55 will only have the one engine, however, while the BMW and the Mercedes have more powerful six-cylinder versions for those with bigger budgets.
Mechanical aspects aside, it’s style and luxury that set the QX55 apart, both from its more conventional sister and from other compact crossover coupes. It’s well- dressed head to toe, starting with a set of exclusive 20-inch wheels.
The sloping roof and subtle black spoiler do evoke the FX from many angles and give the coupe a bold shape, but most of the design language is modern Infiniti cues. It references the past, but doesn’t dwell on it too long or imitate it too closely.
Differentiating it further from its QX50 sibling are a larger origami-inspired version of the modern Infiniti grille, slim headlights and taillights, and different front and rear bumper treatments. The taillight units use 45 LEDs each to create a “piano key” effect.
Inside the QX55 a little more carries over from its sibling. The dashboard and center console are lifted from the QX50 but given different color treatments, as is the interior trim. The seats get their own colors and patterns to set them apart, and feature attractive multi-tone combinations like red over black.
Infiniti’s dual-screen infotainment system is also carried over, but will now have standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.
Like all coupes, the slick looks and sloping roof trade utility for style. The cargo area behind the rear seats drops from 31.4 cubic- feet in the QX50 to 26.9 in the QX55. There is, however, somewhat less sacrifice in the QX55 than other crossover coupes. Both the X4 and the GLC coupe have a little less cargo space and the QX55 has marginally more rear legroom.
The QX55 won’t arrive in showrooms until late spring of 2021, but when it does it’ll come in three trims—Luxe, Essential, and Sensory—which should roughly mirror the similarly-named trims on the QX50 but with their own cosmetic touches. Consumers can expect a large range of tech and safety features including Infiniti’s ProPilot Assist system, Nissan’s one-button approach to adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assistance.
Infiniti hasn’t yet released pricing information, but the QX55 will likely command a slight premium over the QX50 and start at around $44,500 after destination fees are added. Style fans everywhere are waiting.