Infiniti QX50 Flexes its Guns at Detroit

The first host of the VC-T engine wows the crowd.

Infiniti gets it right with the QX50. They're understanding of the market has resulted in what looks to be a top competitor, featuring class-leading powertrain tech and upscale interior luxury. The manufacturer has been building hype for the next generation QX50 for months now, claiming it will be the first model to get their Variable Compression Turbo engine. Aside from that, it's stellar looks and fit work together to make what you see here -- a potential benchmark for the class.

The spotlight is directed toward's the VC-T powerplant. The 2.0L turbo four uses technology that's an industry-first, allowing the combustion chamber to expand and contract with throttle input. This allows for higher performance from less displacement while still returning diesel-like fuel economy when off-throttle. The VC-T will deliver power similar to a V6 while attaining fuel sippage comparable to a smaller four pot. It's intended to find its way into many of Inifiniti's products, but the QX50 will be the inaugural display.

The QX50's interior is an exceptional blend of contemporary equipment and classy design. In many cases, especially concept cars, the first outweighs the latter, making the style as timeless as a broken clock. Their thought-out placement of rich materials give the cabin an intricate feel, even for the price point. Splashes of accent colors add excitement to the normal scheme, oozing aesthetics in addition to comfort.

Driver aids were also under the microscope. We expect almost every new model to feature some sort of driverless equipment, but Infiniti and their parent company Nissan view things differently. Instead of taking the driver out of the equation, they want to assist them in typical situations. Lane keep assist and blind spot monitoring are a given, but they don't want to take it as far as complete autonomy. The QX50 will therefor act as a co-pilot when fitted with such tech, helping keep you on the straight and narrow without overstepping its bounds.

We're all anxious to see the QX50 hit showrooms in 2018. It's a tasteful mix of technology and usefulness that makes us car-geeks feel cozy inside -- without being a cutting edge supercar. It foreshadows equipment of the future while still keeping things relevant, a feat that many struggle to achieve. Plus, it looks downright good.