Infiniti Qs Inspiration Concept (2019)
Infiniti Qs Inspiration Concept
The Infiniti Qs Inspiration is a sports sedan concept developed for the electrified era. It offers a new perspective on sports sedans with an elevated driving position and high-performance electrified all-wheel drive (e-AWD) power.
Representing Infiniti's desire to continually challenge tradition, the Qs Inspiration previews a forthcoming Infiniti production model and hints at the company's electrified future, in which the brand will offer electric and e-POWER powertrains across its line-up. The concept's flexible architecture has been developed to accommodate high-performance electrified powertrains. It has enabled Infiniti's designers to reinterpret traditional 'three-box' sedan design, with the freedom to experiment with the exterior proportions and create a spacious, lounge-like interior.
Drawing on Infiniti's Japanese DNA, the Qs Inspiration Concept confirms Infiniti's new form language for its forthcoming electrified vehicles. Inspired by art and modern architecture, the design embraces the Japanese spatial concept of 'Ma', emphasizing the open spaces between bold lines.
The clean and concise ambience of the cabin merges a sense of Japanese design composure with striking artistry and craftsmanship, and two distinct zones. The driver-centric cockpit area is clutter-free and features colors, forms and materials to better engage the driver, visually referencing the car's performance potential. For the passenger zone there is a more relaxed ambience, with individual seats and a subtle color palette that make the most of the generous interior space.
Establishing Infiniti's electrified form language
The Infiniti Qs Inspiration is the latest in a series of design studies confirming Infiniti's new form language for the electrified era.
These aesthetics are underpinned by Infiniti's desire to challenge convention and design cars which are engaging, enriching, enabling and enchanting - what the company calls its '4EN' approach to design.
One facet of this philosophy was illustrated by the QX Inspiration concept, first revealed at the 2019 North American International Auto Show, 'enabling' drivers with a practical SUV body, spacious and handcrafted interior, and a suite of technologies to make driving more enjoyable and relaxing.
This '4EN' approach extends to the new Qs Inspiration, with its novel mechanical proportions and convention-defying forms. It 'engages' drivers by inviting them to reappraise what a sports sedan could look like in the electrified era. Its interior design is equally engaging, with the focused cockpit area providing strong visual references to the car's performance potential, and a passenger area characterized by its spacious and relaxing lounge-like ambience.
The new Infiniti Qs Inspiration gives expression to the potency and character of Infiniti's future electrified powertrains, as well as the brand's heritage.
The Qs Inspiration sets a precedent for the launch of a powerful electrified production sports sedan for the future. With Infiniti devoted to technological and design innovation, the Qs Inspiration concept follows other concepts in signaling the brand's design direction.
Evolving the sedan for the electrified era
The Infiniti Qs Inspiration introduces a distinctive new body style for Infiniti, challenging the accepted 'three-box' sedan layout. Unshackled from the requirement to accommodate an internal combustion engine as the principal means of propulsion, the physical proportions of the sports sedan can be transformed.
An all-new flexible vehicle architecture, developed specifically for the brand's evolving portfolio of electrified powertrains, is being introduced by Infiniti for a range of body styles.
The conventional high-capacity engine and requisite drive shafts of a traditional sports sedan are eschewed in favor of a low-mounted battery pack and two powerful electric motors, one on each axle. This permits a short hood and front overhang, which, combined with the raised driving position, result in a more central, 'cabin-neutral' silhouette.
Sedans have been a part of Infiniti's line-up since the brand's inception in 1989, with enthusiast drivers drawn to their abundant power and low center of gravity. The Qs Inspiration engages drivers in a similar way. The raised driving position offers a clearer view of the road ahead, without a raised body to compromise dynamics. Furthermore, the low-mounted powertrain and potent e-AWD system is engineered to thrill drivers with instantaneous acceleration and sustained power delivery.
The Infiniti Qs Inspiration represents Infiniti's desire to continually challenge tradition and discover 'the new'. This is familiar territory for a company that launched the FX in 2002, the world's first sports crossover - and a car which refused to adhere to established 'two-box' SUV design trends of the late 1990s.
Electrified exterior design with Japanese DNA
The Qs Inspiration illustrates how Infiniti's new form language will be applied to a forthcoming production sports sedan, with proportions and details hinting directly at the potency and character of Infiniti's future electrified powertrains.
Inspired by the art and modern architecture of Japan, the car embraces the Japanese spatial concept of 'Ma'. This emphasizes the smooth, muscular spaces between sharp, sheer lines in the bodywork, building anticipation for the electrified performance that lies beneath its clean 'Liquid White' exterior. The effect is reminiscent of origami, the Japanese art of folding paper.
At the front, the Qs Inspiration does away with an air intake; there is no need to cool an internal combustion engine. To hint at its performance focus, however, it retains the outline of a grille, with a smooth panel and illuminated Infiniti logo in the center, with channels either side to divert air around the body.
Razor-sharp headlamps feature a technical 'kimono fold' etching - a laser-like pattern inspired by the straight lines that typify modern Japanese architecture. The 'kimono fold' detail also features in the rear lamps, two arrow-straight light units which give the tailgate an aerodynamically 'clean' trailing edge.
Short front and rear overhangs and a cab-neutral silhouette give the car more balanced overall proportions than traditional sedans. However, with a longer cabin than conventional sedans, blacked-out A-pillars visually lengthen the appearance of the Infiniti Qs Inspiration, shifting the visual center of gravity slightly towards the rear.
Locating the powertrain low down has allowed designers to give the car a powerful, muscular body, enhanced by a sharp, uninterrupted beltline extending from the headlamps to the rear. Bold 22-inch aluminum alloy rims with the 'kimono fold' detail etched into the surface are shod in high-performance tires - with tread replicating the same pattern.
The Qs Inspiration features another new signature of Infiniti design: a vermilion line in the C-pillar, highlighted with gold. Inspired by Japanese urushi lacquerware and gold kintsugi ceramics, the two colors combined are often used in painted Japanese artwork to express the power and energy of the sun.
Performance-oriented cabin engages the driver and welcomes passengers
The cabin of the Qs Inspiration has a distinct focus on driving enjoyment, engaging the driver with a physical and visual expression of power and performance. Where traditional sports sedans cocoon drivers in a tight, enclosed cockpit, surrounded by covered instruments, Infiniti Qs Inspiration's more spacious, open cabin - possible thanks to its electrified powertrain not intruding on cabin space - means designers have expressed performance in new and unconventional ways.
While the widescreen display on the dashboard and the center console touchscreen are each oriented slightly towards the driver, the structure of the instrument panel is more openly visible to other passengers. This effect is further enhanced by the ambient lighting system, which gradually emanates outwards along the dashboard, away from the steering wheel and around the front of the cabin.
Distinct colors and materials focus and engage the driver. The carpet is a soft grey throughout the car, but phases into a vivid vermillion, a shade called shu in Japanese, beneath the driver. The 'hot seat' is trimmed in white leather with bright shu piping, where the other three seats are finished in a more subdued palette.
The graphical user interface and lighting flood the cabin in shu red when the driver places the car in 'Driving Mode'. The dashboard is finished in forged carbon fiber, giving an artistic, organic appearance to a material best known for its technical, high-performance connotations. This forged carbon fiber surface is embedded with glass fins, which light up red during the car's start-up sequence.
The driving position further enhances a sense of engagement. The seat's integrated head rest and supportive shape are inspired by the embracing seats of a race car. The small-diameter, rectangular steering wheel is aesthetically similar to that of the Prototype 10, with a three-dimensional structure leading away from the driver, giving the impression of the car rushing forward, like Infiniti's 'infinite road' logo.
While visual emphasis is on the driver's seat, just as much attention is given to the passenger space.
The car is designed to invite passengers into the cabin and put them at ease for the journey ahead. The electrified architecture enables three passengers to enjoy greater space in which to relax than they would in a traditional sedan. Its totally flat floor and longer wheelbase contribute to greater legroom.
The rear-hinged doors project thin lines of light onto the floor, similar to the 'kimono fold' details in the head- and tail-lights. The lines swing outwards as the doors open, inviting passengers to step inside. The two rear seats rotate outwards by 15 degrees at the same time, making it easier to get in and out. Once seated, the two rear seats rotate back into the car - with a further eight degrees' rotation available if the passengers wish to enjoy easier conversation.
A diffuser between the two rear seats periodically releases a scent into the cabin reminiscent the fragrance released by rain hitting summer grass after a spell of hot, sunny weather. Created in partnership with '@aroma', the natural fragrance has been designed to further relax passengers.
In 'Relax Mode' (as opposed to 'Driving Mode'), ambient lighting in the cabin shifts from shu red to ama-yo, a soft turquoise associated with relaxation in Japan.
At the heart of the cabin's design is a focus on omotenashi, the Japanese approach to hospitality and welcoming guests. The overall design of the cabin is also inspired by a subtle Japanese sensuality.
Infiniti's Japanese DNA is reflected throughout the interior with a palette of restrained, relaxing colors. Its layout and forms are also reminiscent of Japanese interior design, with structural forms and a devotion to artistry and craftsmanship creating a truly inviting passenger cabin.
The three supportive passenger seats are finished in white leather and light grey cashmere, with the inside of the doors and carpet beneath each seat trimmed in soft grey. The seats themselves feature an artistic, more literal execution of the pattern found in some of the more technical exterior details - in this instance, panels of white leather are artfully folded over one another, like a carefully-folded kimono.
The headlining of the car is replaced by a unique timber structure, inspired by Japanese architecture, with louvers finished in sugi, Japanese cedar. The sun penetrating the cabin between the louvers cast moving shadows throughout the interior, creating pleasant diffused lighting for passengers. A final flourish, the passenger space also features a series of soft gold highlights inspired by kintsugi on the seats and doors for a further sense of Japanese design throughout the lounge-like cabin.
A choice of electric and e-POWER performance powertrains
The Qs Inspiration Concept sets a direct precedent for a forthcoming electrified production model from Infiniti, one of a series of advanced-powertrain road cars to be launched by the brand in the coming years. Electrification is a natural next step for the company, and presents an opportunity to reinvent the Infiniti brand globally through high-performance, low-emissions models which offer a thrilling driving experience and total range confidence.
As a member of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance - the global leader in low- and zero-emissions vehicles - a range of ultra-low emissions technology is available to Infiniti. The brand's future models will offer drivers a mixture of fully-electric and e-POWER performance vehicles. These powertrains will be matched with dedicated platforms and vehicle architectures, delivering the high performance, complete range confidence and low environmental impact that buyers are coming to expect from premium car manufacturers.
The Infiniti Qs Inspiration joins the QX Inspiration Concept in signaling the brand's intentions to produce a range of electrified vehicles.