If you thought Audi’s recently revealed Q5 Sportback would be the last compact luxury SUV to call itself a coupe, you were sorely mistaken because Infiniti is now getting (back) into the slopey SUV game with the 2022 QX55. As its name and the picture above suggest, it’s essentially a less square version of the existing QX50 and, according to Infiniti, a spiritual successor to the old FX.
Remember the FX? Of course you do. In case you don’t, though, it was that round-looking Infiniti SUV that was pretty popular in burnt orange throughout the mid-2000s. In retrospect, it was kind of a “coupe SUV” before the BMW X6 came along and officially made “coupe SUVs” a thing several years later.
Made to compete with the aforementioned Q5 Sportback, BMW’s X4 and the GLC Coupe from Mercedes-Benz, the QX55 will be powered by the same engine as the QX50: that funky Variable Compression Turbo 2.0-liter good for 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. You can read more about the nitty-gritty of how it works here but, in short, Infiniti’s innovative four-cylinder can adjust its compression ratio on-the-fly from 14:1 to 8:1, offering optimum power or efficiency as driving situations dictate. The VC-Turbo motor is linked to a continuously variable transmission which itself is hooked up to a standard all-wheel-drive system capable of sending 50 percent of the power to the rear axle when slip is detected. The QX55 is functionally front-wheel-drive otherwise.
Inside, the Infiniti QX55 should also feel familiar to anyone who’s spent any time in the QX50. Like that crossover, the QX55’s center stack consists of two touchscreens: an eight-incher up top and a seven-inch unit below. The screens control what plays out of the available Bose speakers and run a system that can be updated over-the-air. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are here too, of course, with the latter now able to be triggered wirelessly for the first time in an Infiniti.
With its more, er, “stylish” rear end, the QX55 does take a mild hit in the cargo department. With the second-row seats up, cargo volume comes in at 26.9 cubic feet while the regular QX50 is good for at least 31 cubes. However, Infiniti makes sure to point out that 26.9 cubic feet is still significantly more hauling room than what you get in the BMW X4 and GLC Coupe, a bit of a sore point when we tested the Merc earlier this year. Another thing we can file safely under “shots fired” is Infiniti specifying in its press materials that the QX55’s suite of ProPilot assisted-driving tech will not come with a subscription fee, a clear jab at Cadillac’s decision to put Super Cruise behind a monthly paywall after the first three years of ownership.
Whether or not nostalgic styling, better-than-the-Joneses cargo room, and “free” advanced driver-assistance systems will sway buyers in the market for a more athletically styled compact luxury crossover remains to be seen but we’ll soon find out when the 2022 Infiniti QX55 arrives in spring 2021.
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