For many people and a lot of companies, the auto industry is all about innovation, about pushing ahead with bold new ideas and creating something we’ve never seen before. That’s where the idea of the “concept car” comes from – the idea of playing with ideas while creating a vehicle as a concept rather than a concrete reality. Something like the Infiniti QX Inspiration is the perfect example of that very idea: a concept car that allows designers and developers to try out bold and exciting innovations in a way that is completely open.
And that’s all well and good – it’s no different from an artist experimenting on a canvas, with no real end-goal in mind, or a writer trying out new ways of developing a character and hoping it will make sense in the end. But, at the end of the day, there has to be a point where we understand and realize whether something is a concept car through and through, never meant for reality or the first draft at a final product. But that distinction isn’t always easy to make.
Today, let’s take a look at the Infiniti QX Inspiration and try to decide if it’s going to become a real vehicle, or if it’s merely an aspiration that will vanish into the ethereal.
What is the Infiniti QX Inspiration?
The Infiniti QX Inspiration (from here on, I’ll mostly refer to it simply as the “Inspiration” because repeatedly typing QX is going to make my fingers fall off) is an all-electric concept car revealed by Infiniti quite some time ago. We first saw it teased and revealed in early 2019 as part of the Detroit Auto Show. Since then, a more extensive reveal has been made, and there’s even a very lengthy and informative preview of the vehicle on Infiniti’s website.
However, it should be noted that it’s not listed as a vehicle available or even in-development on the site. The Inspiration is explored on Infiniti’s blog, which means it’s an article about the concept car, nothing more. At no point does the blog state that it will be commercially available, or when people should expect to be able to buy one. Essentially, it is Infiniti’s first fully-electric vehicle in concept; it’s not necessarily reality.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the key features of this very impressive piece of maybe-real machinery.
QX Inspiration Key Features – Clamshell Doors
One of the first things you’ll notice as soon as you see the Inspiration is its doors. When closed, they’re not particularly noteworthy, and they look fairly similar to the doors on any other vehicle. However, as they open, you’ll quickly realize there’s a substantial difference: they open from the middle out – the rear door opening toward the back of the vehicle and the front door opening toward the front.
Your first instinct might be that this is simply a flashy bit of nonsense, little different from old suicide doors. As you look closer, however, you’ll notice something very important: There’s nothing between the front and rear doors. The body doesn’t have anything connecting the roof and floor between the front seats and the rear seats on the sides, where you’d normally have a clear separation between front and rear doors. It’s just open.
This is a pretty startling thing to see at first, even if it can take a moment to recognize. It creates an incredibly open interior just when you look at it from the outside. And this open design continues as you enter the vehicle.
QX Inspiration Key Features – Lounge Interior
It’s no coincidence that the interior feels so open as you look at it from the outside because this is fully expressed once you’re inside. Rather than design the interior like every other vehicle you’ve ever been in, the inside of the Inspiration is designed with a “lounge-like” feel to it. The front and rear seats feel much more like they are inside a room together, rather than like they are in two separate spaces.
I’ve actually never quite seen an interior that feels so much like a shared space as the one found in the Inspiration – it’s gorgeous. There’s a tendency with EV concept cars to go for futuristic aesthetics devoid of any real sense to them (looking at you, Cybertruck). But here, there’s a clear sense of purpose on display. The desire is to create an interior that feels like a cohesive space shared by passengers both in the front and rear, rather than disparate spaces occupied by people that might as well be far removed from each other.
QX Inspiration Key Features – Inspired by Japanese Heritage
All of this design, inside and out, draws its Inspiration from Infiniti’s Japanese heritage (Infiniti is the luxury division of the Nissan auto company). The exterior has design elements taken from origami, with “creases” based on the look of folded paper, as well as color treatments based on ceramics and lacquerware from Japan. Everything was designed using the spatial concept of “Ma,” which is a Japanese approach that looks at the open space between lines and how they relate and fit together.
The interior is no different. The cabin’s open lounge design is based on the Japanese principles of hospitality to bring the passengers together, while timber louvers on the roof create distinctive patterns of light across the interior reminiscent of being inside an old, comfortable home. Even the lighting inside the Inspiration draws from the colors of Japanese spring, with warm hues and ambient shades that are meant to calm the passengers and create an experience unlike anything else you’ll find on the road.
QX Inspiration Key Features – Fully Electric Performance
What about performance? Well, the Inspiration is meant to be Infiniti’s first fully electric vehicle, offering a fantastic combination of power and range while on the road. The gorgeous exterior and interior are designed to be a rich experience that you surround yourself with while you go wherever life takes you, without worrying about gas and other concerns. But again, what about performance?
Good question. No one knows because there’s no information about the range or the performance that the Inspiration might have to offer. According to Infiniti, it would have electric motors on each axle, providing it with all-wheel drive, and battery packs located beneath the floor of the vehicle. And that’s it, that’s pretty much all Infiniti has said, beyond talk about developing a platform and driver confidence. No real numbers or specs to speak of.
It’s not a great sign, to be honest.
The Verdict: Fact or Fiction?
So what do I think: Infiniti QX Inspiration, is it fact or fiction? Honestly, for now, it seems to be nothing more than what it claims to be: a concept. There are great ideas, gorgeous visuals, and design elements here. It certainly wouldn’t be surprising to see a vehicle come along at some point from Infiniti that uses all or some of these concepts together and makes them a reality.
For now, however, there’s really nothing to prove that there’s anything substantial here, or anything under the surface. Without working for Infiniti, or knowing what’s going on behind the scenes, it’s impossible to know. They’re likely watching other developers release EV models, though, and seeing how each one performs, learning from what others are doing, and making their take on it the best possible version. But for now, don’t start saving money and waiting for the Inspiration to become a reality because we just don’t know when that will be.