This week we’re continuing our coverage of the 2014 LA auto show. Today, we’re going to focus on Infiniti by examining both of the concepts they brought to this year’s LA event. Then we’ll finish off with another piece of Infiniti news we hadn’t expected to hear.
Infiniti Q80 Inspiration Concept
We’d already seen this concept’s world debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show last month, but this was the concept’s US debut. We’re talking about it again here because it’s such a cool car that it’s impossible to talk too much about it.
As Infiniti’s first-ever premium saloon, they went all-out on an incredibly eye-catching design both inside and out. Distinguishing features include the panoramic glass roof and the sleek, aerodynamic chrome and silver color scheme. And that huge front grille does more than just catch your eye – it can open at low speeds to cool the engine and close at high speeds to minimize drag.
Inside, Infiniti went the extra mile to maximize the comfort of each of up to four passengers. Both of the rear passengers get their own touchscreen, and all passengers get individual reclining armchairs. There’s even a built-in champagne bottle holder in the backseat! Materials-wise, the cabin is luxuriously fitted with quilted leather and Alcantara, along with more accent lighting than you can shake a stick at.
As we learned in Paris, the Q80 Inspiration boasts an all-new high-performance hybrid powertrain that can simultaneously pull off 150+ miles per hour and 43 miles per gallon. Power comes from a twin-turbocharged 3.0L V6 paired with an electric motor that, together, outputs a jaw-dropping 550hp.
The fact that they’re showing the Q80 Inspiration again makes that much more hopeful that it will eventually see production in some form.
Infiniti SYNAPTIQ Concept
For the past 11 years, automakers coming to LA have been invited to contribute futuristic design concepts to the annual LA Auto Show Design Challenge. This year, Infiniti really wowed us with their SYNAPTIQ Concept. This year’s theme was, “Sensing the Future: How Will Cars Interact with Us in 2029?”
The SYNAPTIQ Concept was Infiniti Design San Diego’s contribution to the challenge, and their overarching theme was modular human-to-vehicle interaction. In fact, they invented an entire back story to support the car’s design…
In the year 2029, the SYNAPTIQ will compete in the A.R.C. race, which stands for Air Rally Circuit, demanding drivers to travel across the country over land and air in a triathlon-esque motor race. You can see a visual representation of the race below:
The SYNAPTIQ will be capable of transforming from racecar to rally car to airplane, all through a SYNAPTIQ S.U.I.T. (Symbiotic User Interface Technology) which essentially taps into the driver’s spine and “connects the driver’s thoughts” to the vehicle. So, the idea is that you can use your thoughts to control the vehicle and to control what information is displayed on the virtual-reality liquid crystal interface that the driver is encased in.
Pretty crazy, right?
Even though it’s unrealistic even for 2029, it’s still a really cool concept that we hope Infiniti keeps tucked away for future reference.
Infiniti Q60 Confirmation
The last big piece of news to come out of the LA Auto Show is a confirmation that the Infiniti Q60 will be the first new vehicle coming to us in 2015. Infiniti tells us that we’ll see a preproduction concept in Detroit early next year, which means the car will likely go on sale by the end of Q2 2015.
Unfortunately, that’s about all we know for right now, so stay tuned for further updates as 2014 draws to a close. Otherwise, come back tomorrow for more LA Auto Show news!