2011 Infiniti QX: a mix of muscles and refined elegance

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

From off-road capability, what SUV carmakers really brag about now is these cars' towing capacity. In 1990, all companies that were represented in this segment boast of having off-road capability.

The luxurious features and the price of the car mostly weren't considered at all. But as the SUV market is now on its way to a full recovery, the focus is now on these cars' towing capacity. The response to this trend is Infiniti's new-generation 2011 QX56.

Despite being regarded as a luxury vehicle with its stitched leather seats, woodwork laced with powdered silver and a buttery-smooth ride, the QX56 is still a terrific work partner as it is capable of towing 8,500 pounds in two-wheel or all-wheel drive. This represents a reduction from the 2010 model, which offers 9,000 pounds of towing.

For 2011, Infiniti has redesigned the QX56 to have high-end styling but still have a balnce of family-friendly back seats and cargo room, vacation towing and high-end styling.

While rivals have switched to more fuel-efficient, carlike, crossovers, Infiniti has remained loyal to the truck. Production of the Mississippi-built, body-on-frame SUV was transferred to Japan, where it has been re-engineered off the body-on-frame Nissan Patrol platform for export.

The QX56 is being marketed by Infiniti as a vehicle for upper-end customers who travel with their children. Notably, only 38% of the luxury SUV segment has children.

Ben Poore, vice president of the Infiniti business unit, said that for QX56 buyers, the number is 70%. The model has a new center console that provides compartments for stowing games and DVDs.

On longer rides, the seats can recline and a third row of seats was intended to provide more comfort during the longer rides. Second- and third-row seats are linked to its climate control. The impact of the sun is reduced to air currents moving along back windows to decrease the effects of the sun's heat. [via autonews - sub. required]

Press Release

2011 Infiniti QX

Infiniti QX starts with a breathtaking presence, a calm strength derived of clean fluid lines that attract and hold your attention. It continues with the highest level of luxury, not just for the driver and front seat passenger, but all occupants - world class, personalized control over their environments for passengers in every seat in the house. Add in an exceptional driving experience provided by a powerful yet efficient V8 engine design and available Hydraulic Body Motion Control system. Then top it all off with intuitive functionality, which anticipates and responds to the users' needs and desires. Introducing the all-new 2011 Infiniti QX, the latest example of inspired design, performance, technology and craftsmanship from Infiniti. Available in two models, the Infiniti QX56 4WD 7-passenger and QX56 4WD 8-passenger, it is scheduled to go on sale at Infiniti retailers nationwide in summer 2010.

"Following closely on the introduction of the all-new 2011 Infiniti M, the 2011 Infiniti QX gives us an incredible presence in full-size performance luxury vehicles - perfect for buyers seeking style, comfort, roominess and driving exhilaration," said Wendy Durward, Director, Infiniti Canada. "Both the new M and QX also offer a full range of available innovative technology, including Blind Spot Warning and the Infiniti QX's advanced Hydraulic Body Motion Control system."

The second-generation Infiniti QX has been totally redesigned from the platform up. Its new high-stiffness frame structure enhances ride comfort while reducing noise, vibration and harshness. The new 5.6-litre V8 engine combines the responsive acceleration of Infiniti's VVEL (Variable Valve Event & Lift) technology with the efficiency of Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG?) and 7-speed automatic transmission. With 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque, the Infiniti QX can handle tasks such as towing boats or trailers (8,500-pound towing capacity), while also offering over 10% better fuel economy than the previous generation Infiniti QX.

Inside the distinctive Infiniti QX body is an interior long on luxury, including standard Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System, Around View? Monitor and Bose? 2-channel, 13-speaker Premium Audio System, and perforated semi-aniline leather seating and a dual 7-inch color headrest monitor DVD system which allows different sources to be played at the same time. The 2011 Infiniti QX also offers ample 1st and 2nd row roominess, as well as generous luggage space.

An All-New Exterior With A Breathtaking Presence

The 2011 Infiniti QX is conceived to attract and hold viewers' attention, conveying its underlying sense of power and strength. The design is dynamic, its size capable of transporting eight adults and their belongings with spacious elegance. The bold front chrome grille is flanked by automatic on/off bi-functional xenon headlights with pop-up headlight washers and integrated front fog lights. Auto-leveling headlights with Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) are optionally available.

Other exterior features include LED taillights, heated, power-folding sideview mirrors with integrated turn signals, courtesy lights and reverse tilt-down feature, body colour running boards, body colour integrated front and rear splash guards built into the wheel arches, roof rails and crossbars, power sliding tinted glass moonroof and a power rear liftgate.

The new Infiniti QX features revised dimensions versus the previous generation - 1.4-inches (35.56 mm) longer, 1.1-inches (27.94 mm) wider and 3.8-inches (96.52 mm) lower in overall height. A front underbody spoiler, rear liftgate spoiler and redesigned side mirrors help provide improved aerodynamics of 0.37 Cd and zero lift. The Infiniti QX's strong presence is accented by the powerful wheel and tire combinations - standard 20-inch and available 22-inch - and a palette of six distinctive exterior colors.

"The look is clearly Infiniti with its signature Infiniti grille, broad shoulders and large greenhouse," said Durward. "It's rugged, sophisticated and completely captivating."

Power and Innovation Under the Skin

The 2011 Infiniti QX's all-new body and frame are designed to provide enhanced body stiffness and reduced vibration versus the previous QX design.

Structural changes include a new high-stiffness frame structure with enlarged side rail section width, redesigned connecting structures between each crossmember and side rails, an integrated rear hitch member, improved stiffness of the cabin mounting points and a special rear body ring structure around the tailgate.

"Customers will never be aware of the extensive efforts taken in the development of the Infiniti QX frame and body to reduce flex, rattles and squeaks - they'll just enjoy a quiet, comfortable ride that's unexpected in a full-size SUV," added Poore. "The new platform can handle family adventures to rugged terrain, without compromising its smooth ride for everyday, around-town cruising."

The second-generation Infiniti QX also offers new engine and transmission designs - delivering, a combination of power, efficiency and refinement worthy of the Infiniti name. The new 5.6-litre 32-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy V8 features Infiniti's advanced VVEL (for Variable Valve Event & Lift) technology and new Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™) system.

The VVEL system combines hydraulic-controlled variable valve timing and electronically controlled variable valve lift on the intake side to help improve performance and response. Throttle response is enhanced by directly controlling the intake valve, rather than using the traditional method of controlling intake with the throttle valve. The VVEL system also offers improved emissions and fuel efficiency (over non-VVEL designs) by substantially reducing the intake resistance that occurs when the engine's throttle valve opening is narrowed and output is low. The new DIG™ system provides better wide-open throttle performance and improved fuel economy and emissions performance by reducing engine knock, improving combustion stability and offering more precise injection control.

The engine is rated at 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque, compared with 320 horsepower and 393 lb-ft of torque produced by the 2010 QX's non-VVEL/non-DIG™ V8. With a 25% increase in horsepower, the 2011 QX does not sacrifice fuel economy, which increases by around 10% versus the 2010 Infiniti QX.

Also contributing to the enhanced fuel economy is the 2011 Infiniti QX's standard 7-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) and manual shift mode with Downshift Rev Match.

Versus the 2010 QX's 5-speed automatic, the new 7-speed transmission boasts a wider range of gear ratios, a variable lockup torque converter, a new improved shift schedule and a new automatic transmission fluid warmer designed to reduce fuel consumption at start up.

The Infiniti QX is offered with standard four-wheel drive, featuring Infiniti's proven All-Mode 4WD? system with Auto, 4H, and 4L modes. The system is designed to distribute torque to all four wheels when road conditions warrant (up to 50 percent can go to the front wheels on demand), helping to enhance traction.

All Infiniti QX models also include Hill Start Assist. With Hill Start Assist, if a driver stops on a slope and steps off the brake pedal, the system will keep the Infiniti QX stationary for a few seconds - with no roll back. This enables drivers to easily switch from the brake pedal to the accelerator on steep inclines.

For the first time ever on an Infiniti vehicle, a new Hydraulic Body Motion Control system is offered (available as part of the Technology Package, which also includes 22-inch wheels and tires and a number of other features). The system helps reduce body lean while turning for a more comfortable ride. Utilizing hydraulic cylinders located at the shock absorbers (connected via cross piping and two accumulators), it adjusts roll stiffness by allowing transfer of fluid between the left and right sides of the vehicle through passive weight transfer during normal driving. It also helps reduce bump shock by setting bounce and roll damping forces separately.

The Infiniti QX's suspension is an independent double-wishbone design front and rear, with Dual-Flow Path? twin tube shock absorbers, stabilizer bars and an automatic rear leveling system that seeks to maintain uniform ground clearance and departure angle, even when towing or carrying cargo, by automatically adjusting the air pressure in the system's air bladders.

Braking is provided by 4-wheel disc brakes (13.8-inch vented discs front and rear) with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD). Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and 4-wheel Active Brake Limited-Slip (ABLS) are standard on every Infiniti QX56. Engine-speed-sensitive power steering is also standard.

The Infiniti QX's maximum towing capacity is 8,500 pounds. A special tow mode revises shift patterns when engaged. Standard towing features include a Class IV tow hitch and 7-pin wiring harness integrated into the rear bumper (with a cover for an elegant appearance when not in use).

Every 2011 QX comes with 20-inch, split 7-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels with P275/60R20 all-season performance tires, while 22-inch, 9-spoke forged aluminum-alloy wheels with P275/50R22 all-season performance tires are included with the Technology Package. A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with four-corner pressure readout and Tire Inflation Indicator is also standard.

"The new Infiniti QX gives drivers the feeling of a connection to the road," said Durward. "There's also a remarkable level of flat ride comfort, plenty of power and torque, and a solid feel throughout the vehicle that's reassuring and enjoyable for all passengers."

A World-Class Travel Experience

The new QX's world-class inner sanctum offers a comfortable space and personal controls for every occupant. It features standard 7-passenger seating capacity, with 8-passenger capacity available with the 2nd row 60/40-split folding bench seat. Luxurious semi-aniline leather-appointed seating is standard for all three rows. The driver's seat is 10-way power adjustable, including 2-way power lumbar support. It features a standard dual occupant memory system for the driver's seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors. The front passenger's seat is 8-way power adjustable, including 2-way power lumbar support. Climate-controlled (heating and cooling functions) front seats are standard as well as heated 2nd row seats (outboard positions only). The 2nd row captain's chairs offer a tip-up function for easy 3rd row entry/exit.

Also standard is a remote release for the 2nd row seats to activate the tip-up function through a switch on the centre stack. The 3rd row seat is a 60/40-split power folding design with reclining capability. The 2nd row centre console includes two cupholders and two storage bins.

Also standard is a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel. Ample space for luggage is provided with the 3rd row seat up. When down, the flat load floor offers a wide, versatile space for carrying cargo, home furnishings or recreational gear.

Two interior colors are available - Wheat or Graphite - both with a dark wood-tone interior finisher trim.

"If you could take the interior of a private jet and transform it into a full-size SUV, this wouldn't be far off," said Durward. "From its available sofa-like semi-aniline leather seating to its premium audio and three-source entertainment systems, the Infiniti QX interior is world-class. It's a highly adaptive environment, with a quality and quietness that adds to the stress-free driving and riding experience."

The long list of additional comfort and convenience features includes 9 cupholders and 4 door-pocket bottle holders, Tri-Zone Automatic Temperature Control, Infiniti Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, FineVision electroluminescent gauges and Infiniti signature analog clock. Available as part of the Technology Package is an Advanced Climate Control System (ACCS) with Plasmacluster? air purifier, Grape Polyphenol filter and auto recirculation.

Among the new Infiniti QX's standard premium entertainment and technology features are an 8-inch WVGA color touch-screen display, Infiniti Controller for use with vehicle information systems and comfort and convenience features, and the Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System with Zagat? Restaurant Guide. Bluetooth? Hands-free Phone System is standard, as is the convenient Around View? Monitor with Front and Rear Sonar System. The Around View? Monitor includes a new wide rear view camera.

The Bose? 2-channel, 13-speaker Premium Audio System includes two subwoofers. Roof-mounted 3rd row speakers ensure that sound quality us not compromised by obstructions such as luggage or cargo.

Other standard equipment includes a single in-dash CD/DVD player with MP3 playback, XM? Satellite Radio, USB connection port for use with iPod Interface or other compatible devices and Streaming Audio via Bluetooth.

Other standard features include dual 7-inch colour headrest monitors, two pairs of wireless headphones, wireless remote control, auxiliary input jacks and 120V power outlet. The Infiniti QX allows playback of games or movies in the rear, while front occupants listen to audio all at the same time. The two 7-inch colour monitors include an auto-bright system that adjusts for daytime, clouds/evening and night/tunnel lighting.

Available Technology

Like the new 2011 Infiniti M sedan, the new QX offers a range of advanced technology systems. The QX includes both Infiniti's Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) systems. The LDW and LDP systems use a small camera installed behind the windshield to detect lane markers in front of the vehicle, calculate its position relative to those lane markers and help warn the driver of a potential unintended lane departure with a visual indicator and audible buzzer. If the driver does not return the vehicle back toward the centre of the travel lane, the LDP system assists the driver with a gentle application of the brakes on the opposite side of the drift.

A new Blind Spot Warning (BSW) system is also available. It illuminates an indicator light if another vehicle is detected in the blind spot area. If the driver then activates the turn signal, the indicator flashes and an audible warning sounds.

Optional on the new Infiniti QX56 is Infiniti's advanced Intelligent Cruise Control (Full-Speed Range), which, using a combination of laser sensors, throttle and brake actuators and the Infiniti QX56's braking system, measures the distance to the vehicle ahead and automatically adjusts the Infiniti QX56's speed to maintain a pre-selected following distance.

Distance Control Assist (DCA), which intuitively prompts the driver to release the throttle and applies the brakes as needed in slowing traffic, is available as part of the Technology Package - along with Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and front Pre-Crash Seat Belts.

The Infiniti QX56's extensive list of standard safety features includes an Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors; roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for outboard occupant head protection for all three rows; front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags; 3-point front seat belts with pretensioners, load limiters and seat belt reminder; 3-point seat belts for all rear seat occupants (including centre position); front seat Active Head Restraints; and LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren). The Infiniti QX56 also offers Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones and steel side-door guard beams.

"The new Infiniti QX utilizes technology, such as Distance Control Assist and Intelligent Cruise Control, as it should be - to help reduce the stress of driving without isolating the driver from the pleasure of driving," said Durward.

Models and Packages

The 2011 Infiniti QX is available in two well-equipped models: Infiniti QX56 4WD 7-passenger and Infiniti QX56 4WD 8-passenger. Each is equipped with the advanced 5.6-litre V8 and 7-speed automatic transmission and a full range of luxury and performance features including semi-aniline leather-appointed seating, Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System, Around View? Monitor and premium audio system.

The Technology Package is offered, allowing buyers to fine-tune their QX experience to their exact needs. The Technology Package includes 22-inch, 9-spoke forged aluminum-alloy wheels and P275/50R22 all-season performance tires, Hydraulic Body Motion Control system, and the Advanced Climate Control System (ACCS). The Technology Package also offers Intelligent Cruise Control (Full-Speed Range), Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Distance Control Assist (DCA), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP), Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Front Pre-Crash Seat Belts, and Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) with auto-leveling headlights.

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