Infiniti has extended its local Australian vehicle lineup with the release of the stunningly beautiful QX80 full-size SUV. The QX80 inherits much of its eye-candy from the Nissan Y62 Patrol on which it is based, a vehicle which almost everybody loves… alright, I can’t keep this up any longer.
The QX80 is one of the most ugly vehicles released in modern times, taking the already high-bar set by the Y62 and then raising it further. If a Q50 sedan hooked up with a Y62 Patrol for a night of drunken, drug fuelled passion, the QX80 would undoubtedly be the result. Getting the picture?
Infiniti describes the QX80 as a car with “bold” exterior design, with an “unmistakeable presence” that comes from a combination of size and styling that conveys an underlying sense of power and strength. Perhaps this is true, but Infiniti is rather late to the party, when you consider the Ssangyong Radius achieved the same thing with its own blend of “shock and awe” tactics more than 10 years ago.
The shock and awe continues under the QX80’s bonnet, where you’ll find the familiar Nissan petrol engine developing 298kW and 560Nm of torque. Amazing numbers indeed, achieved in part due to Nissan’s direct fuel injection and clever Variable Valve Event and Lift technologies – but the travesty here is they was also achieved without the aid of turbo-charging. So how was it done? Displacement and lots of it – a 5.6L naturally-aspirated V8. That’s a 5.6L Petrol V8 in an SUV weighing more than 2,800kg. The obvious downside here is, like it’s Y62 Patrol cousin, the QX80 will love a good drink. We estimate 11 – 12L/100km for highway driving, all the way up to 20L/100km in the city.
This behemoth of an engine is matched to a seven-speed automatic transmission, working in conjunction with Infiniti’s ALL-MODE 4×4 drive system to deliver good on-road driving dynamics whilst retaining an extremely capable off-road ability. For Australian customers, Infiniti has also fitted a raft of innovative technologies to the QX80, including a Hydraulic Body Motion Control (HBMC) suspension system that reduces body roll on high-speed corners and maximises suspension travel in tougher off-road driving conditions. Safety-related technologies in the QX80 include Lane departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) systems, Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Blind Spot Intervention (BSI) facilities, Distance Control Assist (DCA) for the vehicle’s cruise control system and Infiniti’s intelligent Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW) system, which monitors not only the car ahead to detect the potential for a rear-end collision but the next car ahead as well. Also included is Infiniti’s Back-up Collision Intervention feature, which can detect an object behind the vehicle when reversing and immediately brake the car to a stop if needed.
Jean-Philippe Roux, the Managing Director of Infiniti Cars Australia, said the Infiniti QX80 is a commanding SUV that will meet a specific local market opportunity. “The QX80 is among the most luxurious and generously appointed SUVs available in the world,” he said. “It is spacious, elegant and has an incredible presence, and its arrival in Australia will position Infiniti squarely in this important vehicle segment.”
According to Roux, adding the QX80 to Infiniti’s Australian catalogue is a logical move. “A number of buyers have asked us for a model at least one size up from the QX70 crossover. Adding the QX80 to our local catalogue in small volumes will meet this local opportunity.”
Personally, I’m not sure if the buyers were asking for something quite like the QX80, but we’ll soon know how well it sells when it arrives within the next few weeks. It’ll be priced between $110,900 to $118,529 depending on options, excluding on-road costs.