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New York show: Infiniti goes off the beaten track

On Patrol: The Infiniti QX is based on Nissan's latest off-roader.

Infiniti's Patrol-based QX comes out fighting the Lexus LX and other luxury SUVs

Infiniti logo1 Apr 2010

By TERRY MARTIN

NISSAN took the covers off the Infiniti version of its new-generation Patrol full-size SUV at the New York motor show this week, providing the first look at another model that could come to Australia when the luxury brand is relaunched in 2012/13.

To compete head-to-head with the Lexus LX, which is based on the Toyota LandCruiser, the Patrol-based QX emerged in the metal just four weeks after global debut of its EX30d mid-size SUV and all-new M large sedan at the Geneva motor show, and six weeks after the Patrol surfaced in Abu Dhabi.

All three models could form the backbone of the forthcoming Australian Infiniti line-up, which Nissan has promised will be a comprehensive range spanning several model lines.

As with LX versus LandCruiser, there are obvious design, mechanical and interior size similarities between QX and Patrol, although the Infiniti version is available in two-wheel drive as well as 4WD and also dispenses with the Patrol’s truck-like front styling.

Instead, the Infiniti strikes a less intimidating pose with less sharply angled and more rounded front features, including the grille, bumper and bonnet.

The main attraction for prospective owners of the seven-seater (or optionally eight-seater) luxury wagon will be the level of exclusivity inside, which in the case of US-spec QX56 includes perforated semi-aniline leather seating (with 10-way driver’s seat power adjustment), ‘Around View’ wide-angle reversing camera, standard Infiniti Hard Drive satellite-navigation, a 13-speaker Bose premium stereo and a DVD entertainment unit with seven-inch colour monitors that allow different sources to be played at the same time.

16 center imageAdvanced technologies on board include Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Prevention systems, Blind Spot Warning, Intelligent Cruise Control (Full Speed Range), Distance Control Assist, Adaptive Front Lighting System (with auto-levelling headlights) and Intelligent Brake Assist with Forward Collision Warning and Front Pre-Crash Seatbelts.

The US version, which reaches showrooms in the coming months priced from $US56,700 ($A61,876), will use the same 298kW/550Nm 5.6-litre direct-injection V8 petrol engine and seven-speed automatic transmission that were shown with the new-generation Patrol.

The Patrol’s Hydraulic Body Motion Control system will be available on both 2WD and 4WD versions of the QX as part of a Deluxe Touring Package, which also includes 22-inch wheels and tyres, headlight washers, climate-control front seats, heated second row seats, remote tip-up second-row seats (for easy third-row access) and a triple-zone Advanced Climate System (ACCS) complete with Plasmacluster air purifier, Grape Polyphenol filter and auto recirculation.

Standard features include automatic Xenon headlights, LED tail-lights, power-folding wing mirrors (with integrated indicators), 20-inch alloy wheels, a power-sliding tinted moonroof, power rear tailgate, keyless start, FineVision electroluminescent gauges, heated leather steering wheel and power folding and reclining third-row seats.

The standard Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) includes dual-stage front airbags (with occupant sensors), roof-mounted curtain airbags with rollover sensor for all three rows, front seat-mounted side airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters, three-point belts for all seating positions and active anti-whiplash front head restraints.

“We’re excited to be here in New York for the global debut of the Infiniti QX, a world-class vehicle that spotlights Infiniti’s inspired design, performance, technology and craftsmanship,” said US Infiniti vice-president Ben Poore.

“If you could take the interior of a private jet and transform it into a full-size SUV, this wouldn’t be far off. From its available sofa-like semi-aniline leather seating to its premium audio and three-source entertainment systems, the 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 new QX gives us an incredible presence in full-size performance luxury SUVs – perfect for buyers seeking style, comfort, roominess and driving exhilaration.”

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