Infiniti has the third installment of its Q concept lineup ready for Auto Shanghai in a couple of weeks. The 2018 Detroit Auto Show saw the Q Inspiration concept, a slinky pearlescent sports sedan. This year's Detroit show welcomed the QX Inspiration concept, an ivory electric crossover that previewed a future product. The Shanghai debut blends the two with the Qs Inspiration concept, "an electrified sports sedan for the future," that previews a forthcoming product.
The Qs Inspiration appears to pick up where the 2018 Q Inspiration left off. We noted last year's show car didn't have visible tailpipes, and we suspected an electric powertrain. That wasn't the case — Infiniti said the brand's VC-Turbo technology powered the four-door. This new Qs Inspiration is built on an "all-new flexible architecture developed specifically for electrified powertrains." That's a curious distinction if by electrified Infiniti means an electrically assisted ICE. If a car needs all the paraphernalia of an ICE drivetrain, where's the electric leap?
This year's Detroit Auto Show was a bit light on forward-looking concepts, so the Infiniti Q Inspiration was a highlight, what with it's gorgeous curves and elegant interior. And lucky for us, Infiniti has decided to bring the lovely sedan to production. It will have a substantial difference to the concept, though ...
The concept version used the variable-compression turbocharged four-cylinder from the QX50, which was a bit of a surprise considering the car's grille was nearly filled in. The production Q Inspiration will eschew the purely internal combustion engine for an electrified powertrain. Infiniti hasn't given any details, but that wording seems to indicate that it will be some kind of hybrid, or — less likely — an EV.
As expected, Lexus is odds-on to scrap the CT small hatchback and replace it with a small crossover SUV sharing some bits with the Toyota C-HR, to better capitalise on demand at the lower end of the luxury market.
The CT200h is Lexus' smallest car, and also its only vehicle sold exclusively with a petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain. Yet its global sales haven't been spectacular, with the key US market even dropping the model for 2018.