Ahead of the 2013 auto show circus reaching crowds in Geneva, the North American International Auto Show in Detroit as well as the Chicago Auto Show presented many new cars for 2013 and 2014 model years. Nissan-backed luxury car company Infiniti has held back at least one premiere for the 2013 edition of the New York Auto Show.
A vehicle formerly known as the Infiniti JX35, the large seven-passenger crossover assumes the name QX60 in 2014 guided by two new philosophies. In the most transparent philosophy is the 2014 Infiniti QX56 cohesion to the premium carmaker’s new ‘Q’ branding tactic. The second new reality for Infiniti is an increasing acceptance of hybrid gasoline/electric powertrains to face-off against Japan-derived rival Lexus. The QX60 will be noted as the premium car brand’s first hybrid crossover vehicle.
When introduced at the 2013 New York Auto Show, Infiniti will be offering three hybrid choices in 2014 with the addition of the QX60 Hybrid crossover vehicle. Describing their powertrain as a Direct Response Hybrid system, the Infiniti technology involves an electric motor working alongside the gasoline engine with a two-clutch layout.
First introduced on the Infiniti M35h, Direct Response Hybrid technology has received favourable buzz for its smooth transitioning from gasoline to electric power. Instead of a 3.5 liter V-6 paired with a 50-kilowatt electric motor configuration powering the M35h sedan (soon to be known as the Q70 Hybrid) and the upcoming Q50 Hybrid, the 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid powertrain will differ greatly. A supercharged 2.5 liter engine will be primary gasoline power for the 2014 QX60 Hybrid.
The electric motor on the 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid will be a more modest 15-kilowatt power source. Combined horsepower is currently estimated at 250 horsepower. The 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid’s gearbox will be a continuously variable transmission (CVT) rather than the 7-speed automatic equipped on the hybrid sedans.
Though the performance specifications seem to indicate Direct Response Hybrid technology is somewhat downsized on the 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid, crossover vehicle integrity is heavily maintained on this upcoming product. Infiniti will be noting the compact lithium-ion battery fitting seamlessly under the third-row seat with no effect to cargo room. It’s worth drawing attention to the fact the 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid will be available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.
Achieving fuel economy of 26 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, the 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid crossover will be one of the most fuel-efficient seven-passenger vehicles sold in the premium product category for the United States (even eclipsing the 2013 Audi Q7 equipped with the new TDI diesel). The 2014 model year hybrid version of crossover will be the average four miles per gallon better in fuel mileage than a conventional Infiniti QX60 powered by the 3.5 liter V6 engine.
The official unveiling of the 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid will be scheduled on March 27th to press members with the public invited to see the new premium crossover from March 29 to April 7th. When added to the product line-up during the summertime, Infiniti’s preliminary hints at the vehicle base price indicates the hybrid version of the QX60 will cost around $3,000 more than the gasoline-only variant.
Information and photo source: Nissan North America