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INFINITI QX55 Crossover Coupe: Style and behavior of sports car, comfort and multipurposeness of soft-roader

Photo: Infiniti

Photo: Infiniti

This is the most anticipated novelty of 2022 in our market. After all, the QX55 not only revived the spirit of the iconic predecessor Infiniti FX, but also combined the showiness and habits of a sports car with the comfort and multipurposeness of a soft-roader.

Spend 30 seconds on this promotional video—it will explain the essence of the Infiniti crossover better than any article. Early 50s, a grumpy Tuscan lady scolds a young corporal for coming for her daughter in a Ferrari 166. And she's right—an open two-seater is definitely ill-suited for family life. Most of it is occupied by V12 and there is no room on the trunk, except for a case for millinery. The finale is inspired by Michelangelo Antonioni: he leaves, she stays with her five suitcases, three of which she could fit herself. Will he return? The offscreen voice, whose poignance Marcello Mastroianni would envy, sums up: 'Men have always had to choose between speed and free space in the interior. Until FX came along'.

With mainstream in blood

The FX really became a breakthrough—both in terms of style and sales. It was after it that the term 'crossover coupe' appeared. Because of its individuality, the FX has not lost either its charisma or relevance even now.

The QX55 has become his ideological follower, mental successor. Or, in art terms, a tribute. The same dynamic silhouette with a sinewy stern, flowing roofline, and graceful pillars. In all these years, no one else has managed to create such a spectacular profile for a crossover with a transverse engine. And to think that the FF platform the QX is built on, in turn, was created on the Mercedes MFA2 architecture. And the 55th is assembled on the same production line as the Mercedes GLB.

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Always in the spotlight

Looking at these sensual and at the same time aerodynamically adjusted contours, one understands—in a past life, the QX55 was more of a sports car than a crossover. At least it has no less zeal and photogenicity than the Ferrari 166—any stop in the city center immediately turns into a location by the ubiquitous instadives. But there are far more TNT reserves with the same 2-liter capacity: 249 HP and 380 Nm vs. 90 HP and 112 Nm. And this despite the fact that the spider was a purebred racing design, and the engine of the urban crossover was derated.

Two cars in one

Actually, the VC-Turbo is a masterpiece of the motor industry—no one else has variable compression ratio technology. In simpler terms, when in traffic, it will work like a naturally-aspirated engine, moreover, according to the Atkinson cycle and save gasoline. And if you put the pedal to the metal, the engine will switch to turbo mode and the Otto cycle—and even your goosebumps will get their own goosebumps from acceleration.

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Another trademark schtick is 'across-the-wire' control allowing one to adjust not only the responsiveness and 'heaviness' of the steering wheel, but also the speed of response to its turns. And the way the suspension works—feeling once is better than hearing twice. Even on snow RunFla tires shod with 20-inch rims (base trim), the QX55 will surprise you with its omnivorousness in terms of potholes and smooth ride. With a ground clearance of 219 mm and an intelligent all-wheel drive transmission, it can attack not only curbs, but snow drifts as well.

Quiet like an aquarium

The same is the case with the settings of the gearbox that combines the advantages of a IVT and a torque converter. When in stop-and-go traffic, it changes the quasi-gears as seamlessly as possible, and when the Sport setting is activated, it hammers in them zestfully. And with all this, it is quiet in the interior: the active noise cancellation system is now helped by another know-how—electromechanical engine mounts that dampen peak noise (-20 dB) and engine vibration.

Living space transformation

The fact that the bird can fly can be seen even when it is sitting. Hidden talents are another matter. Looking at the dashing flowing roofline, it's hard to believe that the QX55 even in the rear seats is more spacious than even the FX. Thanks to the lengthwise (up to 150 mm) bench seat adjustment, one can add space for the legs of those sitting in the back or increase the trunk capacity. 555 liters of effective volume is considerably more than the closest competitors, the Audi Q5 Sportback, BMW X4, and Mercedes GLC Coupe, have. The future mother-in-law of the shy corporal would have been pleased.

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Price tag

The prices for premium crossovers cannot bring joy–one has to substantially overpay for the status. But even here the QX55 is a pleasant exception. Infiniti has been skillfully juggling at the nexus of the mass market and premium market for five years now. And this despite the fact that it has more than ever generous base trim: a Wi-Fi hotspot, AndroidAuto/AppleCarPlay, LED headlights, 2-zone climate control, heated seats and 8 electric controls. A safety set, including the systems of lane departure warning, braking with pedestrian detection, plus monitoring of blind spots and traffic behind the car, deserves a special 'domo arigato'.

Recommended prices for the QX55 in million UAH (with VAT):

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The list of options is a topic for a separate story, it will take up the same amount of space as this article. Another thing is surprising—the fully loaded vehicle costs only a little more than that with the base trim: 1.78 million versus 1.5 million. Investments in premium have never been so profitable.

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