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Infiniti QX80

Words by Edgar Daily

There’s plenty of style to match the brawn of this big boy


Infiniti is one of the most forward thinking operators in the business, unafraid to take risks with its styling and recent mechanical technology developments like the world’s first variable compression ratio engine coming soon.

Last year it debuted a wild, retro-inspired concept car that looked like a 1930s Grand Prix racer, but powered entirely by electricity and announced that EVs would comprise a big part of the company’s future. Then in the same breath, it released the QX80 super-sized SUV to go against the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator.

Like the model it replaces, the QX80 offers three rows of seating, sits above the QX70 and still rides on a body-on-frame chassis. However the most obvious change to the new model is the styling.

Its headlights have not only been raised 10cms, but also thinned out using new LED technology while the grille has been reshaped and the lower section re-profiled. The rear has also been tweaked with new LED taillights that wrap around a full width chrome strip, which is designed to emphasise its width and it sits on new, 20-inch and optional 22-inch alloy wheels.

The big V8 under its hood pumps out 400bhp and 560Nm which it needs to keep its near three tonne mass moving along while its seven-speed automatic box is smooth and almost seamless. It doesn’t hunt between gears and seems to be in the right ratio without needing to kick down.


The QX80 in action

As you would expect from the flagship model, the interior is plush with quality materials throughout. Leather now comes with a Saddle Brown option and a theatre pack that includes wider, eight-inch rear entertainment screens and an optional Bose stereo that adds an extra two more speakers, bringing it to 15 in total.

For the driver, the rear view mirror has gone digital with the help of three, rear-facing cameras which work together as one to give you a full width view that’s not fish-eye in perspective.

Despite the noise being made by the industry for smaller, more efficient cars, consumers still love the big toys and the QX80 remains a successful car for Infiniti. Let’s see if this 2018 update can maintain the momentum.

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