2011 Infiniti QX56 – Click above for high-res image gallery

After a quite entertaining piece of both gravity and physiology-defying strangeness from some smiley Cirque de Soleil performers (Infiniti is the official sponsor of Cirque de Soleil), Infiniti's product boss Carlos Tavares took the wraps off the all-new QX56. Based not on the Nissan Armada chassis (like the previous QX56) but instead on the heavy-duty Patrol, the new QX56 is a large, eight passenger "5-Star Luxury" body on frame SUV. That said, Infiniti managed to shed over 100 pound of flab compared to the 2010 QX56.

Speaking of the 2010 iteration, the previous QX56 is roundly regarded as one of the most awkward and ungainly looking luxo-barges, well, ever. In fact, if we were to put together a museum exhibit about the uncontrolled and obnoxious wild excesses of the just-ended SUV craze, the old QX would get top billing right next to a Hummer H2 and the Cadillac Escalade EXT. The new QX56 changes all that. It's world's better looking. We'd even go so far as to state that it has a certain Middle Eastern chic to it. Put it like this: if you had to cruise around your kingdom checking oil wells what would you rather be driving?

Infiniti is billing the QX56 as an eight-passenger private jet. Mr. Tavares must have said the word "luxury" a dozen times in his ten-minute presentation. Judging by our time with the all-new 2011 M37 and M56, we can declare then when they want to, Infiniti is fully capable of building a world-class interior. In the 2011 QX56, even the third-row reclines. Oh, they've also seen fit to stuff seven-inch color displays into the backs of the front head rests.

Hardware-wise, the QX56 is a body-on-frame full-size SUV sporting the same 5.6-liter variable-timing, direct-injection V8 as the M56, although in QX-trim it "only" makes 400 horsepower. However, while Infiniti had no official word on torque, they did explain the new QX56 can tow 8,500 pounds. And the big boy's seven-speed automatic allows it to get an almost, kinda respectable 20 mpg on the highway.

Most noteworthy is the inclusion of a Hydraulic Body Motion Control system that Infiniti claims reduces body roll by 40%. It uses an X-corner fluid distribution system (similar to how the Audi RS4 is suspended) that moves suspension fluid from the left front damper to the right rear, and vice-versa. Infiniti also claims the system is so effective that new QX56 has less body roll than the BMW 5 Series. Either way, the QX56 goes on this sale this summer, starting at the exact same price as the old one, $56,700. Make the jump to read the press release.


Related GalleryNew York 2010: Infiniti QX56

Related Gallery2011 Infiniti QX56

Live photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.
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2011 Infiniti QX Makes World Debut at New York International Auto Show

-- All-new Infiniti luxury SUV offers dramatic styling, 5-star travel experience -- Delivers 25% more horsepower, more than 10% better fuel economy -- Pricing remains the same as 2010 QX, starts at $56,700 USD

NEW YORK, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Infiniti today revealed its all-new 2011 Infiniti QX full-size SUV at a press conference at the 2010 New York International Auto Show. The new second-generation QX, which is designed to offer a true five-star travel experience, is scheduled to go on sale at Infiniti retailers nationwide this summer - with no increase in pricing over the 2010 QX. The 2011 QX is offered in two models - Infiniti QX56 2WD and Infiniti QX56 4WD.

The QX will be on display, along with the full lineup of inspired Infiniti vehicles - including the redesigned Infiniti G and all-new Infiniti M, which went on sale March 18th - at Jacob Javits Center from April 2nd through April 11th.

"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 Ben Poore, vice president, Infiniti Business Unit. "The new QX gives us an incredible presence in full-size performance luxury SUVs - perfect for buyers seeking style, comfort, roominess and driving exhilaration."

The 2011 Infiniti QX is conceived to attract and hold viewers' attention, conveying its underlying sense of power and strength. The design is dynamic, its size capable of transporting eight adults and their belongings with spacious elegance. Inside the distinctive QX body is an interior long on luxury and convenience, including standard Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System, Around View(TM) Monitor, Bose® 2-channel, 13-speaker Premium Audio System, available perforated semi-aniline leather seating, and available DVD entertainment system with dual 7-inch color monitors which allows different sources to be played at the same time. The 2011 QX also offers ample 1st and 2nd row roominess and generous luggage space.

The 2011 QX combines a 400-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 engine with Infiniti's VVEL (Variable Valve Event & Lift) and Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG(TM)) system with a refined 7-speed automatic transmission - providing a 25% increase in horsepower and more than a 10% increase in fuel economy versus the 2010 QX. The new QX's towing capacity is rated at 8,500 pounds for both 2WD and 4WD models.

For the first time ever on an Infiniti vehicle, a new Hydraulic Body Motion Control system is offered (available on both 2WD and 4WD models as part of the Deluxe Touring Package, which also includes 22-inch wheels and tires and a number of other features). The system helps reduce body lean while turning for a more comfortable ride.

Included among the new QX's standard premium entertainment and technology features are an 8-inch WVGA color touch-screen display, Infiniti Controller for use with the vehicle information systems and comfort and convenience features, and the Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System with XM NavTraffic® with Real-Time Traffic Information, XM NavWeather(TM) with Real-Time Weather and 3-day forecast (XM® subscription required, sold separately) and Zagat Survey® Restaurant Guide. Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System is standard, as is XM® Satellite Radio, USB connection for use with iPod® Interface or other compatible devices, and Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®.

The new Infiniti QX also offers a range of advanced technology systems, including Infiniti's Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) systems. A new Blind Spot Warning (BSW) system is also available. It illuminates an indicator light if another vehicle is detected in the blind spot area. If the driver then activates the turn signal, the indicator flashes and an audible warning sounds. Optional on the new QX is Infiniti's advanced Intelligent Cruise Control (Full-Speed Range), Distance Control Assist (DCA), Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Front Pre-Crash Seat Belts.

Pricing for the 2011 Infiniti QX is set at an Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP)* of $56,700 USD for the QX56 2WD and $59,800 USD for the QX56 4WD.

"We're especially pleased to be able to keep pricing at 2010 levels, despite the new generation QX's significant enhancements in luxury content, performance, fuel economy, and available advanced technology features," said Poore. "It's a smart investment in a vehicle unlike any other in the market today."