The hero of the story has foiled your plan. You must make a quick escape, so you slide into the back seat of the Infiniti Q Inspiration and speed off.
It’s a scene that seems increasingly plausible the more I look at the Q Inspiration up close at the 2018 Detroit Auto show. The concept is dastardly cool, thanks to an unusually balanced blend of smooth curves and sharp corners.
Based on the one teaser image that Infiniti released in the run-up to the show, I thought the Q Inspiration looked like the Lucid Air, or maybe even a Model S. I figured we were in for a curvy, stout sedan concept that was all bells and whistles on the inside. But what rolled onstage here in Detroit was a long, almost lithe car with a radical face and a clean interior.
The Q Inspiration’s front end has been scored with all sorts of lines and little details that somehow all gel together. The gills on the nose, the illuminated slats in the two-tier headlights, and the pinchers that make up the car’s chin all work together to give it a look that’s equal parts sea creature and spaceship. And yet, compared to the gaping maws found on many recent concept cars, the Infiniti looks practically understated.
The Q Inspiration’s doors open suicide-style — another touch that screams “movie villain” — to reveal an even more composed interior. A screen stretches under the entire windshield, but it’s short and unobtrusive. A secondary display connects the dashboard to the center console, making for a sharp little home for the infotainment system. The only buttons around are on the steering wheel. Otherwise, it’s all very minimalist.
The interior is sharp and clean; even the dashboard-spanning screen is understated
Follow the center console into the back seats and you’ll find perhaps the most substantial feature of the Q Inspiration’s interior: a dual-screen setup for entertaining rear row passengers. It’s reminiscent of the flip-out screens on airplanes, though not nearly as grimy or gross (yet). I don’t know if you could control an evil empire from these little displays, but they’d probably keep a pair of kids happy.
The back of the Q Inspiration has echoes of a Model S, but not nearly as much as I first gleaned from the high angle of the teaser image. From a really low angle you could almost mistake the Infiniti concept for a Porsche — that is, if you ignore the openings at the bottom of the bodywork. I love how there are little blades underneath the single back end-spanning tail light to match the ones in the headlights.
A single pane of glass connects all these features by stretching uninterrupted from the windshield to the tail, making it easy to look in or out. Of course, if you were to use this to make some grand escape, you might wish there was a curtain for a little more privacy.
What strikes me most about seeing the Q Inspiration up close is just how different it looks compared to Infiniti’s existing (and, frankly, outdated) lineup of cars. Like it states right there in the name, the new concept car is supposed to inspire the next evolution of Infiniti cars. As someone who is outrageously bored with the current generation, the Q Inspiration couldn’t have come at a better time.
Photography by Sean O’Kane / The Verge