The 2022 model QX60, unveiled last week, heralds a fresh design language and new technologies that Infiniti hopes will reignite sales. Globally, it is the brand's bestselling nameplate.
The QX60 will be manufactured at Nissan's plant in Smyrna, Tenn., and in China. Among the new flourishes is a reworked front that evokes Infiniti's Japanese roots, with an origami-inspired mesh grille and headlamps that get a treatment designers call "kimono folds."
Under the hood, a 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated at 295 hp is combined with an all-new nine-speed automatic transmission. Also offered is an Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive system that features a new direct-coupling all-wheel drive engagement for more seamless power transfer. Select grades can tow up 6,000 pounds, a 20 percent improvement over the outgoing model.
An enhanced ProPilot Assist system also debuts in the QX60. The upgrade coordinates with the on-board navigation system to proactively slow the vehicle around sharp bends or off-ramps. It can also help manage driving in stop-and-go traffic.
The 2022 Infiniti QX60 arrives in the U.S. late this year. Pricing and other details will come later.
"The new era of Infiniti is starting very well," Kargar said.
Looking ahead, that new era may also include new markets, possibly even the domestic market of Japan. Unlike Toyota Motor Corp., which sells its Lexus premium marque in Japan, Nissan has shied away from the expense and risk of launching Infiniti here as a separate entity.
But resistance to the idea of avoiding Japan may be weakening amid renewed internal rumbling that to be a true global contender, Infiniti must have a presence at home.
"We will look at different opportunities later, and Japan will be one of the discussions we will have in the future," Kargar said. "We will not stick to the 23 countries that we have."