Muscular Infiniti QX50 concept is one of the best looking Detroit debuts

Infiniti took the covers off the QX50 concept this week at the Detroit auto show, revealing a attractive design that should be close to production-ready. Infiniti says that it challenges the notion that hybrid technology and diesel are the only powertrains capable of offering high efficiency and torque.

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Infiniti has named the QX50 Concept's design language "Powerful Elegance".

The QX50 Concept boasts a driver assistance package that features near-autonomous technology the brand has been developing for years.

Infiniti has revealed a pre-production version of its new luxury mid-size QX50 SUV at the Detroit motor show and confirmed it will be the first to use the company's radical, variable-compression engine.

The "co-pilot" technologies showcased at NAIAS feature on the QX50 Concept, which demonstrates how a future INFINITI premium mid-sized SUV could look and also makes its debut at the show, it added. The concept vehicle revealed at Detroit hints at what to expect.

The glass areas of the show vehicle look to be far more representative of a production model than those seen in the teaser sketch; it's unlikely that such a shallow windscreen could possibly make it to production.

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Design highlights include a sharp, straight character line that runs from the clamshell hood and along the length of its shoulders, Infiniti's double-arch grille, a high-set crescent-cut D-pillar, a "cabin-forward" silhouette, and a slightly more vertical rear hatch; all swathed in a newly-created Forged Bronze paint finish.

Infiniti has fitted the concept with three different leathers - genuine, semi-aniline and synthetic nubuck - including quilted leather for the door trims.

The dashboard wraps around the driver and passenger, while the Graphic User Interface shows how new tech could be incorporated into future Infiniti cabins. This last makes Nissan the first major automaker to introduce a variable compression engine in a mainstream vehicle. Maximum power is an impressive 268 horsepower, yet Infiniti claims a 27 per cent improvement in fuel economy compared with an equivalent V6.

The QX50 will lay groundwork for an autonomous driving future.

After releasing a first batch of images with their new QX50 Concept back in December, Infiniti also let us know that visually, this auto was meant to be an evolution of their 2016 QX Sport Inspiration concept.

Finally, using this concept, Infiniti is also previewing their new autonomous drive support technologies, based on a system that will act more like a co-pilot, helping the driver navigate stop-start traffic and keeping track of his or her surroundings.