Mull and crossbones: Infiniti QX50 on hiatus; QX60 Hybrid killed


Infiniti QX50 concept, 2017 Detroit auto show

Infiniti QX50 concept, 2017 Detroit auto show

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Infiniti is pausing two of its crossovers for 2018, the automaker confirmed Tuesday.

Nissan's luxury brand said it won't offer a 2018 QX50 ahead of a completely overhauled model that's expected to hit dealers early next year. This new 2019 Infiniti QX50 will closely resemble the QX50 concept shown at the Detroit auto show this year, according to a spokeswoman.

Details on the small luxury hauler are few and far between, but aside from its pretty shape, what's under the hood could be equally interesting.

Infiniti VC-Turbo engine

Infiniti VC-Turbo engine

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The 2019 Infiniti QX50 likely will be powered by Infiniti's variable compression technology for engines, dubbed VC-Turbo. The engine technology constantly changes the cylinder compression ratio for better performance or better fuel economy, depending on circumstance.

The QX50 concept was reportedly powered by a turbocharged inline-4 that featured the technology and made 268 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque, which combined with lighter-weight construction could place it within earshot of the 2017 QX50's 325-hp naturally aspirated V-6.

The new QX50 will likely also be equipped with Infiniti's version of ProPilot assist that can drive the car in traffic jams or on long highway commutes. Or, exactly how most people use crossovers today.

2018 Infiniti QX60

2018 Infiniti QX60

Enlarge Photo

The automaker also confirmed that it would shelve the slow-selling QX60 Hybrid for 2018. We could see it in the tea leaves already; the 2017 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid was order-only, and we suspect few people opted to order it.

Infiniti spokeswoman Paige Presley said the updates to the QX60's naturally aspirated powertrain brought it closer to the fuel economy figures for the hybrid (22 mpg combined vs. 26 mpg combined). That probably didn't help things either.

 
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