It’s no secret that Infiniti dealers have been starved of the products they want to sell. While the company is looking towards the future with electric crossovers, there’s no denying that full-size SUV are still popular in America, not to mention profitable. This is the all-new generation Infiniti QX80, as it will appear when it’s ready to take on the Cadillac Escalade in 2024.
Within the last week, the first prototype of the QX80 has been spied undergoing testing in America. And while the camouflage was pretty thick, all the elements of a production vehicle were present, from LED headlights to large wheels and advanced safety sensors. Thus, we believe the new SUV will come out sooner rather than later.
Ironically, the test prototype comes out at the same time as an official announcement: the QX80 Monograph Concept will debut in July 2023. That’s what Infiniti names its concept SUVs, and usually, they’re 99% production-ready.
The QX80 went into production back in 2004, but it was originally called the QX56, based on its engine size. The 2011 QX56 came out in March 2010 and was supposed to be all-new. Two facelifts followed, in 2015 and 2018, but this still looks like one of the oldest SUVs on the market.
In reality, this is a low-volume vehicle that’s never sold more than 20,000 units. 2022 was almost the worst year ever, 7,206 units, and the QX80 would be canceled if it didn’t have a sister car in the Nissan Patrol. The Patrol is very popular (and profitable) in the Middle East, where they even turn them into turbocharged dragsters and race up giant sand dunes.
Anyway, the all-new 2024/2025 Infiniti QX80 sill has a very slab-sided design. It’s like a Cadillac Escalade with rounded corners or a Lincoln Navigator.
These renderings were created by Kolesa and confirm our suspicion. The general proportions are the same, and even some of the windows are kept the same shape. But a new grille design is paired up with much narrower headlights to give the SUV a modern look. Around the back, a similar treatment is applied: new upmarket trim and revised LEDs.
Will the QX80 and Patrol get a new engine?
The interior remains a mystery. However, Nissan has made huge strides in interior quality, so we expect to see much better screens and controls. However, the biggest mystery is the engine.
Little is known about the platform and powertrain changes, and it seems the automotive media is afraid to even speculate. Currently, the SUV packs a 5.6-liter V8 engine, the VK56VD V8. It’s been around forever and its reliability partly explains the success of the Nissan Patrol.
Durability and robustness are more important in places like Dubai, where gas is cheap. However, there’s no denying that Toyota has brought innovation to this segment. Their new J300 series of Land Cruisers feature a twin-turbo 3.4-liter V6 which has even created a mini tuning scene in the Middle East.
Nissan, has its own twin-turbo V6 engines, of course. But it’s unlikely they will be tailored to large vehicles. The Titan pickup, which is related to the QX80, is rumored to be discontinued around 2024 or 2025. Its place in the lineup may be taken by a small Frontier-like electric pickup.