Infiniti FX45 Concept Stakes Out New Territory In Crossover Class By Combining Sports Car Performance, SUV Utility and Infiniti Style
Concept vehicles, according to Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President, Design, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., are accelerators of change. 'Vehicles like our new Infiniti FX45 Concept are important
platforms on which to launch new ideas,' said Nakamura. 'Though not everything on a concept reaches the showroom floor, they are indicators of a company's direction, thinking and spirit. In
the case of the FX45 Concept, our direction, thinking and spirit are definitely headed toward performance.'
The second generation FX45 Concept, which makes its world debut at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, follows by one year the appearance of a similarly named and
themed FX45 Concept ' both described by Nakamura as 'Bionic Cheetahs' for their combined emphasis on sports car performance with SUV utility. The second generation FX45 Concept has been
completely redesigned inside and out but remains an aggressive, V8-powered, all-wheel drive sports luxury design.
'We tested the waters last year to great consumer response and have come back with a new interpretation which is much closer to the actual production model,' said Nakamura. 'The fusion of
sports car and SUV remains at its core, but we've added breakthrough exterior and interior styling to its superior drivetrain and advanced technology.'
A production version of the FX45 Concept has been announced as a future addition to the Infiniti lineup and will go on sale in early 2003.
'The new FX45 Concept represents the shape of things to come for our production crossover SUV,' said Mark McNabb, vice president and general manager, Infiniti Division. 'It also represents
our intention to stand out from the pack of less exciting, less confident vehicles currently in the market.'
Breakthrough Styling, Advanced Technology
The FX45 Concept takes full advantage of its 112.2-inch long wheelbase, wide stance and 21-inch wheels and tires to create a strong presence, whether in motion or at rest. Rather than adopt
a 'blended' minivan/wagon/sedan approach, its designers sought an aggressive image ' strong, fast and agile ' so that the FX45 Concept looks the way it drives. The exterior suggests sports
car shapes, but with modern packaging and architecture. The cabin is moved rearward, set back like a sports car, with long doors and the tires pushed out to the corners. A large, Infiniti-style
grille and narrow horizontal headlights reinforce the classic sports car effect.
'There's an elegance and grace to the design, like a cheetah's fast, beautiful body,' said Nakamura. 'It's meant to feel completely different from current vehicles in the category.'
The FX45 Concept exterior also imparts a sense of 'active' safety and security through its broad fenders and beltline, high seating position and large, LED taillights. As a pure Infiniti,
luxury has not been overlooked either, with special 'Liquid Mercury' paint and polished Aluminum-alloy wheels.
'We see future buyers cross-shopping the FX45 not only against other crossover SUVs but a variety of performance vehicles, so its driving credentials must come through at first glance,' said
McNabb. 'At the same time, the body offers much more room and utility than traditional sports cars, making the FX45 an everyday, all-weather alternative to the less flexible enthusiast machines.'
Inside, the FX45 Concept's highly personalized four-passenger interior offers a rich blend of handcrafted Brick-colored leather and polished aluminum accents. Each of the four individual
power-operated seats has been designed for the person who will be using it ' a driver's area that allows concentration on driving, a front passenger seat that indulges the occupant with individual
heating and cooling controls, intuitive storage and soft lighting, and a state-of-the-art entertainment area with an overhead DVD display and game system for rear seat passengers. The
instrument panel offers a special 'floating' instrument cluster with a large 9.5-inch LCD monitor.
'The FX45 Concept's advanced technology features are designed to help the driver stay connected to the outside world and increase productivity without distracting from the primary task at
hand ' driving enjoyment,' said McNabb.
Dynamic Performance From A 4.5-Liter V8
The FX45 Concept's 4.5-liter V8 engine is based on the class-leading 2002 Infiniti Q45 powerplant and is planned to produce in excess of 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. The engine is
mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. The FX45 also features all-wheel drive with electronic torque demand, a 4-wheel independent suspension with multi-link rear design and
4-wheel vented disc brakes with ABS, Brake Assist and Electronic Brake force Distribution.
'The FX45 Concept's suspension and drivetrain are designed to provide secure, comfortable on-road handling and all-weather driving performance, giving the driver a sense of athleticism and
confidence not unlike an all-wheel drive sports car,' said McNabb. 'This new FX45 Concept reflects the personality of the target owners ' confident, successful, competitive.'
Details regarding the production Infiniti FX45 will be released at a later date.
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