Further proof that the global market for large, luxury SUVs is alive and well.
Of all the major international auto shows, the one in Dubai is hardly considered to be one of the most important for debuting new cars, but that seems to be changing. Following the global debut of the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, Infiniti has taken the wraps off the updated 2018 Infiniti QX80.
Instead of an all-new model, the new QX80 is an evolution of the current full-size SUV model, which launched in 2010 as the QX56.
Looking to maintain relevance with offerings from Nissan, Lexus, Ford, Toyota, and especially the Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class and the all-new Lincoln Navigator, the 2018 Infiniti QX80 gets a fresher appearance based on the 2017 QX80 Monograph Concept.
That fresh look starts up front where the big QX80 gets more of a corporate look similar to the Q50 sedan with narrow, LED-lined headlights, a revised ?double arch? grille and a restyled fascia with air vents on each side and a full-width chrome accent. More importantly, the new front end doesn?t sloping, frumpy lines of the current design.
At the rear of the new QX80, new LED taillights have a narrower, more horizontal shape, and they are tied together with a thick chrome strip. Sadly, the concept?s integrated exhaust outlets didn?t make it to the production design.
Inside, the big changes include a redesigned steering wheel and gear shifter (both leather-wrapped) with leather seats that are eye-catching to say the least. For improved entertainment, the rear entertainment system has been upgraded with larger, higher-resolution screens, a new HDMI port and an extra pair of USB charging ports.
Unchanged on the 2018 Infiniti QX80 is the proven powertrain with a 5.6-liter V-8 paired to a seven-speed automatic transmission.
The 2018 Infiniti QX80 will go on sale by the end of this year with a starting price of $65,745 (in the U.S.), which makes this big luxury SUV look like a steal next to its main rivals. In addition to the U.S., the QX80 is sold in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.