Most full-size luxury SUVs are trying to compete with the Cadillac Escalade. It seems the next-generation Infiniti QX80 might be a real contender.
The Cadillac Escalade has been the gold standard in the luxury full-size SUV class for many years. That said, more automakers have taken aim at the big Caddy recently, and the next to do so is the QX80. So far, all we’ve seen are a few spy shots with heavy camouflage on the prototype Infiniti SUV, but a few items show through to give us an idea of what this new model could bring.
A little history of this large luxury SUV
Originally, the full-size SUV from the Infiniti brand was called the QX56 when it first came to the market in 2004. This name enjoyed a second generation in 2011 before it was rebadged as the QX80 in 2014, when it received a full model refresh. The next facelift came in 2018, and now it’s time for a new generation of this SUV to hit the market. This SUV could arrive as a 2024 model, but it’s more likely heading to the market for 2025.
The Monograph Concept styling shows up in this prototype
The front end of the heavily clad prototype QX80 shows clear similarities to the Monograph Concept that came to be in 2018. Other items that you’ll find could be a departure from this five-year-old concept, including flush door handles and changed taillights. This SUV still offers slab sides and a tall build to be a boxy SUV that should be roomy and comfortable for anyone looking for an impressive new full-size Infiniti luxury SUV. We see thin lights mounted up high and a second set of lights that are vertically oriented located below. A large trapezoid grille dominates the front of this future SUV.
Although heavily camouflaged, the prototype model that was spotted showcased thin D-pillars and the QX80’s angled rear glass, which has become a signature element of this SUV. Another feature that appears to be functional are the fender vents that are part of the current generation of this SUV. The cladding is cut to allow air to flow through these vents, which signals that they are functional for this new model. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen the interior of this new vehicle, but we can expect a high level of quality features from Infiniti.
This new QX80 should bring a new powertrain
Currently, the Infiniti QX80 features a 5.6-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. There’s no denying that this is an antiquated powertrain, especially in 2025 terms. The 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque from this strong V8 engine should be a thing of the past. What we don’t yet know is what powertrain will find its way into the QX80. We should see a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine, but it’s possible this SUV might have a hybrid powertrain that gives it plenty of power and impressive fuel mileage numbers.
Does it make sense for Infiniti to upgrade this SUV?
The full-size luxury SUV segment has been dominated by the Cadillac Escalade in more than one way. Yes, the Escalade sets the bar for quality and luxury features, but it’s also the best-selling model in the class. In fact, the Escalade outsells the next best-selling model three to one. The Infiniti QX80 was only sold in 7,206 models during 2022, which was nearly 5,000 fewer models than in 2021. Does it make sense to offer a new generation of this SUV? If Infiniti wants to compete in this class, it certainly makes perfect sense.
What should we see in the cabin
The dashboard of the QX80 should be dominated by large screens that offer impressive displays and controls. This could mean a vehicle-wide infotainment screen, a large digital gauge cluster, and a head-up display. All three rows of seats should have USB charge ports, and the front passengers should have access to a wireless phone charger. Most current Infiniti models have a complete package of active and passive safety features to keep you out of trouble. Unfortunately, we don’t have confirmation of these features for this new full-size luxury SUV.
The next generation of the Infiniti QX80 is in the works and will hit the market sometime in the next couple of years. Will this be the full-size luxury SUV that you want to drive and enjoy every day? It could be a strong competitor for the Cadillac Escalade, but will it be better than the venerable Caddy?
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