Spied! Next-Gen Infiniti QX50 Caught Testing in California

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QX50 mule spotted in MT’s own backyard

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The current Infiniti QX50 is long overdue for a replacement, and Nissan’s luxury arm is hard at work prepping the next-gen model. The upcoming midsize crossover was spotted testing in Motor Trend’s backyard by our own associate online editor Michael Cantu.

Two QX50 mules were caught near Angeles Crest Highway, accompanied by an entourage of Nissan engineers driving various other vehicles. One of those vehicles was a BMW X3, suggesting Infiniti is benchmarking that model for the next QX50. As previewed by the QX50 concept, the new model adopts more crossover-like proportions, with this mule showing off a shorter dash-to-axle ratio, taller greenhouse, and what appears to be a higher seating position. Unsurprisingly, the production QX50 inherits styling cues from the concept, including a sleek headlight design, raked rear glass, and angular horizontal taillights.

Infiniti QX50 prototype 009

The next QX50 is expected to ride on a new front-drive-based platform from the Renault Nissan alliance, and will be the first Infiniti model to receive Infiniti’s new variable-compression 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4. That engine uses a trick crankshaft that can change its position, and thus vary the distance between the piston and cylinder head for a higher or lower compression ratio depending on the situation. The production QX50 could debut later this year, and go on sale sometime in 2018.

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