Glowing ghostly in a sheen of Liquid White pearlescent paint inspired by the winter snows of Mount Fuji, the INFINITI QX Inspiration Concept unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show is a serene expression of the automotive brand’s most idealistic architectural expressions of technology, luxury materials, and the Japanese concept of ‘Ma,’ – the spatial tension existing between lines.
The all-electric SUV’s cab-forward exterior is sharply influenced by Japanese origami, aggressively creased across angled panels. Squint, and the QX Inspiration’s profile can evoke the the profile of a patient muscular grey heron leaning to strike its prey. Open eyes wide and it’s difficult to ignore the concept’s enormous 22-inch wheels and a grill-less fascia (without a combustion engine, the grill becomes an anachronistic detail).
Infiniti executive design director Karim Habib cites negative space as key to this new design language: “It’s the empty space between the edges that often carries the loudest message,” notes Habib. “With the QX Inspiration concept, we were inspired by the Japanese concept of Ma, a focus on the lines and the empty space in between. What is happening in that space between the lines – the free, natural flow of surfaces – is truly expressive. It’s the empty space between the edges that often carries the loudest message.”
For the interior we followed the principle of omotenashi, or Japanese hospitality. It’s a concept that we discussed a great deal during development of the INFINITI QX Inspiration. Technology is a window into broader horizons, and we want that window to be inviting, welcoming, enticing – staying true to our Japanese roots.
-Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President for Global Design, Nissan Motor Co.
For now the Infiniti QX Inspiration stands as a one-off concept intended to showcase the brand’s most idealistic aesthetic and technological next-generation intentions. But don’t be surprised to see more than bits and pieces of this electrified prototype sports ute’s vision of the concept of Ma permeate across Infiniti’s vehicles as they forge toward an electric future.