Before bidding adieu to 2018, INFINITI will reflect on a successful calendar year. Besides achieving record sales in November thanks in part to the award-winning 2019 QX50 crossover, INFINITI made historic promises, debuted a stunning speedster concept and helped paleontologists discover new dinosaur species in the Gobi Desert.
Here's INFINITI's Top 10 Moments of 2018:
INFINITI unveils Q Inspiration Concept at NAIAS
Previewing a new generation of INFINITI vehicles, the Q Inspiration Concept proposes how an innovative VC-Turbo powertrain, next-level autonomous drive technologies, and a unique human-centric interior could enrich the experience for drivers of luxury sedans. The concept car was revealed for the first time at the 2018 North American International Auto Show and is meant to demonstrate future technologies. The Q Inspiration is the first manifestation of INFINITI's new form language, for an era of advanced powertrains. The concept eschews classical sedan forms with coupe-like proportions and an elongated silhouette, demonstrating INFINITI's design vision for vehicles in this segment.
INFINITI announces plans to go electric from 2021
INFINITI Motor Company will introduce new vehicles with electrified powertrains from 2021, said Nissan Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa at the 2018 Automotive News World Congress. INFINITI will offer a mix of pure electric vehicles (EV) and e-POWER vehicles – demonstrating the full range of low-emission vehicle technology available to INFINITI as the premium brand of Nissan Motor Company. As a result of this emphasis on low-emission technology, INFINITI expects more than half its global sales to be comprised of EVs by 2025.
INFINITI ranks No. 1 in 2018 J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Index
INFINITI earned top honors, ranking No. 1 in Customer Satisfaction with Dealer Service among Luxury Brands by J.D. Power 2018 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study. Overall, INFINITI achieved a CSI score of 876 on a 1,000-point scale, 48 points above the industry average and 14 points above the premium segment average.
INFINITI attributes its success to a variety of factors including a strong network of retailers and a comprehensive mix of policies and programs such as multiple touchpoint reviews, high hospitality standards and a variety of training programs available both in-person and via online.
INFINITI reveals 2019 QX60 LIMITED and QX80 LIMITED in New York
The new QX60 LIMITED includes a special dark chrome front grille, fog lamp finishers and door moldings. Also added are dark premium-paint roof rails and cross bars, special rear bumper lower coloring with gloss black paint, and "LIMITED" rear hatch emblem, along with unique design 20-inch dark color aluminum-alloy wheels mounted with 235/55R-20 all-season tires. The 2019 INFINITI QX80 LIMITED — one of three 2019 QX80 models, along with the QX80 LUXE and QX80 LUXE 4WD — adds a range of exclusive new treatments for an even more powerful presence. The 2019 QX80 LIMITED exterior features include specially designed dark machine-finished 22-inch forged aluminum-alloy wheels; stainless steel running boards with rubber grips; branded welcome lighting; satin chrome exterior trim, roof rails and crossbars; unique front and rear bumper lower treatment; and "LIMITED" rear hatch emblem. The QX80 is available in five exterior colors, including a new LIMITED-exclusive Anthracite Gray.
INFINITI supports paleontologists in the Gobi Desert
The Institute of Paleontology and Geology of Mongolian Academy of Sciences and The Explorers Club Hong Kong Chapter, supported by INFINITI Motor Company, announced a breakthrough in paleontological methodology on June 29. Achieved through advanced mapping technology, the collaborative group discovered many significant findings after a 20-day expedition in the Gobi Desert that revisited the route of Roy Chapman Andrews' groundbreaking explorations nearly 100 years ago.
The 35-person multidisciplinary team of paleontologists, geologists, archaeologists, scientists and The Explorers Club members found possible evidence of three new dinosaur species, more than 250 new fossil locations, five entirely new areas previously not known to contain fossils, and hundreds of fossilized bones, including those of mammals, which were not previously known to have existed in the area. The paleontologists will analyze the fossils they took back to Ulaanbaatar to validate the findings and will explore the newly discovered sites over the next several years, if not decades.
INFINITI debuts the Prototype 10 in Pebble Beach
Bridging past and future, the INFINITI Prototype 10 recaptures the spirit of early speedsters for an era of electrified performance. Revealed for the first time at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the concept represents a physical manifestation of INFINITI's creative and ambitious plans for electrified performance. The monoposto (single-seat) cockpit is consistent with INFINITI's driver-focused approach and is indicative of the new opportunities created for INFINITI by adopting electrified powertrains and flexible vehicle platforms.
INFINITI and Motor Trend Group bring inaugural Japanese Automotive Invitational to Pebble Beach Automotive Week
INFINITI also partnered with Motor Trend Group to bring the inaugural Japanese Automotive Invitational to this year's Pebble Beach Automotive Week. The two-day event displayed Japanese automobiles in a festive and relaxed atmosphere along with presentations from top experts in the category. The vehicles, such as the 1964 Datsun 1500 Roadster, 1966 Toyota 2000GT, 1970 Mazda Cosmo Sport, and 1994 INFINITI J30, exemplify Japanese innovation, design and performance that originate from a rich and historically significant car culture.
INFINITI develops Project Black S prototype with world's first dual-hybrid powertrain
Based on the INFINITI Q60 sports coupe, Project Black S is an engineering testbed exploring how Renault Sport Formula One Team-inspired dual-hybrid powertrain technology could be deployed in a road car. The Project Black S development prototype represents the maximum level of performance, dynamic capability, effective aerodynamics and intelligent energy management offered by INFINITI. The world's first dual-hybrid technology is derived from Formula One and engineered specifically for the road to create a potential new performance flagship. It also illustrates INFINITI's commitment to developing exciting high-performance electrified powertrains.
INFINITI has record November on strength of QX50
INFINITI Motor Company had the best November sales in the brand's 29-year history, thanks to growing customer demand for its all-new QX50 midsize SUV. The company sold a record 22,126 vehicles globally in November, an increase of six percent from a year earlier. INFINITI also posted record sales in its two biggest markets, the U.S. and China. Sales rose eight percent in the U.S. to 14,086 vehicles and increased nine percent in China to 5,009.
INFINITI VC-Turbo named to Wards 10 Best Engines list for 2019
INFINITI's VC-Turbo engine, the world's first production variable compression ratio engine, was named to Wards 10 Best Engines list for the 2019 model year. In the 25th year of Wards 10 Best Engines competition, the INFINITI VC-Turbo engine was tested against a range of new and significantly improved powerplants from manufacturers around the world, along with Wards 10 Best winners from 2018.
"INFINITI's VC-Turbo engine is a first for the industry, and after spending time in the 2019 QX50, there was no question this engine would be a top contender," said Tom Murphy, WardsAuto Managing Editor. "With its power-on-demand personality and improved fuel economy, the VC-Turbo offers a smooth and commanding driving experience that rivals the performance of some V6 engines. On the technology front, it's mind-blowing what's happening inside the engine as the piston stroke changes length in response to the driver's throttle inputs, all at running speed."
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