Infiniti announced earlier this year that it would be adding a 3-row crossover to its fleet, but only released a single teaser image. However, our spy photographers managed to catch up with the CUV while testing, giving us our best look yet at the people-friendly hauler.
Unlike the last time our spies nabbed the JX, we have detailed inside and out photos of the big crossover, which appears to be ready for its late summer debut.
Designated JX, the model will 1st be shown in concept car form at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August before a production model debuts at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. Sales should begin in early 2012.
The JX will slot in above the 5-seat FX, which might not be redesigned when it is due in a few years, and below the 7 or 8-seat QX.
The new JX will go up against rivals from Mercedes-Benz (GL-Class), Audi (Q7) and Lincoln (MKT). For the most part, Infiniti appears to be ahead of the curve in offering a true 3-row crossover to luxury buyers. Most rivals have stuck with either 5-seat models or more utility-oriented SUVs like the Lexus GX 460 and Land Rover LR4.
Infiniti will almost certainly continue to offer its QX56, which went on sale barely a year ago. Sales of the boxier QX56 have been brisk, exceeding Infiniti’s expectations despite its hefty fuel consumption.
Although Infiniti has shifted to rear-wheel drive in recent years, the JX is expected to ride on Nissan’s front-wheel drive “D” platform. Nissan’s D platform underpins vehicles like the Maxima, Altima and Murano, and will give the JX the ability to offer all-wheel drive.
Infiniti’s 3.7-liter V6 is certainly a possibility for the JX, but a number of trademark filings — including JX20, JX25, JX25h, and JX30 — suggest Infiniti could be considering downsizing. Whatever the case, expect a hybrid model to be part of the JX lineup.
Outside, the JX clearly takes inspiration from the Audi Q7, at least in terms of its overall shape. In fact, at 1st glance, these photos could be of a camouflaged mid-cycle update for the Q7. But the difference is in the details; the JX uses Infiniti’s swoopy styling all around, drawing heavily on themes presented last year when the QX56 was unveiled.
For the 1st time ever, we now have a good look at the JX’s interior. Switchgear is borrowed heavily from other Infiniti models, like the automaker’s unique round heated and ventilated seat knobs and its small leather-wrapped gear lever. The design isn’t as expressive as that found in the company’s midsize M sedans, especially when it comes to a more conservative door panel treatment. But that’s fitting for this segment, which should be fairly high volume for Nissan’s luxury brand.
Look for more details to leak out over the coming months about the upcoming JX crossover.