Infiniti's expanding product lineup takes a full-size step forward in spring 2004 with the addition of an all-new luxury sport utility vehicle. Designated the Infiniti QX56 for its powerful 5.6-liter V8 engine, the new full-size luxury SUV becomes the fourth V8-powered Infiniti, joining the Q45 and M45 sedans and FX45 crossover SUV, and the third to feature all-wheel drive, along with the FX and the newly introduced 2004 G35 Sport Sedan all-wheel drive model.
The new QX56, which will be the first Infiniti model assembled in North America, is designed to provide luxury on a grand scale, with eight-passenger seating (seven-passenger with 2nd row captains chairs), progressive styling, advanced technology and exceptional on-road and off-road performance.
"The new QX56 offers a new level of style, sophistication, luxury and capability," said Mark Igo, vice president and general manager, Infiniti. "Along with being built on a solid foundation of advanced engineering, the QX56 offers buyers an unmatched array of ownership-enhancing technology and convenience features, such as a standard navigation system and auto-leveling rear suspension."
True Luxury in Look and Feel
The 2004 Infiniti QX56 is designed to target luxury SUV buyers who are looking for something new and different, providing a combination of practical elegance and ergonomic thoughtfulness with a rewarding level of comfort and indulgence.
"The biggest unmet need in the luxury SUV category is for refined dynamics, the sense that even though these are full-size, fully capable vehicles they shouldn't ride and look like trucks," said Igo. "The QX56 addresses those concerns admirably from a hardware standpoint with its independent rear suspension, smooth 5-speed automatic transmission and extremely quiet cabin. But the QX56 also asserts itself with tremendous luxury and style, more than with just its physical scale and capabilities."
The exterior styling of the QX56 projects a very powerful presence, beginning with its large hood, Infiniti-style chrome "waterfall" grille and taut, barrel-shaped sides. The jewel-like xenon headlights are located low in the fenders, which, combined with the integrated halogen fog lamps, help give the new QX56 a strong resemblance to the elegant front end design established by the original Infiniti QX4. The large 18-inch tires are placed close to the edge of the wheelwells, enhancing the taut, athletic stance, while the standard 7-spoke chromed aluminum-alloy wheels and chrome wheel lip moldings – connected visually by the standard body side cladding and running boards – complement the QX56's sophisticated luxury imagery. In the rear, Infiniti-style LED tail and brake lights provide additional visual distinction. A distinctive power-operated liftgate with opening rear glass and a large bumper with integrated towing hardware complete the rear exterior appearance.
The exterior design also offers a long list of additional features, including chrome front door handles, dual power-adjustable heated chrome side mirrors with puddle lamps, privacy glass for the 2nd and 3rd rows and power-operated flip-out rear quarter windows. Also offered as standard equipment is a Rear Proximity Sensor (back-up obstacle warning system) in the rear bumper.
The optional Infiniti RearView Monitor system, like that offered with the flagship Q45 and M45 sedans, utilizes a small CCD camera discretely located in the rear license plate finisher to provide a picture of what is behind the vehicle (projected on the QX56's standard navigation system LCD monitor).
Eight exterior colors are offered for the QX56: Tuscan Pearl (white), Liquid Onyx (black), Silver Indulgence (silver), Silver Graphite (dark silver), Opus Red (red), Cobalt Blue (blue), Kashmir (gold) and Jade (light green).
An Interior of Distinction and Luxury
Taking advantage of its long 123.2-inch wheelbase and manageable 206.9-inch overall length, the QX56's designers filled the new SUV's spacious interior with a high level of roominess, comfort and convenience features – and one other thing, a distinctively luxurious atmosphere.
"Buyers in the full-size luxury SUV category view their vehicles as extensions of how they live their lives," said Igo. "That includes a feeling of being ahead of the curve, of cut-above equipment and a bit of tasteful indulgence. The new QX56 delivers on every measure, especially in the design of its exceptional interior treatment."
The interior starts with modern styling of the instrument panel, seats and storage areas and the use of first quality materials such as Sojourner® leather-appointed seating surfaces and thick (16-oz.) Tuscano carpeting. Genuine Dark Macore or Blonde Apaya wood trim is used on the center console cover and steering wheel, with aluminum accents on the steering wheel trim and instrument panel finisher.
The standard seating configuration includes fold-flat 2nd row captain's chairs with integrated armrests, removable 2nd row center console and fold-flat 3rd row bench seat. A fold-flat 2nd row bench seat is also available, providing 8-passenger seating if desired.
The front seats feature 10-way power adjustment for the driver and 8-way power adjustment for the passenger, while both the front and 2nd row seats are heated. The front passenger seat folds down and includes a recessed "work area" and cup holders. The QX56 also offers 2nd row legroom of 41.9 inches and large front center console storage capacity.
The 3rd row seating area, often overlooked in SUV design, treats passengers with the same high level of attention as those in the first two rows. The 3rd row seats are elevated (higher than the 2nd row) to provide a better forward view and to help facilitate easier conversation with forward occupants. The seat's fold-flat design provides easy operation and easy access, along with cargo hauling flexibility and spontaneity. In addition to ample headroom, the 3rd row provides passengers with individual side storage bins and cupholders.
There is also ample storage space behind the 3rd row seat. With the 2nd and 3rd row seats folded down, the cargo area is nearly flat. Additionally, with the front passenger seat in the fold-down position, it is possible to carry long items with the rear liftgate closed.
"Despite its luxury appearance, the QX56 quickly converts to a real workhorse when needed, enhancing owners' spontaneous lifestyles," said Igo.
The QX56's instrument panel is highlighted by Fine Vision instrument illumination, signature Infiniti analog clock, dual-zone electronically controlled climate control and a standard DVD-based navigation system with 7.0-inch LCD screen. A Bose® audio system with 10 speakers, AM/FM/6-CD autochanger and steering wheel mounted controls is standard on every QX56. The system includes dual media capability, which allows the use of radio and CD at the same time (headphones must be used to listen to second audio source).
Adjustable brake and accelerator pedals with transmission interlock and memory function are standard, part of the Auto Driving Position memory system that includes memory for pedals, outside mirrors and driver's seat.
The QX56's full-length overhead console features individual map lights and ventilation for each passenger. The optional DVD Family Entertainment System includes a flip-down console-mounted monitor, as well as storage compartments for the system's two wireless headphones and remote controller.
Other standard interior features include four 12V power outlets, rear air conditioning with dual controls (front and rear), rear heater duct, driver and front passenger one-touch auto up/down power windows; rear auto-down power windows, 12 cupholders and bottle holders (some with capability of holding up to 64 oz. bottles), standard HomeLink® Universal Transceiver and rear area ceiling/floor-mounted cargo tie-down points and cargo net. Two interior colors are available, Willow and Graphite.
"This is one of the most thoughtful, accommodating interiors you'll find in any vehicle on the market today," said Igo. "It clearly conveys a message of refinement and luxury, which is just what you expect from Infiniti."
Athletic Power and Handling
The new QX56 blends responsive acceleration with agile handling through use of its leading edge engine and chassis design. The standard 5.6-liter DOHC V8 produces 315 horsepower at 4,900 RPM and 390 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 RPM through the use of advanced design features such as aluminum block with cast iron cylinder liners, forged steel crankshaft, microfinished crankshaft and camshafts, molybdenum-coated pistons, 6-bolt main bearing caps, single-stage timing chain and, for precise control, an electronic "drive-by-wire" throttle.
The QX56's V8 is assembled at Nissan's advanced engine facility in Decherd, Tenn. Nearly 90 percent of the engine's impressive torque is available below 2,500 rpm – where it's needed for hauling, towing or slow-speed off-road driving.
Every QX56 also comes with a standard 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with tow/haul modes for enhanced performance and fuel efficiency. The transmission is geared specifically for use in high torque situations and includes an advanced torque converter design for improved fuel economy and an advanced powertrain management program for smooth shift quality.
A gated floor shifter provides enhanced shift control when towing. The transmission's tow/haul mode revises the shift pattern when towing and hauling. The QX56 has a maximum towing capacity of 8,900 pounds (properly equipped).
Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Active Brake Limited-Slip (ABLS) (includes deactivation switch) is also offered as standard on every QX56.
The 2004 QX56 is available in two drive configurations – rear-wheel drive and an all-wheel drive model featuring a full-time all-wheel drive system with RWD/4H/4LO modes, electronically controlled part-time transfer case with low gear. The two-speed electronic transfer case allows the driver to select between auto, full-time all-wheel drive and 4LO.
The QX56's AWD system is designed to instantly distribute torque to all four wheels whenever road conditions warrant (up to 50 percent can go to the front wheels on demand), resulting in optimal traction. Under normal driving conditions, AWD QX56s operate in rear-wheel drive mode. All AWD QX56s include heavy-duty skid plates for the oil pan, fuel tank and transfer case.
All QX56s are built on a durable fully boxed, high strength steel frame and feature standard Dana front and rear axles. The combination of comfortable ride and responsive handling comes from the 4-wheel independent double-wishbone suspension with front and rear stabilizer bars.
An advanced rear auto-leveling air suspension is also standard on every QX56, helping provide better handling stability and ride comfort when towing or hauling cargo. The air suspension also maintains uniform ground clearance and departure angle, even when towing or carrying cargo, by automatically adjusting the air pressure in the system's air bladders.
"The QX56's independent rear suspension benefits users in many ways – optimizing ride and handling on rough roads, improving ride quality for occupants in the 2nd and 3rd row seats and maximizing rear interior space through its low-profile design," said Igo. "This is one more way that QX56 owners get the benefits of full-size SUV utility without being penalized in the areas of ride comfort and handling."
The 2004 QX56 also features standard engine-speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, 4-wheel disc brakes with Bosch Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA), 7-spoke 18x8J chromed aluminum-alloy wheels and 265/70R18 SUV tires and Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) with standard warning lamp (in gauge cluster) and warning display. A standard 28-gallon fuel tank provides an excellent driving range.
Optionally available (as part of a package with the RearView Monitor) is Infiniti's advanced Intelligent Cruise Control, which allows the QX56 driver to maintain an appropriate distance from the vehicle ahead. Using a combination of laser sensors, throttle and brake actuators and the QX56's braking system, a laser signal measures the distance to the vehicle ahead, then automatically adjusts the QX56's speed to maintain a pre-selected following distance. (The system is not intended for congested areas or city driving and will not brake automatically to a stop.)
Advanced Safety Technology
The 2004 Infiniti QX56 offers an extensive list of standard safety features, including standard supplemental curtain air bags for side-impact and rollover to all three rows, side-impact supplemental air bags (front seat-mounted) and an Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors and a front passenger occupant classification sensor.
The QX56 design also includes Zone Body construction with front and rear crushable zones, 3-point front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, 3-point seat belts for all rear seat occupants (including center position) and LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat anchor system.
Everything You Want in One Fully Equipped Model
The all-new Infiniti QX56 full-size luxury SUV is designed to take the complexity out of the buying decision. The QX56 comes in one model, in a choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Standard equipment includes the 5.6-liter V8, 5-speed automatic transmission, 4-wheel independent suspension with auto-leveling rear, leather-appointed seating, advanced Bose audio system, navigation system and much more.
Options and packages include the Second-row Split Bench Seat Package; Infiniti DVD Mobile Entertainment System; Power Sunroof; Painted Splash Guards; and Smart Vision Package, with the RearView Monitor and Intelligent Cruise Control.
The 2004 Infiniti QX56 goes on sale at Infiniti dealers nationwide in spring 2004. It will be shown publicly for the first time at the 2004 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.