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    Detroit Auto Show: 2015 MINI John Cooper Works


    • MINI Hots Up The Hardtop With A Bit A Help From John Cooper Works


    Almost a year after MINI revealed the new Cooper Hardtop, the automaker announced the hotted-up John Cooper Works model that will debut at the Detroit Auto Show next month.

    The new John Cooper Works model comes equipped with a tuned 2.0L TwinPower turbo four-cylinder with 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. You can pair this with either a six-speed manual or automatic. MINI quotes 0-60 MPH times of 6.1 seconds for the manual or 5.9 seconds for the automatic.

    A sports suspension will be standard on the John Cooper Works to provide excellent handling. However if you value your spine, you'll be happy to hear that you'll be able to swap the standard suspension at no extra cost. Bringing the vehicle to a stop will be a set of Brembo brakes.

    Source: MINI

    Press Release is on Page 2


    PURE DRIVING FUN, MORE EXTREME THAN EVER: THE NEW MINI JOHN COOPER WORKS HARDTOP

    • The new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop will make its World Premiere at the North American International Auto Show in January

    Woodcliff Lake, NJ, December 10, 2014. MINI has carried a passion for motorsport for 55 years and this is more evident than ever before with the launch of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop. The exceptional performance of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop is a result of the most powerful engine ever installed in one of the brand's production models, suspension technology refined with racing expertise and model-specific design features which not only optimize the car's aerodynamic features but also underscore its exclusive charisma. With its irresistible temperament and high performance capabilities, it not only outperforms the sportiest variants of the new MINI but also the predecessor John Cooper Works variants.

    The power for the new John Cooper Works Hardtop is delivered by a 2.0- liter 4-cylinder engine that was developed based on the latest generation of power units with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology. It generates a maximum output of 228 bhp and a maximum torque of 236 ft-lbs., accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 Seconds (Manual: 6.1 seconds). This is an increase in sprint capability of 0.3 seconds or 5 percent as compared to the previous generation John Cooper Works Hardtop. Elasticity has even been improved by 10 percent. With a figure of 5.6 seconds for acceleration from 50 to 75 mph, the new MINI John Cooper Works even leaves top-class sports cars in its dust.

    Technology for the engine, suspension, body and interior have been derived directly from motor racing and define the exclusive, performance-oriented character of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop. Combined with the further refined product substance of the new MINI, the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop has been created for fans who appreciate authentic race feeling, premium quality and a high level of everyday practicality. The extremely powerful engine, sports exhaust system and sports suspension with exclusive 17-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels combine for a high performance motoring experience that MINI owners expect from the John Cooper Works variants. A sports brake system developed in collaboration with specialist manufacturer Brembo, as well as the John Cooper Works aerodynamics kit including a model-specific rear spoiler and newly developed John Cooper Works sports seats comprising integrated headrest all go together to complete a precisely harmonized overall package.

    This gives the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop performance qualities including not just high-speed acceleration capacity but also exceptional agility, a high degree of steering precision and precise handling on the road as well as excellent deceleration figures. This set of characteristics reflects the brand’s rich motor racing experience and bears witness to the tradition-steeped link between MINI and John Cooper Works. Ever since legendary designer John Cooper discovered the racing talent the classic Mini presented in the early 1960’s, his name has stood for maximum driving fun and success on the race track with the small British car.

    The engine: state-of-the-art basis optimized with racing expertise for top performance.

    Under the bonnet of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop is by far the sportiest version of the latest MINI engine generation. The 4-cylinder engine traditionally mounted transversely at the front benefits from advancements in the areas of power delivery, smoothness and efficiency derived from MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology, combining these with performance characteristics which are unmistakably geared towards motor racing. It draws its power from a capacity of 2.0 liters - an increase of 25 percent over the engine in the predecessor model. The increase in output amounts to 10 percent, while the maximum torque is 14 percent higher than before.

    The new engine was created on the basis of the 4-cylinder that was completely newly developed for the latest generation of the MINI Cooper S. It has turbocharging integrated in the exhaust manifold, direct injection with injectors arranged centrally between the valves, fully variable valve control in the form of VALVETRONIC as patented by the BMW Group and variable camshaft control on the intake and exhaust side (double VANOS). As a result, the engine of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop guarantees efficient and reliable driving fun in day-to-day use as well as sporty power delivery for inspirational performance on the race track.

    The turbocharging system integrated in the cast steel manifold makes for short ducting of the exhaust gas flow, thereby enabling an early and powerful response. What is more, the turbocharger developed specially for the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop is made of temperature-resilient material. It generates increased charge-air pressure for even, sporty power delivery across a wide engine speed range. The specific pistons are precisely harmonized with this, enabling compression reduction that is adapted to the high level of charge-air pressure. This design produces performance characteristics typical of a sports car: power delivery which sets in early on and is maintained continuously right through to a high load range. The engine of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop responds spontaneously to the smallest movements of the accelerator pedal. It develops its maximum torque of 236 ft-lbs. at just 1, 250 rpm and puts this on stream over a range going up to 4, 800 rpm. At 5, 200 rpm the engine supplies its peak output of 228 bhp which is then maintained at a constant level up to 6, 000 rpm.

    The output bonus in the new John Cooper Works Hardtop is now higher than before with 39 percent more horsepower than the MINI Cooper S and is also exceptional in terms of its pulling power. Its thrust not only enables extremely spirited acceleration from standing but also highly dynamic interim sprints. The new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop completes the standard sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds (Manual: 6.1 seconds), it takes just 5.6 seconds to accelerate from 50 to 75 mph and its maximum speed 153 mph.

    Geared towards top performance in every way, the engine technology in the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop is rounded off with a specific sports exhaust system. With its low level of exhaust back pressure it promotes spontaneous power delivery in the engine as well as generating the sound typical of the John Cooper Works models that underscores the engine's performance character with a highly emotional acoustic pattern across all load ranges.

    Top performance delivered in dynamic style: 6-speed manual transmission with engine speed adaptation, 6-speed Steptronic sports transmission with shift paddles at the steering wheel.

    Power delivery to the front wheels is affected as standard via a 6-speed manual transmission which has been adapted in detail to the engine's performance characteristics. The transmission itself, also newly developed for the latest model generation, is characterized by low weight, short shift travel and optimized acoustic and vibrational characteristics, as well as providing an innovation which comes into play impressively when the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop is driven in sporty style. A gear sensor allows active engine speed adaptation, or rev-matching. When changing gear, the engine speed can be automatically adapted to the rotational speed of the input shaft for the gear selected. This ensures jerk-free clutch engagement, thereby enhancing comfort when shifting down a gear.

    A 6-speed Steptronic sports transmission is also optionally available for the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop. This automatic transmission combines high efficiency and a high level of shift comfort with increased shift dynamics and fast gear shifts. In manual mode, it is possible to change gear using shift paddles at the steering wheel. In combination with the automatic transmission, the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop also features the automatic engine start/stop function, preventing unnecessary fuel consumption caused by idling at junctions or in congested traffic.

    Efficiency-optimized drive systems thanks to MINIMALISM technology.

    The MINIMALISM technology also extensively applied in the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop comprises not just efficiency-optimized drive systems and the automatic engine start/stop function but also shift point display, brake energy regeneration, needs-based control of the fuel pump, coolant pump and other ancillary units, electromechanical power steering and a map-controlled oil pump. In addition, intelligent lightweight construction and optimized aerodynamic properties help ensure significantly increased driving fun.

    For precisely controllable go-kart feeling: high-end suspension technology, Brembo brake system, exclusive light alloy wheels.

    Together with the hallmark brand concept comprising front-wheel drive, a low center of gravity, short overhangs, wide track and rigid body structure, the suspension technology has undergone extensive further development for the latest generation of the MINI so as to provide the perfect basis for thrilling race feeling. The new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop is fitted as standard with a sports suspension and benefits from the well-established design principle of a single-joint spring strut axle at front and a multilink rear axle which is unique within the competitive environment, as well as optimized details geared towards high engine and driving performance figures. A standard suspension is also available as a no-cost option.

    In order to reduce weight and increase component rigidity, the front axle is fitted with aluminum swivel bearings as well as axle supports and wishbones made of high-strength steel. The model-specific axle kinematics supports an agile turn-in response as well as a precise steering sensation largely free of drive torque. At the rear axle, too, a larger proportion of highly rigid steel types ensure increased stiffness combined with reduced weight. Tube-shaped stabilizers at the front and rear axle, an innovative axle bearing including a hydraulically damped engine mount and triple- path support bearings to decouple the dampers from the body additionally contribute to the fact that the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop retains precise handling as well as optimized ride comfort even in highly sporty situations.

    Another standard feature of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop is the high-performance sports brake system developed exclusively for this model. Designed in collaboration with the specialized manufacturer Brembo and precisely harmonized with the properties of the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop, the fixed caliper disc brakes guarantee a high deceleration performance even when exposed to intensive stress on the race track. The brake calipers are finished in red and bear the manufacturer's logo. The standard 17-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels in Race Spoke design were created exclusively for the John Cooper Works Hardtop, and there are three more wheel design options including 17-inch Joh Cooper Works Track Spoke light alloy wheels in silver or black and 18-inch John Cooper Works Cup Spoke light alloy wheels with two-tone finish.

    The standard Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) also comprises the functions Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) - which acts as an electronic locking function for the front axle differential - and Performance Control, which supports agile turning when taking bends at speed. Self-steering tendencies that can be caused by differing torque levels on the drive wheels are also prevented by means of the so-called Torque Steer Compensation function provided by the electromechanical power steering. Standard features also include the speed-related steering assistance system Servotronic. Dynamic Damper Control is optionally available for the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop. It allows selection of two set-ups for either particularly sporty or more comfort-oriented driving situations.

    The passive safety of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop is also enhanced by the extremely rigid passenger cell, highly resilient bracket structures and deformation zones in optimum design. These form part of the integrated MINI safety concept, as do the standard eight airbags, 3-point automatic belts on all seats and ISOFIX children's seat attachments at the rear.

    Exterior design: precise cooling air and wind ducting.

    The body design of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop underscores the performance-oriented yet exclusive character of the top athlete in the small car segment. The front section has large air inlets which indicate the high cooling requirements of the engine, its ancillary units and the brakes and thereby instantly revealing the car's outstanding performance qualities. The model-specific cooling concept of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop also comprises additional air inlets in the outer areas of the front apron so as to ensure the ideal operating temperature is maintained even in race track conditions. These take up the space provided in the new MINI for fog lamps and guarantee an air supply to additional external cooling units that regulate the temperature level of the ancillary units and brakes.

    The hexagonal radiator grill at the center of the front section has a characteristic honeycomb pattern and a cross member at the bottom edge finished in red. The John Cooper Works logo also appears here, as well as on the luggage compartment lid at the rear of the car. The likewise standard LED headlamps are surrounded by a daytime driving light ring also in LED technology, the lower section of which is white and acts as the direction indicator.

    Precisely shaped air ducting elements in the lower section of the front apron help optimize the car's aerodynamic properties as do the side sills in model-specific design. All the other body elements relevant to airflow were subjected to intense testing in race track conditions in order to precisely harmonize them with the driving dynamics potential of the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop and thereby ensure precise and safe handling at all times. This explains the distinctive shape of the rear spoiler fitted on the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop, applied to generate down thrust at high speeds. The rear apron with flaps and a diffuser element in the lower area likewise helps optimize aerodynamic balance.

    Other exclusive features of the exterior include the side turn indicator surrounds known as side scuttles, which bear a red accentuation line and a John Cooper Works logo applied to a black background, and also the tailpipes of the sports exhaust system integrated centrally in the rear apron and identifiable by their large cross-section. The black wheel arch surrounds also exhibit model-specific contours. Eleven paint finishes are available to choose from for the body. The range also includes the MINI Yours paint finish Lapisluxury Blue metallic and the new variant Rebel Green metallic - the latter being available exclusively for the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop. As an option at no extra cost, the roof and exterior mirror caps can be finished in white, black or - also exclusively for the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop - Chili Red. The exclusive John Cooper Works black bonnets stripes with Chili Red lines are also an option that is reserved solely for the new top athlete.

    Interior: sports car cockpit with new John Cooper Works sports seats for authentic race feeling.

    Due to the increased dimensions as compared to the predecessor model, the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop offers optimized space on the four seats. The luggage compartment now has a capacity of 34 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded. The additional functions and the new display and operating concept are combined with specific design features in the style of John Cooper Works, thereby enhancing the intense performance experience this car offers.

    Optimum lateral hold in highly dynamic driving situations is ensured by the newly developed John Cooper Works sports seats with integrated headrests and model-specific upholstery in Dinamica/fabric and the color Carbon Black. The new seats are also optionally available in a Dinamica/Carbon Black leather version. The exclusive standard fittings also include the newly designed John Cooper Works leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons and the John Cooper Works entry sills, the John Cooper Works gear or selector lever, stainless steel pedals including driver footrest and anthracite roof liner.

    Interior trim in Piano Black and red design accentuations not just on the seat surfaces but also on the steering wheel rim, the gear or selector lever and the car key all contribute to underscoring the car's exclusive charisma. What is more, the new MINI John Cooper Works has model-specific cockpit displays in a style that is presented here for the first time. A dark dial for the speedometer and engine speed display optimize readability of the instruments arranged above the steering wheel.

    The standard fittings of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop also include the MINI Driving Modes, which allow configuration of an individual set-up. Using a rotary switch at the base of the gear or selector lever, the driver can select not just the standard setting MID Mode but also the SPORT Mode and the GREEN Mode so as to activate a set-up that emphasizes sporty driving, a balanced, comfortable style or increased efficiency. The MINI Driving Modes are used to influence the characteristic curves of the accelerator, steering and engine acoustics. Where the car is fitted with the relevant equipment features, the selected set-up also affects the shifting characteristics of the automatic transmission, the Dynamic Damper Control program map, the ambient lighting and the displays in the central instrument.

    Innovative driver assistance systems: MINI Head-Up Display with model-specific display content.

    The racing feel in the cockpit of the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop can be further enhanced with optional sports instruments Cockpit Chrono package. The three displays designed in classic circular form provide information that is especially relevant when an ambitiously sporty style of driving is adopted. The sports instruments consist of displays for the oil and turbo boost pressure as well as a chronometer with stopwatch function.

    What is more, the full extended range of driver assistance systems is also available for the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop. This comprises the Active Driving Assistant including camera-based active cruise control, collision and pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant, and road sign detection, as well as Park Assistant Package, Park Distance Control, and rear-view camera. Meanwhile the likewise optional MINI Head-Up Display which extends above the steering column offers an augmented range of functions specific to this model. In addition to information on road speed, speed limits detected, current navigation directions and Check Control messages, feedback from the driver assistance systems and lists of telephone contacts and entertainment programs, it is also possible to display the currently selected gear and a multi-colored engine speed scale which is supplemented with a shift point signal depending on the driving mode selected, so as to enable for dynamic acceleration maneuvers.

    High-end special equipment features for greater driving fun, comfort, premium flair and individual style.

    Due to its model-specific design and fittings, the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop already comes off the production line as a perfectly harmonized package offering extreme driving fun in the premium small car segment. With the characteristic MINI diversity in terms of the range of special equipment features and accessories, the top athlete additionally offers extensive options for customization geared precisely towards the driver's own personal style. Dual-zone automatic climate control is included as standard equipment, as are automatic headlights, and rain-sensing automatic windshield wipers. Other available options include seat heating for driver and front passenger, a panorama glass roof, ambient lighting with continuously variable coloring, electrically heated and folding exterior mirrors and auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors. For customization of the exterior and interior, options also include various graphics for the roof and exterior mirrors, bonnet stripes, seat upholsteries, interior surfaces and Color Lines.

    The Radio MINI Boost including AUX-IN socket and USB interface are likewise standard features of the new MINI John Cooper Works. These can be supplemented with such items as the optional Harman/Kardon hi-fi speaker system. The option MINI Connected or MINI Connected XL is also available in conjunction with the Radio MINI Visual Boost and the MINI navigation system. It offers extensive integration of smartphones in the car, allowing the use of internet-based services in the areas of infotainment, communication and driver experience.

    Numerous functions which can be integrated in the vehicle via apps in the areas of social media and infotainment are available for both the Apple iPhone and for select smartphones using the Android operating system. Operation is intuitive and reflects hallmark brand style in using the MINI Controller in the center console and a color display in the central instrument. MINI Wired Package includes an 8.8-inch screen and the MINI Touch Controller with touch-sensitive surface.

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      An evolution of INFINITI's 2016 QX Sport Inspiration mid-size crossover
      The QX50 Concept shows how INFINITI could develop its future presence in the world's fastest-growing vehicle segment INFINITI seeks to explore a more emotional execution of crossover design than existing models in the class "With the unveiling of the QX Sport Inspiration at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, we showed the future of INFINITI QX models. The new QX50 Concept evolves this concept further and shows how INFINITI could develop its future presence in what is the fastest-growing vehicle segment globally." Roland Krueger, President of INFINITI
      With the QX50 Concept, INFINITI seeks to explore a more emotional execution of crossover design, bringing a degree of elegance and artistry to a segment typified by an uninspiring, clinical aesthetic. Marrying human artistry with utility, the QX50 Concept fulfills the expectation of practicality with a spacious cabin and cargo area. Furthermore, with a design adapted for the greatest possible packaging efficiency, the QX50 Concept previews how INFINITI could adapt future vehicle designs to accommodate a compact powertrain, such as the company's VC-Turbo engine.
                     
      The QX50 Concept marks the next stage in INFINITI's continued renewal of its product range. INFINITI designs concepts with production intent, such as true-to-concept production versions of the Q30, QX30 and Q60 concepts. The creation of each of these has previewed the design and layout of the brand's next-generation models. The QX50 Concept previews the evolving signature INFINITI design elements, demonstrating how they could be adapted for a mid-sized premium crossover.
      With its ground breaking proportions, the 2003 INFINITI FX45 set the template for future crossovers to follow throughout the last decade. The world's first mid-size multi-purpose sports vehicle, the INFINITI FX is still considered a crossover design icon today. Last year's QX Sport Inspiration sought to rekindle that excitement – and in an increasingly crowded and popular market segment, the new QX50 Concept now illustrates how these design themes could be translated into a production reality.
      Exterior: an artistic execution of functional crossover design
      QX50 Concept represents the latest interpretation of INFINITI's 'Powerful Elegance' design language Its design combines taut and muscular lines with heavily profiled surfaces QX50 Concept demonstrates how the design of the 2016 QX Sport Inspiration could be adapted for future production models Influenced by the design of the INFINITI QX Sport Inspiration, the QX50 Concept expresses its crossover purpose through proportional clarity, clearly telegraphing its power and dynamic capabilities. The QX50 Concept eschews many of the familiar, 'me too' design forms and themes shared by established models in the mid-size premium crossover segment. The result is a highly original yet practical new crossover form, demonstrating how the design of INFINITI's earlier concept could be adapted for future production models.
      The QX50 Concept is the latest embodiment of INFINITI's 'Powerful Elegance' design language and is both aesthetic and functional. The exterior of the concept combines taut and muscular lines with flowing, heavily profiled surfaces. A sharp, straight character line runs from the clamshell hood and along the length of its shoulders, giving the QX50 Concept a commanding presence and extending the vehicle's visual length. A wide, muscular stance accentuates its versatile capability.
      INFINITI's signature design elements are evident on the QX50 Concept, each subtly evolved for their new application. At the front, INFINITI's double-arch grille conveys an immediate sense of power and purpose and provides a focal point for every line on the concept's body. A taller, wider and more practical vehicle than the QX Sport Inspiration, the QX50 Concept's grille adds a greater sense of presence to the front of the car. At the rear of the vehicle, the leading edge of the crescent-cut D-pillar is higher than on any current INFINITI production car, further extending the visual length of the roofline.
      The interplay of the exterior lines and surfaces is accentuated by a newly-created Forged Bronze paint finish, with three times the amount of metal flake compared with standard production paint finishes.
      In profile, the hood is shaped like the rise of a snake's head, with a pair of sharp creases extending upwards from the base of the A-pillar, then plunging down the hood, leading into the edges of the expansive 'double-arch' grille. These lines disguise the hood's relatively short length, suggesting how the appearance of a production car could be adapted for a more compact engine, such as INFINITI's VC-Turbo, applying power to the road through an intelligent all-wheel drive powertrain.
      Functionality is a necessity in the mid-sized crossover segment and is central to the QX50 Concept's design. More practical than its QX Sport Inspiration progenitor, the QX50 Concept has a 'cabin-forward' silhouette and a slightly more vertical rear hatch, both reference points for a versatile and accommodating interior. The new shape of the crescent-cut D-pillar provides clearer over-the-shoulder visibility for the driver and a better view out for rear passengers.
      Interior: Challenging conventional thinking on premium cabin design
      Concept cabin demonstrates new direction of thinking with premium materials and craftsmanship Authentic materials and artistic design execution is at the heart of the concept's carefully curated cabin Driver-centric, yet passenger-minded, the cabin places similar importance on both form and function Blending progressive design with elevated levels of modern craftsmanship, the cabin of the QX50 Concept demonstrates INFINITI's desire to challenge and reinterpret conventional thinking on premium crossover interior design and material usage.
      In the place of high-gloss woods and soft-touch plastics, the interior of the QX50 Concept features a more modern application of wood, leather and stitching. Each material is treated and applied in a way to establish new trends in the design of premium crossover interiors.
      Deliberately articulating a sense of advanced human artistry, the QX50 Concept's cabin espouses a handmade feel and is the result of two Japanese approaches to craftsmanship – 'mitate' (pronounced "mee-ta-teh") and 'shitate' ("shee-ta-teh"). 'Mitate' relates to the practice of curating and bringing together the best possible selection of materials. 'Shitate' is the desire to tailor the chosen combination of materials, bringing out the best. With fine attention to detail and finish, such an approach creates an appearance and ambience throughout the cabin greater than the sum of its parts.
      The combination of materials and the way in which they have been applied has allowed INFINITI designers to demonstrate some of the highest levels of craftsmanship ever seen in a crossover in this segment.
      The QX50 Concept is wrapped in a variety of different leathers – genuine, semi-aniline, and synthetic nubuck – for a rich variety of textures and visual depth. The eyes naturally follow each different surface as it flows around the cabin. The QX50 Concept's cabin hints at a widening range of interior finishes for INFINITI customers to choose from, including a carefully selected three-tone color scheme.
      Adopting different leathers for the interior allows INFINITI to imagine how this three-tone cabin could look. Rich, brown leather lines the upper layer of the cabin, contrasted with white leather for the lower dashboard, door trim and seats. Between the two runs a line of navy blue synthetic nubuck, which also finishes the front center console. A line of close twin stitching runs along the top of the dashboard and doors, and around the seats.
      INFINITI has applied for a patent for a new 'dot quilting' method for the leather that lines the doors and seats. Inspired by classic buttoned leather sofas, dot quilting is sewn into place at individual points. The physical characteristics of the leather produce a more informal interpretation of the diamond lozenge shape that gives classic Chesterfield lounge chairs their distinctive appearance.
      Where many expect premium vehicle interiors use high-gloss wood surfaces to create the perception of quality, the QX50 Concept is trimmed in real, open-pore ash. The wood is treated to retain its natural, and sometimes irregular, characteristics in texture and appearance. Running a hand over it, the grain of the ash is still present, providing an authentic, modern appearance and enhanced tactility.
      The natural, flowing shapes of the cabin harmonize with those of the QX50 Concept's exterior, contrasting with the technical, linear – even austere – designs of other vehicles in the segment. A blend of positive and negative surfaces adds a level of visual depth to the cabin, with a complex interplay of light and shade. The organic lines of the cabin follow a similar form to the interior of the QX Sport Inspiration, referencing how they could be progressed from the original concept to a production car.
      Both 'driver-centric' and 'passenger-minded,' the layout of the QX50 Concept's cabin is divided into distinct zones for the driver and passengers. Consistent with its conceptual predecessor, the dashboard is focused on the driver, using its form and appearance to engender a true sense of confidence at the wheel.
      The horizontal forms of the dashboard wrap around the driver and passenger, with twisting, uninterrupted character lines flowing from the center console, along the dashboard and out to the rear of the cabin. The seats feature an ergonomic hexagon motif, for a wide and welcoming appearance, and maximum back and shoulder support for occupants.
      The QX50 Concept places form on the same level as function, with utility at the heart of its remit.
      In moving the base of the A-pillar further forward than on the QX Sport Inspiration, and shortening the hood to accommodate a more compact engine, the QX50 Concept's cabin-forward design creates a longer, more spacious passenger compartment. The upright stance of the rear hatch – more vertical than its forebear – is designed to give the QX50 Concept exceptional cargo space. The Concept's cargo bay is, for instance, long enough to store a stroller, suggesting how such a vehicle could suit a young family.
      The QX50 Concept's Graphic User Interface shows how new technologies could be incorporated into future INFINITI vehicle cabins.
      The center of the dashboard features a wide touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface). As well as displaying navigation and infotainment features, the QX50 Concept's touchscreen could display to occupants the current status of other technologies in the vehicle. The dashboard could display to all occupants the status of the vehicle's various driver assist technologies, as well as how the VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine adapts as it shifts seamlessly between offering greater fuel efficiency and performance.
      INFINITI engineers continue to develop autonomous driving support technologies
      INFINITI's future autonomous drive support technologies will allow the driver to  retain ultimate control over their vehicle Future package of technologies will take a proactive approach to driver assistance and delegate elements of driving to the car The INFINITI QX50 Concept's driver assist system is part of the company's development of autonomous driving support technologies.
      The development strategy for all future INFINITI autonomous drive support systems is that they should ensure the driver retains control over their vehicle – in keeping with INFINITI's focus on driver engagement.
      In the future, INFINITI autonomous drive support technologies will continue to make driving less stressful – such as navigating stop-start traffic on the highway or keeping track of the positions of surrounding vehicles.
      Since its inception in 1989, INFINITI has brought pioneering driver-assistive technologies to the customer. The company has been responsible for a series of world-first technologies, including Predictive Forward Collision Warning, drive-by-wire Direct Adaptive Steering® and Active Lane Control.
      The QX50 Concept's INFINITI driver assistance technologies preview the first production-ready incarnation of this package.
      With a proactive approach to safety, the QX50 Concept assists the driver in identifying and responding to other road users and potential hazards. Future technologies will draw on inputs from a network of laser scanners, radar and cameras to read the road ahead and monitor the vehicle's surroundings, allowing the car to react accordingly.
      This framework of sensors will be developed in future production models with a series of new functionalities.
      VC-Turbo – the world's first production-ready variable compression ratio engine
      QX50 Concept suggests a potential application for INFINITI's VC-Turbo engine Packaging benefits for a mid-size crossover, powered by a compact engine with high specific power and efficiency INFINITI engineers target a 27-percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to V6 gasoline engines The INFINITI QX50 Concept demonstrates a potential production application for INFINITI's advanced new VC-Turbo engine. INFINITI has yet to confirm which of its future vehicles could benefit from its variable compression ratio engine, though a mid-sized crossover could be one of the ideal applications for the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo power unit revealed by the company in 2016.
      The QX50 Concept's packaging efficiency and spacious cabin are due in part to a compact, space-efficient engine bay design. With its proportionately shorter hood, the QX50 Concept suggests how the 2.0-liter gasoline engine could power a front-biased intelligent all-wheel drive system.
      INFINITI's production-ready 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine represents a compelling alternative to diesel powertrains, particularly in the mid-sized premium crossover segment. The VC-Turbo engine is able to adapt its compression ratio according to driving conditions to deliver optimal levels of performance and efficiency. It challenges the notion that hybrid technology and diesel are the only powertrains capable of offering high efficiency and torque. For its application in the QX50 Concept, the human-machine interface (HMI) demonstrates to the driver and passengers how the VC-Turbo is adapting according to driving conditions. The HMI displays the engine's current status as it intelligently chooses appropriate levels of performance and high efficiency.
      With a downsized capacity and high power and torque, the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine boasts an impressive specific power output – higher than many competing four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engines, and close to the performance of some V6 gasoline powertrains. In time for the engine's production debut in 2018, INFINITI engineers are targeting a 27-percent improvement in fuel efficiency over V6 gasoline engines of similar power output.

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