Infiniti doesn’t exactly want for SUVs or crossovers, with the QX56, FX35/FX50, and EX35 all on its current roster. What the luxury brand does need, however, is a family friendly SUV or crossover, something to battle the Audi Q7 and Acura MDX, among others. The QX is too huge and thirsty—not to mention too expensive—to fill the role; the twitchy, sporty FX lacks cargo space and a third row; and the five-seat EX is simply too small. Enter the JX.
The vehicle is for now technically a concept, but this is pretty much what you’ll see in production form at November’s L.A. auto show. It’s a three-row, seven-passenger family hauler, with space efficiency, convenience, and fuel economy as its priorities. Infiniti promises the JX will pack a “powerful V-6,” the displacement of which in liters is unconfirmed but probably rhymes with “pee-joint-jive.” Output should fall in the neighborhood of 290 hp, and since the JX will make use of Nissan’s D platform (Maxima, Murano), front-wheel drive will be standard. All-wheel drive will be an option.
The transmission is a “sport-tuned” continuously variable unit, which, if not for the existence of an affordable, Toyota-based Aston Martin, would be the ultimate automotive oxymoron. But Nissan—Infiniti’s parent company—is one of very few automakers who have proven that it can do a CVT well, and the JX’s unit will incorporate a Sport mode that, when active, will cause the transmission to simulate a regular automatic. No specific number was given, but we’d guess seven or eight ratios will be plucked from the CVT’s theoretically infinite spread to act as the “fixed” gears, if only to keep up with competitors who boast similarly endowed conventional automatics.
Thanks to: Car and Driver