Up in the air with Infiniti QX80
Many many moons ago, we were invited by Infiniti to test the QX80 in Oman, we began our journey onboard a private jet from Dubai and ended it with a helicopter tour above Muscat, which was the ideal trip to test this “road-legal private jet”.
Infinti has been marketing the QX80 as the “private jet on the road”, it’s a very bold statement and might seem overpromising, but I like it because it’s very ambitious, and when you drive the car you get to understand where they’re coming from, and I’m glad that when it was the time to test the new model, Infiniti kept some of the ingredients from our previous trip, this time however, we used helicopters to commute between Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah, the location of our test.
The current generation of the QX80 has been around since 2010, so the design needed some update, the old one made the car look like a whale and a bit sad, personally I thought is had its own character because it was different, but I have to admit that the new design is more elegant than the old one, although it’s not as cool as the Monograph Concept design, which was revealed last year the New York International Auto Show.
One note I would like to mention regarding taillights, I think the old ones look better than the new ones, as for functionality, they don’t display the turn signal anymore, the turn signal in the new QX80 is available only on the pumper, which means that if you are being chased by a tailgater in an SUV, he will probably miss your signal while you try to escape his way!
Infiniti chose Dubai Motor Show 2017 to unveil the new edition of its flagship SUV to the world, which in addition to the new exterior, comes with few changes and new features.
The ride in the QX80 is very comfortable even when you go offroading, the car copes well with sand, gravel and rough trails, and that’s down to the Hydraulic Body Motion Control, which actively adjusts the suspension to suit the road.
The Hydraulic Body Motion Control is a standard feature in the QX80, it’s an active suspension control system that comprises high-pressure hydraulic channels and cylinders that are connected to the shock absorbers, the system monitors body roll and adjusts suspension stiffness by transferring oil between the hydraulic cylinders, and when the body starts to lean around corners, the system firms up the suspension on one side of the car to counter this effect.
The QX80 retained its 5.6L V8 engine, which produces 400 horsepower and 560 Nm of torque. The 7-speed gearbox was unchanged as well, the only change is in the shift lever, which along with the steering wheel is now leather-wrapped. One of our YouTube viewers is a fan of the QX80, but he was hopping if the gearbox had more speeds to suit long distances and to save fuel, the man has a point.
Moving to the interior, the 2nd row screens have be upgrades, the size is now 8 inches instead of 7 and the resolution went up from 800 x 480 pixels to 960 x 540, each screen can display content from a separate source at a ratio of 16:9. The entertainment system in the second-row now supports input from an HDMI auxiliary port and a USB port. 2 USB ports were added to the rear of the cabin to charge mobile devices.
‘All Mute’ is a new feature that enables the driver or front passenger to mute every audio source in the cabin, including headphones.
Among the new features in the QX80 is the Smart Rear View Mirror, this feature turns the traditional rear-view mirror as a standard mirror into a digital screen that displays HD video from a camera mounted in the upper rear windshield, and having the camera on a high position allows the driver to see behind the car even if the rear window is blocked by passengers or cargo.
The QX80 comes with a number of good safety features, including the Backup Collision Intervention, Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, and Predictive Forward Collision Warning, in addition to the Adaptive Cruise Control. Having all these safety features makes the drive a semi-autonomous, these features operate 32 to 145 km/h.
All in all, the QX80 is a great SUV, it’s very big and spacious, and can accommodate 7 or 8 passengers in comfort, the interior is very luxurious and the ride is very comfortable no matter how the terrain gets, it comes with several safety features and enjoys Japanese reliability.