Confidence doesn’t take a break for bad weather.
Today, INFINITI announces its upcoming QX60 three-row crossover will feature a more advanced Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive system that’s not only more compact and more advanced but also quicker to support the driver with all-wheel traction in nearly any condition.
Available later this year, the 2022 INFINITI QX60 marries its award-winning 3.5-liter V-6 with an all-new 9-speed automatic transmission and the new all-wheel-drive system, which has been rigorously tested in varying conditions from thick blankets of cold snow to scorching sand and slippery wet roads — and nearly every type of surface in between.
“We listened to our customers and we wanted to deliver an all-new INFINITI QX60 that could perform with confidence in nearly all-weather conditions,” said INFINITI’s General Manager, Product Strategy and Planning Eric Rigaux. “Our newest Intelligent All-Wheel Drive exceeds our expectations with seamless power delivery, right when the driver expects it — or even before.”
Part of that near-instant response is thanks to the all-wheel-drive system’s new direct coupling mechanism that engages the rear wheels almost instantly when more grip is needed. Compared to all-wheel-drive systems that utilize electromagnetic coupling, which requires detectable wheel slip to engage, the new Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system uses a host of sensors to predict when more grip is needed — sometimes even before the wheels slip.
“The all-new QX60 is really designed to encounter a wide variety of situations with its all-wheel-drive system. Whether it’s deep snow, sand … even packed snow where it’s a bit more slick,” said Vehicle Performance Development Manager for INFINITI Chris Fischer. “If you’re driving in one of these situations, the system will monitor the road surface and very quickly move the power from the wheels that don’t have traction to the wheels that do. What this allows you to do is to continue driving forward with good confidence.”
Up to 50% of the all-new QX60’s power can be delivered to the rear wheels for greater traction. What’s more, the all-new INFINITI QX60’s Active Brake Limited Slip system utilizes the vehicle’s brakes to direct torque from side to side. That’s particularly useful on roads that are partially iced over, when two wheels have traction and two don’t; INFINITI’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive nearly instantly senses grip and directs power to the correct wheels. That advanced performance pays dividends at takeoff or standing starts.
“What that allows the (QX60) to do is maintain a good straight line, maintain confidence, and maintain a good, what we call ‘start-ability.’ If you’re stopped on ice and you push the gas pedal, it’s able to move forward much more easily and much more confidently,” Fischer said.
INFINITI’s engineering team has spent years testing the all-new QX60 throughout North America in some of the most demanding conditions. Cold-weather testing in areas such as Alaska, northern Quebec, and Michigan has allowed vehicle engineers to tune and calibrate the new all-wheel-drive system for better responsiveness in slippery and brutally cold conditions.
“I have a love-hate relationship with snow. It’s beautiful when it’s newly fallen and glittering in the sunlight, but it’s also hazardous in those conditions. I’m a very cautious driver, by nature,” said Katie Andersen, vehicle performance development engineer for INFINITI. “When I’ve been testing the all-new QX60, I’m still cautious by nature, but I find that the responsiveness is better than my capability and that gives me confidence in driving. And what’s going to give our customers the confidence they need to head out in all of those conditions.”
Beyond cold-weather locales, engineers tested the QX60 in far-flung, desert locations such as Death Valley, California, and Moab, Utah.
“The all-new QX60 and its Intelligent All-Wheel Drive is designed to do all that,” said Dusty Pierson, senior vehicle performance development engineer for INFINITI. “We’re here in a winter situation that challenges the QX60, and it really takes on the challenge in a way that we’ve never seen before.”
“We’ve done it all to confirm that the performance is where we need it to be,” Fischer said.
Teams across North America work continuously to prepare the 2022 INFINITI QX60 for its owners later this year. On average, INFINITI engineers bring more than a decade of experience to their testing and calibration and spend months behind the wheel logging thousands of miles during development for durability and overall refinement.
More details about the 2022 INFINITI QX60 will be made available closer to market launch later this year. For more, check INFINITI’s global and regional newsrooms.