Written by: Don Cheng
Photography by: Don Cheng
“Yeah, I know. It’s huge.” For about a week in late August, I got a lot of practice saying this phrase. It’s not my fault, this car is massive! Everyone kept asking me “how big is this thing, and how much does it weigh?” - and on first glance of the vehicle, both are very valid questions. That ladies and gentlemen is the Infiniti QX80 effect. With its imposing parking lot presence, the QX80 comes with a new Limited trim for 2015. What this trim gets you is literally every single option in the book. Obviously all the amenities comes at a price, and at a cool $18,150 above sticker price for a base QX80, the Limited model will run prospective buyers a total of $92,800.
In addition to the fully loaded options list, the new Limited model adds three exclusive colours to the lineup (a $385 extra). My tester was draped in Imperial Black metallic paint - a very deep black with a slight plum-ish hue when viewed under the sun. Perhaps it’s the name of the paint, the dark chrome grills, or the lightly smoked headlights and taillights, but the QX80 looks absolutely sinister. So sinister in fact, I imagine that this is what Darth Vader would driving if his Tie Fighter was ever in the shop for a blown warp drive module or something. The look is completed with a set of dark grey 22-inch wheels on 275 section tires.
Inside you’ll find that the QX80 Limited offers exclusive contrast stitched and quilted Truffle Brown semi-aniline leather in a beautiful shade of brown that matches with my favourite interior appointment: the open pore matte finish ash wood trim. The SUV seats seven when you raise the third row seating (however that will cut into your usable trunk space). Noise complaints will be kept to a minimum thanks to a set of headrest mounted LCD screens and wireless headphones allowing young occupants to watch their own entertainment choices while the QX80 charges down the highway to the cottage. Road trips to explore the great wilderness are what this beast was built for, and that’s exactly what I did during my time with the QX80.
I took the QX80 on an overnight camping trip to utilize its optional Napier hatch tent (a $400 add-on). The behemoth ate the miles up leading to the campsite, barreling through Highway 400. It’s funny how quickly cars will scramble to move out of the way when they see a 2,671 kg (6000 lb) car charging down the fast lane. No wonder, with a ride height of nearly 2 meters, the QX80 towers over most vehicles. My passengers often joked about how other SUVs and minivans suddenly looked like little sedans on the road.
Under the hood lies the heart of the beast, a 5.6-litre V8 – see? Everything about this car is huge – pushing out 400 HP and 418 lb-ft of torque. A healthy number and that’s all the SUV really needs. Getting up to speed in the city is a breeze and the V8 hums along silently unperturbed by the 6000 lbs of mass it is constantly hauling - and it’s even willing to tow 3,629kg (8000 lbs) more! Passing on the highway is simple and effortless. The 7-speed automatic drops the necessary gears to get the job done seamlessly. While getting up to speed is no issue, slowing down is a whole other ball game, and I’ve got to say the QX80 doesn’t really inspire much confidence in that department. It could be due to the size of the 22-inch wheels that absolutely dwarfs the brakes of the car leaving you squatting by the wheel, staring and wondering “will this save me on the highway during an emergency situation?”
Luckily, you won’t need to find out because the QX80 comes preloaded with Intelligent Brake Assist, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, and Forward Emergency Braking. The last one is key, as the host of onboard safety features will constantly monitor the road and will brake the car in an emergency situation before you’re able to react in time. It’s quite literally a lifesaver for long road trips where the driver may be prone to distractions or dozing off. Speaking of which, the QX80 also has lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring to provide that extra peace of mind.
Despite the absolute size of the car, the host of safety features and constant supervision of the surrounding area make the SUV quite easy to drive. The steering is light giving you the illusion of piloting something much smaller, and the Hydraulic Body Motion Control system keeps the car floating across the road eating up pot holes and bumps in the road. As my friend describes it, this is what a small land yacht would feel like: smooth, effortless and comfortable despite how dodgy the road might be. Where the car falls short however is during fast corners, where the Hydraulic Body Motion Control system will increase the roll resistance when the body starts to tilt. However, I don’t think even the world’s best engineers would be able to beat the laws of physics. With the QX80’s raised center of gravity (thanks to that 1.92 meter tall ride height) there’s only so much that technology can do to limit the body roll, and once it starts setting in, the SUV sways like Donald Trump’s flip-flopping political campaign.
Despite it’s near six-figure MSRP, the QX80 does offer up a good fight against its competitors. The newly redesigned Lexus LX570 being the chief competitor with similar seating appointments, interior luxuries and safety features. Competitors from stateside include the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe, and the GMC Yukon Denali with similar price points, seating arrangements and luxuries. Regardless of what the competition has to offer and the minor differences in pricing and options, be happy knowing that you’ll never have any problems spotting your SUV in the parking lot.
型号 Model: 2015 Infiniti QX80 Limited
顏色 Paint Type: Imperial Black
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $92,800
試車售價 Price as Tested: $92,800
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 3,075
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 5,305 / 2,030 / 1,925
車重 Curb weight (kg): 2,560
引擎 Engine: 5.6L 32-valve DOHC V8
最大馬力 Horsepower: 400 hp @ 5,800 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 413 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 7-speed automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, Infiniti All-Mode 4WD
前懸 Suspension-Front: Independent, double-wishbone
後懸 Suspension-Rear: Independent, double-wishbone
煞制-前 Brakes-Front: Vented disc
煞制-後 Brakes-Rear: Vented disc
油耗 Fuel Consumption (City/Highway)- L/100 km: 16.9 / 11.9
輪胎尺碼 Tires: 275/50R22