Comfortably seated in the world’s largest Infiniti showroom, I listened to their ambitious plans. By 2016, Infiniti aims to garner 10% of the luxury market around the world. Now, that doesn’t just mean the 500,000 units they have chalked out in figures. More significantly, it means they need to not double but quadruple their performance in the short run up to the apocalypse. On the printouts in my hand, like a route map to the future, the list of technological advancements and irrefutably advantageous features of the new JX ran into several complicated sheets, in a way suggesting that what has been envisaged is being diligently pursued.
The JX has already marked its place on earth even before its market appearance. The Crossover completes the Infiniti line-up that so far lacked a 7-seater SUV other than the formidable leviathan of a QX35 – which many chose to turn their back on rather than gathering the courage to face it, forget owning it. For those turned off by bulk and inspired by design, and turned on by futuristic features, the new 2013 JX offers an unrivalled ride, with its promise of luxury and display of technological fireworks.
Family SUV by day; Luxury car by night
That is what Infiniti promises in their bid to allure well-heeled families into their fold with the JX 2013. With its signature double-arch grille, the “wave’ design hood and the crescent shaped D pillar, the JX looks the part. The design is more poised and less ‘in your face’ than an FX.
Roomy and elegantly decked up, with thoroughbred luxury unmistakably evident in its leather and wood trims, the Infiniti JX 35 is best in class in terms of passenger volume (4239 L) as well as the flexibility of seating and cargo space. The second row seats moves up or down by 14cm, allowing you to maximize legroom when traveling with the third row folded. Both the rows recline for greater passenger comfort. Even though the boot looks restricted in the all-passenger mode, both 2nd and 3rd row seats are split folding (60/40 2nd row, 50/50 3rd row) to reveal class-leading rear cargo space.
What immensely impressed me is the facility to access the third row at the press of a button, and without removing the child seat in the second row. The installed child seat moves along with the split seat sliding forward. “It’s just another example of the vehicle’s inspired flexibility and versatility,” says Juergen Schmitz, Infiniti Business Unit General Manager. “It might seem like a small detail, unless you’ve ever tried to use a 3rd row in a vehicle with child seats, and then it’s ‘why didn’t someone think of this before?’”
Brilliant thinking, Infiniti! You could take the DriveME award for innovation on behalf of the families.
Innovations that are world-firsts
The Infiniti JX has innovations for convenience as well for safe driving. The most useful of them all is a new feature, Backup Collision Intervention (BCI), which is added to the currently available Blind Spot Intervention™ system. This allows the driver to back up in peace, as the JX will help the driver detect crossing vehicles and objects behind, and, if necessary, the system can automatically engage the brakes to help avoid a collision.
Another advanced safety system is the Around View™ Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD). While the AVM shows the driver a virtual 360-degree image of the area around the JX, the new MOD function alerts the driver with visual and audible warnings if the system detects moving objects within the display area. The JX 2013 brings Infiniti’s Park Guide Technology to our region. It uses voice assistance and coloured guidelines to ease you into an ideal parking spot.
3.5 L CVT engine with sport tuning
Luxury being the keyword around the Infiniti JX 2013, the fact remains that these days luxury has come to incorporate a sporty drive feel about it. Yet, your 7-seater SUV is not what you normally expect to deliver that bit. Especially when it uses a CVT transmission. But it’s good to remember that we are talking Nissan (Infiniti) –perhaps the only makers of enjoyable CVT engines. In the JX, the 3.5-liter DOHC V6 is mated to a sport-tuned Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) – it can mimic a step transmission when the Sport mode of the Infiniti drive selector is engaged. (Using a rotary switch mounted in the center console, the driver can choose between four drive modes – Standard, Sport, Eco and Snow.) And it is the first Infiniti to utilize a fuel-efficient CVT, which promises combined efficient figures of 11.8 L/100 km.
The all-new Infiniti JX is offered in JX35 AWD and with three grades (Premium, Comfort and Luxury) – allowing customers to custom-equip their vehicles to precisely meet their family driving needs. Infiniti FX owners will be further supported by the ‘total ownership experience’ from Arabian Automobiles.
UAE – a haven for luxury vehicles
The automobile market in the UAE has grown from 101953 vehicles between Jan and May 2011 to 123457 vehicles between Jan and May 2012. That’s a very, very reassuring 21% rise. The sale of vehicles in the UAE is projected to touch 290,000 units in 2012, and will surpass the 2007 figures of 284, 726 ever since surmounting the famous 2008 peak, before its downhill descent. Looking at the GCC scenario as well, UAE leads the luxury car market with 45,477 units which is – now listen to this – 37% of the total GCC sales, with KSA following with 26%.
Now, how do these planetary positions influence the newborn Infiniti JX? If nothing else, they signal a bright time and place for the JX to fulfill Infiniti’s ambitious plans to dominate the luxury market. And justifiably, UAE seems to favour Inifiniti’s local plans to grow faster here, than in the world market. On the road map to conquering the luxury market of UAE, the new expansive Sharjah showroom of Infiniti is scheduled to open in September, next to Tasjeel on the Emirates Road. Looking at what the JX is stocked up with, it should change for the better what future has in store for Infiniti.
The first look was impressive, DriveMates; does the first drive live up? We’ll soon know.