As Infiniti prepares to launch the replacement for the Infiniti QX50 next year, quite likely fitted with a unique new turbocharged engine with continuously altered cylinder compression ratios, the first-generation Infiniti QX50 takes a breather for the 2018 model year.
It may not be a well-deserved break — the QX50, formerly known as the EX35 and EX37, accomplished little for the Infiniti brand in America — but it’s a long overdue pause on Infiniti’s compact crossover.
It’s an odd duck, the QX50. Essentially a fast but outdated wagon, frequently sold in rear-wheel-drive form, the QX50 is still widely available prior to its relaunch for MY2019. The Infiniti QX60 Hybrid, on the other hand, is was the fuel-efficient version of Infiniti’s most popular product. At the end of the 2017 model year, the QX60 Hybrid is dead, Motor Authority reports.
Since launching in 2007, Infiniti USA has reported nearly 77,000 EX/QX50 sales, with the best annual result coming in 2016 after the automaker extended the QX50’s wheelbase to actually allow the insertion of humans into the rear seat. Prior to the naming switch instituted by Johan de Nysschen, who’s now in charge at Cadillac, EX/QX50 sales plunged by nearly three-quarters between 2008 (its first full year) and 2012.
Through the first eight months of 2017, QX50 sales are down 6 percent, perhaps limited somewhat by the showroom presence of the Benz-based QX30 that wasn’t in Infiniti’s showrooms during the fist eight months of 2016.
The Nissan Pathfinder-related Infiniti QX60, meanwhile, is the top-selling model in Infiniti’s U.S. lineup. In 2017, despite losing 9 percent of its volume, year-over-year, the QX60 still accounts for four out of every 10 Infiniti SUV/crossover sales; one-quarter of Infiniti’s total volume.
But the hybrid version of the QX60 was already a distinctly rare machine before Infiniti’s decision to cull it from the herd before 2018. Motor Authority says it was a special-order vehicle for MY2017. HybridCars.com says only 298 copies of the QX60 Hybrid were sold in the first two-thirds of 2017. Compare that with 829 QX60 Hybrids sold in the same period of 2016, or 5,338 copies of the Lexus RX450h sold so far this year.
It will not be missed.