Infiniti has taken the wraps off its new QX55 SUV, which marks a return to the crossover-coupe segment for the automaker following the QX70’s departure. When it arrives on the scene next year, the car will be available in three variant grade levels, namely Luxe, Essential and Sensory.

The company is billing the shape as a modern interpretation of its FX, which arrived on the scene 17 years ago. Punctuated by slimline roof rails and an elegant rear spoiler, the new car’s roofline is a homage to the old car, but very much updated for the new decade.

Elsewhere though, the exterior design cues are thoroughly fresh and forward-looking. As is the fashion these days, it’s led by a very prominent origami-inspired, double-arch mesh grille, flanked by slim LED headlights. Another striking visual element is the bonnet – the clamshell styling moves the shunt lines to the front fenders, which provides the basis for a character line that stretches to the rear haunches.

Moving on to the sides, you’ll find deeply sculpted body sides and 20-inch alloys wrapped with 255/45 profile tyres, the latter standard on all variant grades. At the back, styling elements include a body-coloured lower diffuser, dual exhaust tips and distinct piano key taillights – each with 45 LED units – as seen on the QX60 Monograph design study.

At point of launch, Infiniti has listed only one available powertrain for the QX55, and that’s the KR20DDET 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The VC-Turbo mill, which offers 268 hp at 5,600 rpm and 380 Nm from 4,400 to 4,800 rpm, is paired with a CVT and, in the case of the North American version of the car, an Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive system.

Inside, design cues include a low dashboard, which provides the driver and passenger with excellent outward vision, and a centre stack that houses an Infiniti InTouch dual-display system with eight-inch upper and seven-inch lower high-resolution touchscreens for infotainment and vehicle controls.

Standard fit items include heated, ergonomically-designed “zero gravity” front seats with an eight-way powered driver’s seat, a powered sliding tinted glass moonroof and dual-zone climate control (three-zone on the top variant). Other highlights include sliding second-row seats and a powered rear liftgate, which is standard fit across the board. The Sensory adds on foot motion activation for the unit.

Upholstery material consists of leatherette on the Luxe, leather on the Essential and semi-aniline leather on the range-topping Sensory, and buyers will have the option of three colour combinations for the interior – Graphite, Stone/Graphite and a striking Monaco Red/Graphite as seen in these photos.

Accent trim varies with grades. The Luxe and Eseential grades feature dark brushed aluminum trim along the instrument panel and doors, while the Sensory grade runs with black Natural Maple open-pore wood trim. In the baseline grade model, the audio system is a six-speaker CD player unit, but the other two come equipped with a 16-speaker Bose Performance series premium audio system as standard.

Plenty of connectivity options, led by an InTouch system that connects to smartphones via Bluetooth, four USB ports (one Type-C and three Type-A), wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as well as a 4G LTE compatible connection offering on-the-go Wi-Fi hotspot capability, with support for up to seven devices.

In terms of driver assistance kit, the QX55 comes equipped as standard with lane departure warning, forward collision warning, forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection (AEB), blind spot warning, high beam assist, rear cross traffic alert and rear automatic braking.

Higher end models add on lane departure prevention, steering assist, blind spot intervention, traffic sign recognition as well as the automaker’s ProPILOT Assist system, which incorporates intelligent cruise control with a full-speed range and hold with steering assist function. Another optional item is a head-up display, which projects info onto the windshield across a nine-inch area.

Eight exterior colours will be available for the QX55, and these are Dynamic Sunstone Red, Slate Gray, Majestic White, Liquid Platinum, Graphite Shadow, Mineral Black, Black Obsidian and Hermosa Blue.

The Infiniti QX55 will go on sale in North America sometime in the spring of next year, with other markets to follow in due course – these will include the Middle East, Russia and select markets in Asia. No mention of Europe, and that’s because the brand is no longer operating there, having announced that it was exiting the Continent this year.