With an eye towards snaring an even larger slice of the premium full-size SUV market, the all-new 2011 Infiniti QX56 made its world debut in New York boasting a new look, new features and enhanced capabilities. In addition to smartly stepping up its real-world appeal, Infiniti announced that price points for both the rear- and four-wheel-drive variants of the 7/8-passenger QX56 will carry over at existing 2010 levels. That means a rear-drive 2011 QX56 will start at $57,565, while the four-wheel-drive model will open at $60,665 when they go on sale this summer.
Visually, the 2011 Infiniti QX56 tempers its solid physical presence with more rounded bodywork contours that incorporate a number of interesting detail elements, including the unique reverse-sweep D-pillar. Inside, the spacious wood-and-leather appointed cabin displays a new level of contemporary flair. This is suitably complemented the QX56's megaload of luxury and convenience touches that's highlighted by a standard Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System with XM Satellite Radio and available XM Real-Time services, 13-speaker Bose 2-channel Premium sound system, Bluetooth connectivity with Streaming Audio, USB/iPod interface and an Around View Monitor. In addition to perforated semi-aniline leather seating surfaces and an available DVD entertainment system with dual 7-inch color monitors, the option list on the 2011 Infiniti QX56 includes a variety of advanced tech touches like Infiniti's Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) and Blind Spot Warning (BSW) systems as well as Intelligent Cruise Control (Full-Speed Range), Distance Control Assist (DCA), Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Front Pre-Crash Seat Belts.
Powertrain elements in the 2011 Infiniti QX56 include purpose-tuned versions of the division's new 5.6-liter V8 and seven-speed automatic transmission that were recently introduced in the new 2011 Infiniti M56. Direct-injected and equipped with Variable Valve Event & Lift (VVEL) technology, this new VK56VD eight makes 400 horsepower in QX56 spec --25 percent more than the 5.6-liter VK56DE engine used in the 2010 model. Paired with the more efficient autoshifter, it also bumps the QX56's fuel economy by 10 percent and still allows both versions to tow up to 8,500 pounds.
The new-gen QX56 also benefits from some focused tweaking of its fully-independent suspension system to improve ride comfort and handling. Carryover elements include the standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS) and Active Brake Limited-Slip setup, which is bolstered by the Infiniti All-Mode 4WD system with 2WD/AUTO/4HI/4LO modes and an electronically controlled part-time transfer case on four-wheel-drive models. But for 2011, the QX56 will introduce a new Hydraulic Body Motion Control system (HBMC) that helps reduce body lean when cornering. It will be available on all models as part of the optional Deluxe Touring Package which also steps up the wheel/tire fitment from 20-inch to 22-inch spec.