Infiniti Q80 Inspiration Concept


Having been involved in the development of this project it’s interesting listening to the internet talk surrounding the concept’s launch in Paris. General consensus ranges from being stunned by the scale of the thing (over 5m long) to being impressed by the car but remaining to be convinced by the brand.


It’s true that Infiniti doesn’t have the cachet of the premium German companies, nor the products to challenge them. But remember, Lexus had a similar situation back in 1989 when the LS was launched. That car instantly took the Toyota sub-brand from nothing to a genuine challenger. The fact that since then Lexus hasn’t delivered anything as important is more down to product strategy and design direction, but the truth was that Lexus shocked the premium establishment.

infiniti-q80-inspiration-concept-6931-008It’s an almost impossible line to tread; design something radical and the Euro sophisticates will shun it for being too flash, too new, too expressive. Play it too traditionally and you’ll never be able to compete with the established brands with years of heritage.

infiniti-q80-inpiration-concept-front-three-quarterBy the time the Q80 gets to production in around 2017 the styling will be less shocking, less avant-garde than it looks at Paris. The suicide doors will probably change and the beautiful clean lines will be criss-crossed with shutlines. Yet the impressive presence will remain. This is the car that will put Infiniti on the map…

Vintage lust

For somewhere that’s not exactly beautiful in any sense of the word, Wandsworth in SW London seems to have more than its share of awesome car-dealers. Something to do with the cheaper land prices compared to neighbouring areas? There’s a new showroom that’s just opened on Kimber Road that grabbed my eye-balls on the way past…

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I stumbled across Lapin’s work a year or so ago, when I saw a blog post about ‘Oldies but Goldies’, an homage to the varied automotive beasts on the streets of europe and beyond. I bought the book, and was hooked. Now on his site there are some new additions; a fantastic selection of historic rally cars from the “best of the alpes”, which starts in Megève (France) and sees the finish line in Lech (Austria). The route crosses through Switzerland, Italy and Germany..

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Love his style; fluid, and not afraid of an enhanced perspective, they really capture the character of each car. I don’t know how much post-production goes into these illustrations but he has an incredibly fluid style and a real economy of line, which is something that’s very difficult to do. Salute Lapin!

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Open Wheelers

Detective work makes me think this would be a Fiat competing in a French pre-war race (call me Clouseau…) Love the dusty colouring and the impression of speed.


This one has a slightly more aggro-driver and passeger combintation. Is Roy standing in their way?

Anyway I think this one’s a Peugeot..