INFINITI’s Vision Qe Concept Is a Soaring Gesture of Flight + Flow


Concepts are rarely intended to be developed much beyond the exploratory phase, yet the projects still require precious time and valuable resources – both a blessing and bane. On the surface, the INFINITI Vision Qe concept is notable for its elegant and futuristic silhouette, one revealing the brand’s vision for their own EV fleet. Behind the scenes, and from a design perspective, the Vision Qe concept represents a quiet revolution – an example of the automotive industry’s migration away from physical clay modeling toward fully digital explorations intended to streamline both the development of concepts and production vehicles in the era of EVs.

Three pencil sketches of what would eventually become the Vision Qe, as drawn by Kazuki Aoyama.

Three pencil sketches of what would eventually become the Vision Qe, as drawn by Kazuki Aoyama.

Just like any other concept before it, the INFINITI Vision Qe concept began as a series of rough sketches, aggressively drawn with swept lines of aerodynamic purpose. “Everything is anchored around a single pure gesture,” said INFINITI Exterior Designer Kazuki Aoyama. A single line flows from the INFINITI emblem at the front, along the bodyside, and accelerates towards the rear, and everything follows that line,”

Early 3D render silhouettes of the Vision Qe concept

From those initial sketches, the INFINITI design team would explore new methodologies to transform drawings into a dimensional model. The quiet revolution was spearheaded by Kenji Yamauchi, a digital and clay modeler within the global INFINITI design team. With Yamauchi’s experience working in traditional clay and digital tools, the nine designers were able to establish a new “phy-gital” process allowing the INFINITI team to transform a digital render into physical 50cm concept model. This allowed the exterior design team to examine the concept’s character and proportions without the time and labor intensive requirements of modeling the vehicle from clay.

Early 3D printed silhouette of the Vision Qe concep

The early 3D-printed silhouette of the Vision Qe concept portrays a sinuous and streamlined form intended to capture the aerodynamic pose of an eagle diving for prey with its wings tucked back to reduce drag and maximize speed – more sculptural than typical automotive models.

Speedform model of the Vision Qe inspire day Constantin Brancusi's Bird in Space sculpture.

Team members studied Japanese eagles in flight, resulting in a speed form model referencing avian silhouettes and the work of sculptor Constantin Brancusi, particularly his gesture of flight, Bird in Space (L’Oiseau dans l’espace).

“As designers, we aren’t seeking to create something that’s just beautiful, rather, we want to create something that evokes a deeper response,” said INFINITI Exterior Designer Masanobu Ino. “If people feel a sense of shock or intrigue when looking at the Vision Qe concept, that’s more in line with our intention and brings to life the philosophy of Kabuku. Pairing beauty with a deeper emotional response was our goal.” The resulting full-scale concept reveals a sleek fastback sedan that looks nearly ready for production (sans its immensely intricate and beautiful wheels).

All-electric Vision Qe fastback sedan parked in a golden autumn hued setting of trees.

Photos fail to capture the unique color chemistry explored in developing the concept’s Shadow blue paint, a hue that changes depending upon viewing distance thanks to its mixture of carbon nanotubes, glass, and gold flakes to bring a sense of depth and mystique. INFINITI says the paint is intended to evoke a sense of depth as one experiences while gazing out into “a distant galaxy.”

All-electric Vision Qe fastback sedan parked in a golden autumn hued setting of trees.

All-electric Vision Qe fastback sedan parked in a golden autumn hued setting of trees.

INFINITI designers also replaced the brand’s signature double arch radiator grille with a graphic front facia sculpted with lines further accentuated by LED lights.

All-electric Vision Qe fastback sedan parked on black asphalt with white wall in the background.

All-electric Vision Qe fastback sedan parked on black asphalt with white wall in the background.

All-electric Vision Qe fastback sedan parked on black asphalt with white wall in the background.

The Vision Qe concept’s Shadow blue paint is further enhanced by the contrast against its dynamic and graphic golden spoked wheels, a design featuring a subtle gradation applied from the outer to innermost area of the spokes.

Close up of the all-electric INFINITI Vision Qe fastback sedan's intricate spoked wheels.

Rear angled view of the all-electric INFINITI Vision Qe fastback sedan with rear lights illuminated golden.

When parked in standby mode, the Vision Qe glows with a welcoming warm, golden light. Once the driver presses the car’s start button, switching the vehicle to the drive mode the frontal illumination switches to white, while the rear digital piano keys transform to a vibrant shade of red.

The Vision Qe concept is currently on display at INFINITI’s global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, and scheduled to make its public debut further along in 2024 at a yet to be announced motor show. We can only hope to see some of the sleek fastback sedan’s profile glide its way into the form of a production vehicle soon thereafter.



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top