Infiniti's marketing execs tout the company's QX56 luxury SUV as a ride for affluent mavericks. Taking that mindset even further, a select group of automotive industry leaders with a diverse range of expertise have pooled their capabilities to produce one of the most upscale and unexpected SUVs ever seen. This particular QX56 is so jammed with electronic goodies that it creates a whole new level of coolness.
Dubbed the EA Sports QX56 UGV, this alphabet soup is short for the Ultimate Gaming Vehicle. Whatever you call it, this mobile entertainment palace represents a cooperative effort bringing together the best products and skills from EA Sports, Alpine Electronics, Innovative Audio, Brembo Brakes, BFGoodrich, and Claus Ettensberger Corporation.
A living-room-sized flip-down screen provides for some big entertainment value.
The idea was to build a vehicle that combined the love of gaming with cutting-edge electronics. With Infiniti providing an exclusive pre-production model of its all-new QX56 fullsize luxury SUV, EA Sports set out to create a gaming lifestyle room that could accommodate a 340-pound NFL player or a 7-foot-tall NBA star. Unlike the double row of seats found in the rear of the production vehicle, the UGV has just one row of seats, providing generous accommodations. The centerpiece of this spacious play area is a flat-screen TV that measures more than a yard wide.
That was just the start of filling this rolling entertainment center. Alpine Electronics supplied a 1,360-watt system, complete with AM/FM/CD/MP3 tuner with DVD video player, a CD changer, and an XM Satellite Radio. These units all feed through a 20-speaker, 5.1 Dolby Digital/DTS sound system to produce an intense, eardrum-blasting experience. Innovative Audio of Bellevue, Washington, handled the installation of this massive array of electronics in a high-tech housing styled to look like the latest supercomputer.
In the rear, a quartet of Alpine subwoofers provides more than their fair share of bass.
Matching the polished style of the interior is a classy outside treatment. Claus Ettensberger's contribution to the stunning exterior is a set of chromed, Italian-made 23-inch Antera Type 325 wheels. These are shod with BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW tires that measure P305/40R23 and Brembo-supplied binders to bring this righteous rig to a smooth halt.
Infiniti's parent company, Nissan, has been coming on strong lately in a number of areas, especially with the massive Armada, and most recently, with the brutish Titan, the company's first shot across the bow of domestic fullsize pickups. Some of these vehicles' mechanicals do double-duty in the new Infiniti QX56 luxury SUV, but it's certainly not some truck-like variant.
A final word on the QX56's styling, which is a bit unconventional, and least in comparison to its slab-sided competitors is the pronounced arch of the roofline transitions to a squared-off section at the rear end. To the designers' credit, this sudden shift in body shape ensures that this SUV isn't going to be mistaken as a me-too design. Instead, it has the look of a maverick. That might raise a few eyebrows at the country club, but won't prevent the QX56 from joining the party, especially when it's the Ultimate Gaming Vehicle. *
Twenty speakers provide tunes, and the entire system pumps out a staggering 1,360 watts.
The wild rolling stock consists of 23-inch Antera Type 325 wheels wrapped by BFGoodrich g-
Riding on 23s, and with a wild bevy of mobile electronics nestled inside, this Infiniti de