QX50L will be on sale in China from February

QX50L will be on sale in China from February

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An Infiniti spokesman has told just-auto.com that the aged QX50 crossover will not be replaced "in the near future". This follows the recent introduction of a made-in-China version of the now seven-year old model.

Extending the lifecycle of this model is risky for the Hong Kong-based brand, as the QX50's rivals are many and far younger. Mercedes-Benz will next year replace the GLK-Class with the new GLC (and offer it with RHD this time around), while Lexus has the just-launched NX and BMW has also updated its X3 and added the X4. A new Audi Q5 is not due until 2016, at which point the current model will be eight years old, but Infiniti's QX50 will by then be nine.

The QX50 started life as the EX35, going on sale in the US, its first market, in December 2007. A special model for Europe, the EX37, was launched there a year later with the EX30d added in 2010. The model name changed from EX to QX50 in 2013. Despite the car's age, there has never been a facelift, though the addition of production in China will see some changes to the model's front end (see image above). It remains to be seen if the Tochigi, Japan-built QX50 for other markets will gain this update but it should do, and soon: a facelifted QX50 now seems likely to appear at the LA show in November or in January at the NAIAS. This would be a 2016 model year vehicle in North America.

China's car is soon to be manufactured by Dongfeng Nissan at a plant in Xiangyang, Hubei province. This is in fact a special model for the local market as it has had its wheelbase stretched by 80mm. The L's world premiere will be at the Guangzhou motor show in November. Both 2.5-litre and 3.7-litre V6 petrol engines will be offered, just as they are for China's imported QX50.

Given the production start up costs for the QX50 at Xiangyang, the successor to the QX50L is not expected to be seen in China until at least 2017. Presuming the same replacement date for the Tochigi-built QX50, that would make the standard wheelbase vehicle a decade old by the time it is replaced.