“Jacob, what on earth makes you think I’d give you a QX80 after the horrible things you said about it?!” The Infiniti PR rep on the phone, Jenn McCarthy, was incredulous. Livid even. I could see her point.

Just 24 hours earlier I had been riffing on the styling of the Infiniti flagship. I’d done my best impression of Steve Martin from Roxanne with lines about a car whose styling is described by the subtle as “divisive” or “polarizing”.

Jenn had made the point at that moment that the car was supposed to grab attention, and also that the interior was amazing, amenity was great and that the monstrosity [my word] was a joy to drive. I’d scoffed, but afterwards sat thinking. What if I was wrong?

Our rugby club’s first-grade team had just won the division and was playing in a final on the weekend. Carpooling was needed. And I wanted to ferry the guys in style. They’d worked hard, why not reward them? So I reached out to see if the Infiniti QX80 could win me over with its underlying qualities. After all, I wouldn’t want people to avoid me just because I have a face like a smashed crab and the doughy, misshapen form of an inbred Hobbit.

And who better would understand the importance of inner beauty over outward appearance than a club-rugby forward pack?
“Well, you said it was actually really awesome on the inside, let’s see if it can win me over!” I told her.

The Infiniti QX80 packs a serious wallop in the form of a 5.6L V8 good for 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. It revs freely to 6,000 rpm and hides the 2,671 kg of heft with effortless acceleration – I even made some breaks through gaps into traffic.

This engine surges forward. The light-feeling accelerator pedal enhances the effortless sensation of forward momentum. The engine is smooth with a subtle-yet-snarling note that oozes quiet confidence.

Mated as it is to a seven-speed automatic gearbox this engine is a workhorse, stoically going about its business without ever letting on the enormity of its task. The engine is a core part of the effortless driving experience.

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