Photos by Andrew Leslie

centre stack

There I was, driving down some unknown street in Vancouver, blissfully following the Infiniti Q70’s route guidance, mindlessly registering block after block of modest homes on a busy thoroughfare, some stretches of more upscale residences, when something different caught my eye.

I love different. Especially when that different is spectacular modern architecture in a sea of bland. Vancouver is a city full of modern glass and steel, soaring bridges, the elegant majesty of a port city’s massive cranes and a sanctuary of old growth forest in the heart of the city that hints at the spectacular natural majesty only a short distance away into the mountains and temperate rainforest of mainland BC and coastal islands. But really, most of the city is just simple old houses and apartment buildings. Plain. Drab. The stuff of ordinary life.

But this building was like all the nice parts mentioned above. Pretty. Fancy. Spectacular.

Turns out, it was Visitor Centre of the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, home to the Vancouver Supercar Show and the All-British Field Meet, and despite its devotion to plants, it was the building’s form itself that captured my attention, and how well it matched curving, fluid and, yes, organic lines of the Q70 I was driving. It was a perfect setting to shoot this car, so the next day I pulled our colleague Andrew Leslie away from his day job and put him to work capturing some photos for this review.

Infiniti concepts these days are some of my favourites, but the same can’t necessarily be said of their production vehicles. While nowhere near as offensive as the QX80, this current Q70 is still in an awkward teenager phase that the Q80 and Q60 concepts, and even QX30 concept, seem to be growing out of. The Q50, from the right angle, is tasteful and sleek, but the Q70 is a tad overinflated and upright, its body not as sharp as the curves and creases of the concepts I so admire or even the Essence Concept that inspired it. Where the building was inspired by a photograph of a native orchid, the Q70 derives its form from the fluid lines of, um, ocean proteins. The next generation can’t come soon enough.

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