As the wave of automotive electrification grows in intensity, the likelihood that you'll see fewer grilles on cars is an inevitability. The electric motors don't require air to combine with gas for combustion, so grilles are obsolete. The battery and motors are typically liquid cooled. Now, Infiniti has released images of its upcoming QX Inspiration that shows off its wholly grille-less front end for all the world to see. It's solid, bold, and emblazoned with their logo and name. 

infiniti qx inspiration profile
The lack of a grille on the QX Inspiration Concept keeps the front overhang incredibly short. 

The QX Inspiration shows us what the next generation of Infiniti crossovers could look like, and it follows in the footsteps of the swoopy Q Inspiration sedan (below) that bowed last year. The crosssover takes things further by completely eliminating anything that looks like a grille. There are only two small vents at the corner positions. Whether those are functioning brake cooling vents is another question. 

infiniti q inspriation
The Q Inspiration sedan had a unique Baleen Whale-like grille that was unconventional.

A closer look at the QX Inspiration's front, and you can see there are styling elements to communicate a grille shape. The metallic, wide U-shaped portion mimics the bottom of a grille, and the logo is still front and center. The very thin slits at the leading edge of the hood echo the current Tesla Model S sedan's thin openings. We don't especially like what Infiniti has done with the very plain front where the grille should be since it lacks texture or sculpting. An opportunity to provide styling character appears to have been missed. 

hyundai kona electric
The new Hyundai Kona Electric shows off its textured but still solid front end.

It is interesting to see how EVs are influencing automotive design. It could be an opportunity for a change in brand recognition methods, and Infiniti is using this very change to do so. The illumination of the name and the logo draws the eye in a fresh way. The jury's out on whether this looks better or worse than an actual grille, something most manufacturers work really hard on in order to be distinct. 

tesla model 3
The solid fascia on the Tesla Model 3 is completely unadorned. 

It'll be interesting to see what the concept looks like in the flesh when it shows up at the Detroit Auto Show. We're hoping it will be more interesting in person. But the EV crossover comes at the right time. Nissan's design V.P. stated that the company will invest more in EVs. The QX Inspiration may have what's known as an e-Power series hybrid powertrain where there's a small gas engine that operates as a generator, rather than to power the wheels. Look for the QX Inspiration to make its official debut at the Detroit Auto Show on January 14.