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Infiniti builds QX-powered luxury boat with the help of Tennessee technical students

Infiniti has donated a QX56 to the Nashville State Community College to give automotive technicians in training the chance to be part of a very unique project: to build a luxury boat powered by the SUV's 400hp V8 engine.

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A lucky group of automotive technicians in training, with the help of Nissan engineers, are working on building a luxury speedboat that will be powered by the 5.6L V8 engine from an Infiniti QX56 SUV. Students at the Tennessee Technical Center at the Nashville State Community College have removed the 400hp engine from a donor QX56 and are in the process of preparing it for maritime use. In addition to QX power, the vessel will have luxury appointments fit for an Infiniti, including leather seating, satellite radio with Bose speakers, and the signature Infiniti quartz dashboard clock.

The boat will retain the engine and 7-speed transmission from the QX, whose chassis will be donated to Tennessee Tech for use in other automotive curricula. Though students have been assigned the task of removing unnecessary components like the power steering, they will be required to retain all the engine's original electronic computers, sensors, and emissions equipment, and find ways to make them work in a boat, under the supervision of their instructors. Infiniti's - and the students' - goal is to have the engine remain as reliable and powerful after its nautical transformation as it is in the SUV.

"It's great to involve students from the local community in this project, especially since Infiniti QX engines are manufactured in nearby Decherd, Tennessee," said Infiniti America vice president Ben Poore. "It's our hope that someday, students in these automotive programs who will learn from the Infiniti QX we donated to the Technical Center will go on to work at our company or Infiniti retailers' service departments."

The Infiniti QX boat is a one-off project that is intended to make a debut at the next boating season. Teaser photos and other updates will be posted on Infiniti's Facebook and Twitter outlets, with opportunities for fans and followers to name the boat.

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Nissan Bedford (not verified)    August 2, 2011 - 2:10PM

That's very generous of Infiniti to donate a SUV to the students for learning purpose. I had no idea that autos and boats could be powered by the same engine; I assumed the engines would be different since one would be going in the water.