Rebadged and remodeled from the ashes of their heavy-hitting G37, Infiniti’s Q50 is a great take on the modern sports sedan, providing a solid drive, sound fuel economy and downright sexy fascia for under $50,000.
This sleek, sexy performance sports sedan epitomizes a hip, cutting-edge design language for the company’s future vehicles. On the exterior, the Q50 has a very soft, flowing body, though its façade and body panels are muscular enough to make you look twice when the vehicle passes you by. The body shape reminds us of some of the newer Audi variants, and we welcome this more aggressive, mature take on the Q50.
Under the hood, drivers will have a choice of two new powertrains. The first (and our tester) contains an aluminum-alloy 3.7-liter V6 that will produce approximately 328 horses of power combined with 269 pound-feet of torque, giving those behind the wheel ample opportunity to let loose. With manual control in Tiptronic gearing, we found the seven-speed gearbox much more enjoyable than the standard auto setting as it allowed for adaptable shifting.
Eco fans of the Q50 can also take advantage of the new Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid model, which offers an innovative dual-motor system featuring a V6 paired with a lithium-ion battery design producing 50 kW for your green enjoyment. Combined, the one-motor, two-clutch system provides 360 horsepower—a step up from the 3.7-liter—and probably a little more fun to drive.We test-drove the car in the aftermath of the Northeast ice storm (the Mazda6 got the brunt of it), and the Q50’s snow driving profile came in handy. The snow mode on the AWD works by relaxing the responsiveness in the accelerator to reduce wheel slip and changing gears at a quicker pace in order to reduce the amount of torque fueled to the wheels, lessening slippage. On black ice the Q50 was a rock star, maintaining adequate traction throughout each sharp corner, hill or freeway ice and snow divider, providing a safe and pleasant driving experience.
The interior of the Q50 is equally powerful and elegant and also quite functional. Our favorite feature on the vehicle is easily the dual stacked screens of the center console. While nothing can touch Tesla’s 17-inch computer monitor, the separate touchscreen interfaces for the map and navigation (top) and entertainment/controls (bottom) were sophisticated in design and easy to use, overall contributing to an excellent in-seat experience.
The Q50 Sport AWD stands out as a skillfully designed vehicle that handles well and is equipped to the nines with premium tech. The only thing that could top this is more power, which leads us to the Q50 Eau Rouge Concept, coming next week at the Detroit Auto Show. Until then, stay tuned.
Visit infinitiusa.com for more details.