Infiniti has certainly made splashes in racing waters, even as high as Formula 1. But when it comes to street performance, it’s their Q50 platform that boasts the most. But whether you stick with the Q50 sedan, or opt for the Q60 coupe, for the ultimate in their performance, you’ll need to see red!
The Infiniti Q60 arrived for 2014, replacing the well-loved G37 Coupe. And, whether it was the new design or just confusion over the new name, Q sales have fallen well-short of the original G. But cars like this 2017 Q60 Red Sport 400 and it’s 4-door kin, the 2018 Q50 Red Sport 400 should get things back on the fast track.
Though mostly all-new for ’17, the Q60 coupe rides on an update of the original FM architecture from Nissan’s Z car.
Yes, that means the ride is still a little on the rough side; though a new Dynamic Digital Suspension attempts to alleviate that.
Suspension changes with the Drive Mode Selector, going from firm to less firm, taking just a bit of the roughness out.
But, find a smooth curvy road, and the Q60 behaves gloriously, slicing through corners with graceful ease. It can feel heavy when pushed hard, but still very capable.
Bodywork is updated too, and there’s more of it, as overall length grows 1.5-inches on the same wheelbase. It’s a gorgeous piece of road-going machinery; one of the best looking coupes we’ve ever seen at this price point.
Things inside are now even more driver-focused, with Infiniti’s twin-touchscreen center stack eliminating a number of buttons and knobs.
Seats have been redesigned for both more support and comfort; while all around the cabin, things look and feel even more luxurious than before. Though the seating position remains very low; like you’ve borrowed your chair from the kid’s table; as you peer over the dash.
Of course power here in the Red Sport 400 comes from a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6, whipping up the named 400-horsepower with 350 lb-ft. of torque. Base Q’s come equipped with a 200–horsepower 2.0-liter I4 turbo; all-wheel-drive is available with either engine.
Seeing red at the track, our all-wheel-driver shot to 60 in just 4.6-seconds. There is some turbo lag, but that just makes the eventual onslaught of power, that much more impressive; forcefully throwing you back into the well-bolstered seat.
You can hear shifts from the 7-speed automatic happening, but you sure don’t feel them very much; barely causing a blip on the radar, as we completed the ¼-mile in 13.0-seconds at 110 miles-per-hour.
Shifting things over to the 4-door side of Q, the Q50 takes on an increasingly aggressive tone for ’18. Though the bigger story, is each trim level now gets unique style.
For the Red Sport 400, that means a new rear diffuser with twin-tone finish and dual exhaust outlets, a more angular front bumper with larger air inlets, and 19-inch aluminum alloys with thinner spokes to better present the upgraded brakes with red calipers.
Same twin-turbo 6 as the coupe, but we’d swear it delivers power more like a V8 here; smooth and unyielding, with fewer perceptible peaks and valleys.
Infiniti’s Direct Adaptive Steering gets updated in an attempt to deliver a more traditional feel. We still think it feels very artificial and too light, yet it remains very precise.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the all-wheel-drive coupe are 19-City, 26-Highway, and 21-Combined. We overachieved, with a 24.4 miles-per-gallon average on Premium.
Our rear-drive sedan rates slightly better at 20-City, 26-Highway, and 22-Combined; though we underachieved here, netting 21.4 Premium MPGs. The sedan’s Energy Impact Score is slightly below par at 15.0-barrels of oil used per year with 6.7-tons of CO2 emissions.
While Q60 pricing starts at $39,855, you’ll need to pony up at least $52,205 for a Red Sport 400. Sedan prices start at just $35,195; with the Red Sport 400 going for $51,995.
This pair of Infiniti Q Red Sport 400s pack plenty of performance, yet seem to adhere even closer to the Infiniti ultra-luxury position. That’s a good thing if you’re looking for pampered performance. But that also might actually be what’s keeping the Q from becoming a huge hit in the segment. As many of the performance faithful, still feel that they have to suffer for their performance art. We feel, and many brands have already proven, that’s no longer the case. You can have your performance and relaxingly eat up the miles too.
Engine: 3.0 liter V6
Torque: 350 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 4.6 seconds
1/4 mile: 13.0 seconds @ 110 mph
EPA: 20 mpg city / 26 mpg highway
Energy Impact: 15.0 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 6.7 tons/yr