Infiniti Q50 3.7-V6 – Technological Overdrive
Infiniti Q50 – Technological Overdrive
People, who are hooked up with motoring journalism are because of their utmost desire and bursting passion. Not really sure what are the perks they get from their offices except for one: driving cars! Hence, for me no matter; whatever, wherever and whenever a car comes around I always have to make a go-around.
Having said that, just like any other motoring or rather specifically car aficionado, every year, I too wait for a few cars with high anticipation. Other cars may require the duty to be fulfilled with less or cursory value. Yet, there appear some exceptions and turn out to surprise and shake the boredom and stand out.
Infiniti Q50 is one of those cars that I wanted to test drive and the reason lies in a simple fact: Q50 is overloaded with technological wizardry. And it’s the quirky one this time. Get this: Q50 has perhaps the first Drive-by-wire steering system. Infiniti calls it “Direct Adaptive Steering”. It took Infiniti engineers almost ten years to develop and perfect the system before cascading down for the customers use.
It’s been 23 years, I have been associated with the aviation industry. Being an Aircraft Ground Dispatcher, I have the insight and awareness of the technology used in the most modern commercial aircraft these days. One similar tech is called fly-by-wire, which is digital (electronic) and basically cable-less (mechanical). Captain, controls the aircraft from takeoff to landing and any other yaw movement from the Side-Stick, gone are the days of yoke!
First of all Infiniti Q50 is an actually a new replacement for the youth inspiring G37 sedan also notice the change in nomenclature from the old G to Q, as all, the entire range of Infiniti cars will now wear the Q alpha before the numerical value that gives no indication of the engine or horsepower.
Aerodynamic Appearance – 8/ 10
I like the appearance of the new Q50, it has all the good design lines. The front of the car is one of the best. The long, low slung engine bay that sits perfectly on top of the large front wheels. Sharp yet not too edgy headlights incorporating LED daytime runner. You can spend your moments here, appreciating beautifully designed large “double-arch” grille hosed around the sculpted bumper that seamlessly joins the character lines from the hood. The twin light set, a bar, LED on top of the sporty rounded fog lamp on the other side of the lower air-dam with integrated front-lip spoiler, reflects the performance inspiring attitude. Interestingly, all the designed elements are functional and as Infiniti claims it Zero-Lift aerodynamics!
The low slung front end also gives way to the high-rise windscreen and that’s good as it does not have the confused coupe-sedan lines. You can identify Q50 as a classic sedan with a little sculpted duck-tail spoiler and distinctive LED taillights. Once inside, the large all-around greenhouse provides good visibility and sans claustrophobic effect created by much-lowered roofline. I found the zero-gravity sports seats not only comfortable but are quite supportive during the engaging driving experience. The neatly designed center stack also houses not one but two large screens. You can configure the top 8-inch screen to display maps and car setting gizmos, the other lower 7-inch screen In-Touch provides the Bluetooth functions and other social media apps. While quality is all premium-standard and exceeds expectations, however, there are two areas which I think requires a bit of attention. One is the lower 7-inch secondary center screen that emits low resolution and instead of black, it appears grey. Also, the screen covering feels old school and flimsy and gather fingerprints which when I try to wipe off took some effort. Secondly, I was unable to adjust my driver seat, once the door is shut. The lower storage design on the door cladding does not provide easy access for my arm to easily slide down with or without a wristwatch. I had to open the door to do the chore, whew!
Energized Performance – 8.5/ 10
If the exterior of the car attracts everyone, then it’s the exhilarating driving experience that impresses the driver. I thoroughly enjoyed that the naturally aspirated 3.7 liter V6 engine pumping high out of 326hp and 361 NM of torque. Grip the steering wheel firmly, set your fingers on the paddle shifters, tune the chassis to the sport mode. Coupled with 7-speed automatic transmission propels the car for a 0-60 dash in just 5.5 seconds. The feeling of being pushed because of RWD platform as opposed to being pulled you get from FWD platform energizes the senses. You can be assured to have a great driving experience, thanks to the powerful fade-free brakes and sports tuned suspension that keeps body roll in check and firm state on the twisty roads, and especially for a full flat exit. And this is where the adaptive steering will come into play. The sport mode requires less input of steering angle and gives increased weight to synchronize with the speed. Lesser the speed the lighter steering will become and provides larger turn-in angles especially for stress-free parking. However, I must add here the technically digital-drive-by-wire steering doesn’t provide the realistic road feel. Though after three days of driving, I hardly even noticed any pseudo behavior. If you’re a potential buyer, you can completely negate it. The Direct Adaptive Steering shouldn’t become a bone of contention for buying-decision making…
Safety – 8.5 / 10
As expected, this Infiniti Q50 is loaded with safety features. The Infiniti safety shield, thankfully work un-noticing in the background, nevertheless continuously monitoring the driver behavior to ensure seamless safety. The Predictive Forward Collision Warning system alerts the driver to risks that lie beyond their field of view, sensing the speed and distance of the vehicle directly ahead and of the one traveling in front of that, giving early warning of a potential accident. Active Lane Control intervenes and helps the driver maintain the driving antiquities by keeping him in the middle of the lane.
The Buyers Guide to the Galaxy – 9/10
After 3 days of the addictive pleasure of driving, I was wishing that I do not have to return the car. Infiniti Q50 3.7 – V6 is a great car, although there are other variants available like hybrid version and a 2.0 turbo version. I can’t say anything about them. As far as 3.7 – V6 is concerned, it certainly impressed me. There’s everything you can wish for. A superb 14 speaker Bose sound system can be connected via Bluetooth with your smartphone and extensive array of features. There is a reason why Infiniti Q50 right after its launch in its first year, Infiniti Q50 earned it’s first Middle East award in 2013, claiming the title of ‘Best car of the Year 2014’ by one of the region’s leading automotive publications, Sport, Auto. And what matters most, it won my heart too.
Here in the UAE. Infiniti Q50 prices start from AED 165000 – 177500 for 3.7 – V6 Premium and AED 188500 – 190000 3.7 V6 Sport.