2017 Infiniti Q60: Bringing Sexy Back
Back in 2003 when the original Infiniti G35 coupe and Nissan 350Z tandem were introduced, I was in my early twenties spending all my free time either at the racetrack or hanging out in parking lots looking at cars. I remember being in awe at just how beautiful the G in particular was, coupled with that throaty exhaust sound that was unique in the industry. If a Z or a G were within earshot, they would be instantaneously identified without having to look because of that awesome exhaust note. To put it another way, they were THE cars to have.
The G35 coupe became the G37 coupe after a redesign in 2008 and then was rebadged Q60 in 2014 (the new G37 sedan was renamed Q50). The coupe redesign trailed the sedan by a couple of years, meaning for 2014 it still had the previous generation’s body style, but with the Q60 nameplate. For 2015 only the Q60 Convertible was available and still in the old body style. Confused yet? It’s ok, as you’re probably not the only one. Infiniti’s rebadging scheme drew the collective wrath from journalists and enthusiasts alike, but it’s starting to become palatable.
- Also: 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport: A Sport Coupe Made for Real People
- Also: 2017 Infiniti Q60: Resurrection of the Sport Coupe
The new, 2017 Infiniti Q60 was unveiled at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show and went on sale last fall. The coupe was very well received, with lavish praise for its bold looks. I won’t be bucking that trend because the car is gorgeous. The overall dimensions have been increased versus the previous generation and the new silhouette transforms the decidedly less sporty look of the Q50 sedan into a powerful-looking sports coupe.
Elements of the brand’s new design language make the vehicle unmistakably Infiniti, including the double-arch grille and the crescent-shaped C-pillars. What’s interesting is that the vents in the front fenders are actually functional and serve to direct air out of the engine bay. The Q60 has a low drag coefficient of 0.28, and this coupled with a low centre of gravity help keep it stable at high speeds. Nineteen-inch wheels are standard, but 20s are optional, serving to fill those undesirable wheel gaps and improve handling. Beautiful daytime running lights give the front end a more unique look versus the Q50 and small details, such as the entire light turning amber for the turn signal, rather than turning off to expose a dim bulb, shows Infiniti’s attention to detail.
There are three engines to choose from in the Q60, starting with the turbo 2.0-litre four cylinder making 208 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. I tested this engine in the Q50 and found it more than adequate to power the sedan, although the rather noisy sound and necessity to rev high to get any power is typical for a small engine. Next up is the all-new twin-turbo, 3.0-litre V6, from the new “VR” powertrain family tuned to deliver 300 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. The third option is actually the same 3.0L V6, but tuned to provide 400 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. The 400-hp variant is found in the Red Sport 400 trim which I tested in the Q50 last year, but this test vehicle had the 300-hp variant. All are mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive is standard on all trims.
Those 300 horses propel the Q60 to highway speeds in a blink of an eye. It was much faster than I anticipated and delivered almost the same thrill as the Q50 Red Sport 400 did. Yes, it’s that good. The Q60 can carve up asphalt and take corners like a pro and Infiniti’s second-generation Direct Adaptive Steering system has undergone retuning to enhance feel and feedback, while making it possible for the driver to further customise steering performance via user-selected modes.
Drivers first select one of three core driving modes (Standard, Sport and Sport+) and then specify their preferred level of “response” (Default, Dynamic and Dynamic+). It’s much improved over the old version; however, even in the sportiest mode it still doesn’t approach the feel of a hydraulically assisted system. Furthermore, the lack of paddle shifters was a big disappointment, especially because there is no manual transmission option anymore. What’s also missing is that wonderful exhaust note from prior generations. The new powertrain doesn’t really sound like anything and is too quiet.
The interior is where the 2017 Infiniti Q60 might stumble a little compared to the competition. The design of the gauge cluster is a bit low tech and looks outdated. Between the gauge cluster there is a screen which can be used to display things like tire pressure, a compass, the front and rear parking sensors and a setting menu, but what’s missing is a digital speedometer.
Furthermore, I didn’t feel the need to be warned that it was cold outside every time I started the vehicle—something that required me to press a button to acknowledge. The centre console, while visually appealing, is not very driver centric. I like the fact that there are two screens, but the buttons feel very cheap to the touch. The defrost buttons are located on the far side of the console, but would be better placed closer to the driver. The infotainment system was easy enough to operate and I found no issues there.
I will point out that the quality of the finish and the materials is excellent and serves to pamper the driver. The combination of black leather with white stitching coupled with brushed aluminum and black marble trim is an excellent combination.
Infiniti has improved upon many aspects compared to the old Q60, but unfortunately some of the flair that was present when this model was released in the early 2000s is absent. Nevertheless, I highly enjoyed my week with this gorgeous performance machine.
|Test drive report|
|Test model||2017 Infiniti Q60|
|Trim level||Coupe 3.0 AWD|
|Price range||$45,990 – $64,190|
|Price as tested||N/A|
|Fuel economy (city/highway/observed)||11,2 / 8,5 / 11,6 L/100km|
|Competitive models||Audi A5, BMW 4 Series, Cadillac ATS, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, Lexus RC, Mercedes-Benz C-Class|
|Fuel economy||Higher than expected|
|Comfort||Very comfortable to sit in|
|Performance||300 horses were astounding. Imagine the 400-hp variant!|
|Infotainment||Fairy decent system|
|Driving||A blast to drive|
|Overall||A valiant replacement to the previous generation|