Infiniti’s twin-turbo 400bhp 3-litre V6 coupe looks great and goes like a gentler Godzilla wearing a comfortable business suit.
NISSAN’S GT-R is a performance monster that’s overly powerful, blazingly fast and resolutely sporty. It has a two-door body with a highly tuned twin-turbo V6 engine. And the car is made carefully in the company’s Tochigi factory.
Like the GT-R, the new Infiniti Q60 is also a coupe carefully made in Tochigi and has a souped-up V6 engine with a pair of turbos.
But unlike the GT-R, the Q60 isn’t overly powerful, faster than a speeding bullet train and single-mindedly sporty.
Instead, the two-door Infiniti offers invigorating and yet not intimidating performance, gift-wrapped in a stylish package.
The exterior looks really good – arguably better than the Lexus RC (the Q60’s closest competitor) and definitely neater, with fewer fussy design details. It’s also aerodynamically cleaner, with a drag coefficient of 0.28 versus the RC’s 0.30.
The Q60’s most flattering paint job is Dynamic Sunstone Red, with the top-of-the-line Red Sport variant (tested here) adding red-coloured brake callipers. Even with less racy paintwork, the styling retains its attractive balance of elegance and aggression.
The Q60’s dashboard, displays and switches are identical to the Q50 saloon’s, and so are the front seats, which provide superb suppleness for my posterior but average sideways support for my thighs and torso.
Only some of the cockpit details are specific to the Q60, such as the stitching on the instrument panel and the genuine carbon fibre trim around the satellite navigation panel.
The interior materials and how they’re assembled are generally of a high standard, but the Infiniti’s Nissan bits, such as the key and ignition push-button, are more noticeable than, say, the Toyota items in a Lexus.
And in a few of the test cars I drove, the seatbelt holders/extenders shook a little on the move, the rear view mirror had visible wiring behind it, and the driver’s window was noisy when going up/down.
Accessing the backseat could be easier, but there’s a dedicated button to “whirr” the seat out of the way. Seated in the back, there’s enough legroom for me (my height is 1.73m) and some space under the front seats for my feet.
But my head is parked right against the rear windscreen and the integral headrest is behind my neck instead of my head.
From behind the wheel, both the visibility and the driving position are excellent. Adjustments are easy, the numerous functions are idiot-proof and the storage compartments are handy.
The twin touchscreens (upper one 8-inch and lower one 7-inch) conveniently consolidate the vehicle’s settings and infotainment features, with supplementary control provided by the knob and toggle behind the gearlever, and the array of buttons on the horizontal spokes of the steering wheel.
TYPE V6, 24-valves, turbocharged
BORE X STROKE 86mm x 86mm
COMPRESSION RATIO 10.3:1
MAX POWER 400bhp at 6400rpm
MAX TORQUE 475Nm at 1600-5200rpm
POWER TO WEIGHT 219.2bhp per tonne
GEARBOX 7-speed automatic with manual select
DRIVEN WHEELS All
0-100KM/H 5 seconds
TOP SPEED 250km/h
CONSUMPTION 10.9km/L (combined)
CO2 EMISSION 209g/km
FRONT Double wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bar
REAR Multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar
FRONT / REAR Ventilated discs
TYPE Dunlop SP Sport 5000 DSST
SIZE 245/40 R19
TRACTION AIDS ABS, VDC
KERB WEIGHT 1825kg
TURNING CIRCLE 11.4m
PRICE INCL. COE To be announced
WARRANTY 3 years/100,000km
+ ATTRACTIVE STYLING, ENJOYABLE DYNAMICS, AMPLE SCOPE FOR PERSONALISED DRIVE
- OVER-ENGINEERED STEERING, OBVIOUS Q50 PARTS; LESS PRESTIGE THAN ITS MAIN RIVAL, THE LEXUS RC
That wheel is well-designed and the system it helms is Infiniti’s sophisticated, and probably over-engineered, Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS).
It’s fly-by-wire for the road, in second-generation format that’s said to improve on the original system in the Q50.
The Q60’s updated DAS is responsive, well-weighted and feels more natural than the Q50’s when the wheel is twirled at speed to make the car change direction. There’s a touch of feedback from the tarmac, yet the steering doesn’t suffer annoying kickback over broken bitumen.
The Q60’s Dynamic Digital Suspension (DDS) contributesto the smoothness on the move. Its electronically adjustable dampers vary their damping force according to the road conditions and the selected mode (Standard or Sport).
On optional 19-inch wheels shod with 245/40 R19 front and 265/35 R19 rear tyres, the ride has an underlying firmness and some rumble from the low-profile rubber. The cabin is otherwise quiet while cruising.
The handling is fantastic – eager going into corners, stable throughout and with a determinedly flat attitude. The negligible body roll is accompanied by plenty of tyre grip and positive responses that encourage spirited driving.
DAS has seven different settings and DDS has two. Coupled with the various settings for the powertrain and chassis stability aids, the Q60 driver has over 300 drive personalisation combos to choose from!
I only need three – comfy, sporty and sportier. Soon enough, I’m driving the Q60 quickly.
Hmmm, its pick-up from zero to 100 feels no quicker than the naturally aspirated Lexus RC350 with 88bhp less power and 97Nm less torque…
Oops, I was looking at the 0-100mph (0-160km/h) portion of the US-specification Q60’s speedometer.
Okay, this coupe is quick. Its turbocharged 400bhp engine begins to be energetic from about 2000rpm and becomes increasingly enthusiastic as the tacho needle swings towards 7000rpm. The flow of power is so progressive that it sometimes doesn’t feel like a round 400 horsepower, but the aggressive acceleration and speedometer activity indicate serious high performance.
The Q60’s 3-litre V6 sounds less furious than the GT-R’s 3.8-litre V6, but it works fast, stays smooth, revs happily all the way and responds promptly to throttle inputs.
The enjoyable action sequence is repeated following the next gearchange by the 7-speed automatic transmission. If only its upshifts are as swift as its downshifts, especially when playing with the paddle shifters.
This model can be specified with either all-wheel-drive (AWD) or rear-wheel-drive. I prefer the latter driveline, because it’s about 75kg lighter than the AWD version and livelier in the initial sprint from a standstill.
The slick Infiniti Q60 has just arrived in Singapore as a turbo 2-litre model, which will be followed by the turbo 3-litre model a few months later.