2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 Review

It doesn’t sound very impressive these days for a car to have 400 horsepower.

You can get much more than that in an American muscle car and even some four-cylinder hot hatches aren’t too far off. So when I found out that this 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 coupe has only 400 horsepower, I was expecting to have a fairly lukewarm experience. 

Instead, I got that a taste of that addictive spicy sriracha. That 400 horsepower is more than enough and the coupe feels so fast that I think Infiniti may be underrating it. It all starts with the engine, a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that’s a cousin of the same engine found in the Nissan GT-R, a.k.a. Godzilla. This car doesn’t have a nickname, but I’d say it’s deserving of one — maybe one that’s not as dramatic as the king of the monsters, but something like T-Rex, or Mothra, or even Clovie, after the monster in the first Cloverfield…

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That powerplant has some really clever engineering going on under the hood that helps it feel responsive and engaging, traits that aren’t usually a characteristic of turbocharged engines. For example, this car features a shorter, more efficient intake path to the engine, thanks to a pair of water-filled intercoolers and two electric pumps. This improves throttle response and means the turbos will spool up much quicker. And speaking of those turbos, the pair of them provide a whopping 14.7 PSI of boost and can spin at a crazy speed of 240,000 rpm.

The engine is paired to a seven-speed automatic transmission that’s not the quickest shifting thing around but is smooth and smart. It can detect lateral acceleration and topographical changes and will put the car in the right gear even when it’s in the middle of a corner or on a hill.

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Our tester was all-wheel drive, which helps the car feel much quicker and sure-footed when you stomp on the gas pedal. In normal conditions, the system splits power between the front and rear axles at a balanced 50:50 ratio. If there’s no need for power to be sent up to the front wheels, however, the car will send 100 percent of the power to the rear wheels, making this car really feel like a sporty coupe.

What About the Steering?

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One thing that holds this car back from feeling truly sporty and engaging is the steering. The Q60 Red Sport 400 uses a steer-by-wire system, which means that unless something goes catastrophically wrong, the car’s wheels aren’t physically connected to the steering wheel. Just in case that sounds dangerous, when there’s an emergency situation, a physical failsafe is enabled, but otherwise, the car’s wheels activate via sensors and motors. As a result, the steering feels very numb.

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While steering weight, effort, and even ratios can be customized to a degree, nothing helps to put the feel of the car back in your hands, which is an essential part of sporty driving. On the other hand, the car filters out much of the “noise” of the road. You won’t feel potholes, sewer grates, or rough roads through the steering wheel, which is a nice luxury trick.  

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As a result, you just don’t feel connected to the driving experience in this car, at least in terms of handling. The suspension is very interesting, too, with an automatic adaptive suspension that can soften or firm up the ride as needed. It keeps the car very flat and level. The car isn’t too stiff either, which was one of my main concerns when I saw those standard 19-inch wheels.

Once you get over that lack of engagement, you can appreciate the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport for what it is: a fast, smooth, luxurious, and high-tech coupe. Driver aids and technology features really help make this car stand out. The adaptive cruise control and lane keep system are both very advanced. The rest of the driver assistance features are also quite useful, including the around view camera, which helps negate the usual drawbacks of poor visibility that are common with sexy coupes like this.

Jaw Dropping, Eye Catching Design

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It’s worth pointing out that the Q60 is probably the prettiest coupe on the market right now. It’s gorgeous and eye catching without being too aggressive or obnoxious. Everyone will appreciate the design of this car, and there’s a very subtle beauty to it. There are no excessive chrome elements or a gaudy amount of carbon fiber. The car is pretty, through and through.

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The interior is nice, too, although not without its quirks. The two-screen infotainment display is far from the best in the industry, and the cleanly designed interior is offered with a gimmicky interior trim called Silver Optic fiber, which is a shinier take on carbon fiber. Many found it to be quite eye-catching, so at least there’s that. Interior space is a bit limiting, with my hair brushing the headliner, and the rear seats aren’t the best for regular duty.

Costing $61,555 in the U.S. ($67,185 in Canada) as tested, our model featured every bell and whistle. One drawback to the fast coupe is its fuel economy, which is rated at 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined (12.5 L/100 km city, 9.2 highway, 11 combined). Our usage, which we’ll admit saw us testing all 400 horsepower of the coupe often, had our fuel numbers closer to the city figure. Driven softly, the coupe will surely return more palatable fuel usage numbers, but with this much power and speed, why would you want to?

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The Verdict: 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 Review

Seriously fast and simply gorgeous, the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 has a few more tricks up its sleeve. While it’s not the most engaging coupe out there, it’s very powerful and loaded with tech and luxury goodies. It’s hard to be disappointed with that.

  • Eco Bust

    I want to like this car but it’s just meh. One thing it desperately needs is a better sounding exhaust. Audi and Benz proved you can make a TT v6 sound good, with the new S5 and c43c. Infiniti needs to listen to an old g35c or g37c and remember they know how to make distinctive exhaust notes.