Four hundred horsepower just sounds like a lot of power, not quite Godzilla-esque, but something a bit below, like a T-Rex. When you read that horsepower number on a car’s spec sheet, as on this Infiniti Q60S Red Sport we’re testing, you might anticipate a rowdy, unmanageable, almost muscle-car wave of thrust when you put your foot down.
Engine: 3.0-liter twin turbo V6
Power: 400 hp, 350 lb-ft of torque
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Fuel Economy (MPG): RWD - 20 City, 27 Highway, 22 Combined; AWD - 19 City, 26 Highway and 21 Combined.
Fuel Economy (L/100 km): 12.5 City, 9.2 Highway, 11 Combined
Base Starting Price USD: $38,950
As Tested Price USD (Q60S Red Sport 400): $54,205.
Base Starting Price CAD: $45,990
As Tested Price CAD (Q60S Red Sport 400 w/driver assistance package): $60,990 CAD
The Q60S is fast, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s not scary or intimidating in that delivery. The new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine is smooth, and while it lacks a bit of that signature sound-track from the old 3.7-liter V6, it makes up for it with the amount of power it puts out and the speeds it can achieve. The outgoing engine not only sounded great, but received the prestigious honour of being in Ward’s 10 Best Engines list for several years. How can this new motor and car surpass that kind of performance?
Wow that’s fast
When you put your foot down, you’ll notice it. No, not that initial lag that nearly all turbocharged engines are prone to exhibit, but there’s this steady boost that builds up and pushes the car forward. While 62 mph arrives in just around five seconds, the car is eager to do more. There’s 350 lb-ft of torque available practically anywhere in the rev range. Tap the throttle anytime between 1,600-5,200 rpm and the car will flex its muscles. There’s no need to worry about whether you’ll be able to make the pass or not. Unless you’re trying to drag race a Nissan GT-R, you’ll probably be faster than whatever is in the way.
But there’s more to the Q60S Red Sport than just the power. It’s the stability and display of composure that it can maintain while building so much speed. Both all-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive models displayed solid grip. The standard 19-inch wheels and 255 width tires help with that. But the way the car feels so quiet and comfortable inside despite the high speeds outside involves much more than its tires.
It starts at the steering wheel, where Infiniti’s unique direct adaptive steering system returns. This optional drive-by-wire setup incorporates no mechanical linkage between the tiller and front wheels. Instead, digital signals are sent from the driver’s inputs to a motor that actuates the front wheels. The actuator can also send signals the other way, from the front wheels to the driver’s hands through the steering wheel, but the way the Infiniti filters out unwanted road feel portrays a sense of isolation. There are seven different settings to dial in more feedback, or less. Even if you select the sporty and dynamic modes, it still won’t come close to imitating an old-school hydraulic steering setup, meaning it will feel less engaging than other rides out there.
Maybe that’s the point though. The Infiniti Q60 comes with a number of advanced driver assistance and safety features. They include a special forward collision warning system with automatic braking that can detect up to two cars ahead of you. That technology also helps with the car’s adaptive cruise control. The lane-keep technology combines the direct adaptive steering system to make it easy to stay in your lane. At times, with this technology active, the Q60 almost feels like a self-driving car.
A 4,000-pound (1,814-kg) coupe with 400 horsepower should be a bit hairy to drive, but the Q60S was a brilliant touring vehicle. Helping this is Infiniti’s dynamic digital suspension system, which uses electronically controlled dampers to keep things stable. Like the steering, this system can be adjusted for more or less feedback with sportier settings keeping the car more flat and engaging while cornering. Also helping this car’s weight feel insignificant are the solid brakes.
Make it Personal
Almost every aspect of the Q60S can be personalized. The steering, suspension, drivetrain and even certain handling characteristics like Active Trace Control can be toggled between a variety of settings. Infiniti says that there are over 300 combinations of settings, meaning there’s likely a perfect one for you.
No matter what you choose, you’ll still notice the Q60S is a fast, stable and comfortable machine. The interior is also clean looking with some unique touches. In addition to the usual suspects of trim design like dark maple wood, brushed aluminum and carbon-fiber is a flashy new silver optic-fiber trim, which looks like chromed carbon-fiber. It looks nice and vibrant in person. Infiniti is also offering a slick dark cherry red interior, which is a perfect shade for a sport-sedan like this. Unlike the bright and childish red offered in BMWs vehicles, the Infiniti’s interior looks far more mature while standing out.
Interior design is solid, although the competition has started using fancier gauge clusters with more digital trickery. The Infiniti features a dual-screen infotainment system that can be a bit confusing at first glance. The top screen is controlled by a rotary knob behind the shifter, while the lower screen is a touch screen. Interestingly enough, in order to punch in destinations for the top screen to display on the map, you need to use the lower screen. It’s a bit confusing the first time you need to use it, but more usage will clearly increase your familiarity with it.
The most glaringly obvious point about the Q60 is just how gorgeous it is. It’s beautiful and one of the best looking cars on the market today. There are no awkward angles, no strange creases, just one of the best overall designs you’ll ever see. Like the original Infiniti G Coupes that helped establish Infiniti today, the Q60 features a timeless design that you won’t get tired of looking at.
It’s interesting to bring up the Q60’s predecessor, the Infiniti G Coupe. The car featured an award-winning engine and eye-catching looks. It stood the test of time and is still a popular car with enthusiasts and the mainstream consumers. The Q60 is a different car now, though. It’s more grown up, able to cruise in isolation like a true luxury car, unlike the sport-focused G. It also features a personality that caters to those who like to customize and tinker with a wide variety of settings.
The base Q60 starts at $38,950 and rises all the way to $54,205 for an all-wheel drive Q60S Red Sport. In Canada, the Q60 is only available with all-wheel drive, and starts at $45,990 CAD. It’s also worth mentioning the new engine earns a combined 22 MPG in rear-wheel-drive vehicles and 21 MPG in all-wheel-drive cars. A less powerful version of the same 3.0-liter turbo will also be offered making 300 horsepower, while a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine will be found in entry level models.
The Verdict: 2017 Infiniti Q60 Review
With the new Q60S Red Sport, Infiniti made competing with the BMW 4 Series, Audi S5 and Mercedes C-Class Coupe look easy. The car is a sight to behold and drives so smoothly and comfortably. While it might not be the same engaging and sporty car its predecessor once was, it’s far more luxurious and high-tech.