Infiniti’s Q60 Gets Turbocharged Reconstructive Surgery
All we wanted was a throwback to the G35 we fell in love with decades ago. But when the Infiniti Q60 made its world premiere at the 2016 North American International Auto Show this week, it was apparent that we were ending up with much more than that. A luxurious sports coupe that blends expressive styling with mind-blowing driving performance is an automotive journalist’s dream come true, so praises to the engineers and designers that made this overhaul a hit. We’ll take two.
We’ll get around to explaining why more than one Q60 is necessary here in a moment, but first let’s admire everything that makes the new Q60 hotter than the desert sand that it’s sitting in in these pictures. The Q60 has been restyled externally in order to showcase how much lower and wider it is than its predecessors, and how less can still be more. It uses taught, minimalist lines from nose to tail. With its piped LED lights, black trim accents, and lower, far more menacing stance, there is a lot to like about the exterior of the Q60, and it only gets better when you peek inside the cabin. Two-tone, lushly appointed, tech-laden, and practical, there isn’t anything about the way this interior looks that could make us hate on it from here.
Here is the part where I explain why we would want two of these things. It all starts with the turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-liter gasoline engine that will be going into Infiniti’s base models. This miniature powerplant is slated to produce around 208 horsepower, which will in turn be sent to the Q60’s rear wheels for optimized performance, and an optional, rear-biased intelligent all-wheel drive system will be available for anyone wanting a little bit more control.
But 208 horsepower isn’t everyone’s cup of tea either. Therefore, it’s the high performance 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo “VR” engine that has our utmost attention. Engineered to be both powerful and efficient, this new powerplant will be available in the Q60 in two trim levels: The 300 horsepower model will be more geared toward low-end grunt and fuel gains, while the 400 horsepower option will come equipped with two water pumps in order to keep things cool under the hood. Actually, now that we think about it, we’ll take three Q60s, please.
According to Infiniti, the Q60 has been re-engineered to “deliver a truly engaging sports coupe experience, with a unique balance of ride comfort, and agile handling.” Infiniti has rolled out a revamped version of what it likes to call “Dynamic Digital Suspension,” which has been redesigned to offer best-in-class handling responses thanks to adaptive dampers and a fully customizable mode for spirited drivers, all while enhancing ride comfort and safety. The Japanese luxury brand is also reportedly rolling out its second-generation of “Direct Adaptive Steering,” and much like those dampers it will firm up if more or less feedback is required.
“The Infiniti Q60 conveys a powerful elegance through its daring design, and has the performance credentials to match – thanks to next-generation ride and handling technologies and up to 400 horsepower. The Q60 will affirm Infiniti’s leadership in the premium sports coupe class,” says Roland Krueger, the President of Infiniti.
Set to be released in the midst of an offensive global launch period, the Q60 is slated to be one of the primary powerhouses behind Infiniti’s growth, riding strong behind the record 213,687 new vehicles that were sold in 2015. But Infiniti doesn’t want to forget its sports coupe roots either; with the G35 and G37 standing as performance-oriented forefathers to the fledgling Q60, Infiniti development teams reportedly have “designed and engineered the third-generation Q60 sports coupe according to the same principles.”
Set to go on sale sometime in late summer of 2016, the Q60 will play an extremely important role in the solidification of Infiniti’s global growth strategy, and in the process will hopefully remind buyers that the premium sports coupe segment has always been filled with the automaker’s vehicles. Granted, it does have some stiff competition, but with a brand new look, some recalibrated suspension and steering, and three turbocharged powertrains, Infiniti has the ingredients to give the high-end sports coupe market a run for its money.
Francois Bancon, Infiniti Vice President of Product Strategy highlights these sentiments precisely: “The new Q60, our third-generation sports coupe, will ensure Infiniti’s position as a leader in the segment. Premium customers around the globe love a sports coupe that offers power, performance and prestige – and the Q60 delivers on all three fronts.”