September 08, 2014 @ 05:44 PM

Cue the Q50

German sedans are no longer the final word for performance and beauty, introducing the Infiniti Q50. Report by Arvind Kumar

German sedans are no longer the final word for performance and beauty, introducing the Infiniti Q50. Report by Arvind Kumar.

There are currently six automakers that are associated with F1 Racing, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus, Renault and of course Infiniti who are partnered with defending champions Red Bull Racing. So as far brand presence goes, Infiniti has it in spades. And fewer still can claim the defending F1 champion helped hone their car to perfection.

Infiniti is a company which has its roots firmly tied to mainstream Japanese manufacturer Nissan. However, unlike its mainstream counterparts, the beauty and elegance of the Q50 showcases what can be achieved if creative minds are allowed to collaborate and precise hands are allowed to put thoughts to paper or in a virtual design space.

The imposing front architecture is marked by Q50’s three-dimensional double-arch grille which flow onto enticing front headlamps. The flanks feature pinched and contoured surfaces which flow the front towards sculptured rear haunches. Likewise, the raked A-pillar has a fluidic form flowing towards the rear bootlid. And where BMW has the Hoffmeister-kink, Infiniti has its chic Crescent-cut C-pillar.

Two variants have been introduced, the entry Q50 which is powered by a 2.0-litre direct-injected and turbocharged four-cylinder capable of producing 211bhp at 5,500rpm while torque figures are rated at 350Nm between 1,250rpm and 3,500rpm. The performance stats read a respectable 0-100kph time of 7.2s onto a top speed of 245kph. Power is sent through a seven-speed automatic with Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) and Downshift Rev Matching (DRM).

Equipment list for the entry level is generous for starters with integrated DRLs, front and rear fog lamps, Dual zone climate control and the InTouch dual-display on the centre console for relaying vehicle information. Another interesting feature is the Intelligent Key (I-Key) which stores up to four keys with driver preference settings that range from driving position, climate control, audio settings and even the car’s performance settings.

Specify the optional premium package for RM30,000 and Infiniti adds its Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS),  the world’s first steer-by-wire system which fully utilises digital signals between the steering wheel input and front axle. The system includes the company’s Active Lane Control which reads the road ahead and keeps the car tracking straight and when you factor in the Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), you literally have a car that can drive all by itself on the highway. 

Elsewhere, the premium package also enables buyers to choose between a Maple Wood and Kacchu aluminium interior trim. The audio system is upgraded from a six-speaker to a 14-speaker BOSE premium audio setup. And finally, the Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) and 18-inch alloys set the car apart on the exterior. 

The top trump variant, the Q50S Hybrid is powered by a 3.5-litre Atkinson-cycle V6 which produces 298bhp at 6,800rpm and 338Nm of torque at 5,000rpm. The engine is aided by electric motor which pumps an extra 67bhp and 270Nm. Combined, the power source delivers 364bhp and a Ferrari 458 beating, 546Nm. This endows the Q50S with a century sprint time of 5.1s onto a 250kph top speed. 

The gearbox is a seven-speeder equipped with Adaptive shift control and Downshift Rev Matching. The unit does not utilise a torque converter, however one clutch couples to the engine while another which is also housed inside the gearbox modulates the electric motor’s input. The system has five drive modes and sends power to the rear-wheels. 

The Q50 Hybrid tops the options list with 19-inch alloys, sport tuned suspension and additions to the front bumpers. On the inside, drivers have control over magnesium shift paddles, a 12-way powered sport seat and a powered moon-roof in addition to the plethora of active and passive driver aids.

The Infiniti Q50t retails for RM248,800 while the Premium GT spec bumps the price up to RM278,800. The range topping Q50S 3.5 Hybrid will set you back a cool RM398,800. All Infiniti’s Q50s are fully imported from Japan and come with a three year/100,000km warranty.  

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