2017 Infiniti Q60 Review
Infiniti Q60 Concept Overview
Lots of cars have so-called GT versions. Typically, they offer more performance than the standard model, but when asked to live up to the true definition of a Grand Touring car (which by the way is what GT stands for) they come up short. For the record, a Grand Touring car is a fast and luxurious two-door automobile offering exceptional comfort and is designed to serve two people on an extended road trip in a fatigue-free environment. And yes, this is exactly what the 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 does, despite the lack of a GT badge affixed to its trunklid.
One look at the interior confirms the Infiniti’s luxurious nature. Plush leather seating with a multitude of adjustments (rendered in white in our test car), is the centerpiece of what is an outstanding driving environment. The “zero gravity” seat tech Infiniti cribbed from NASA ensures all day comfort. Plus, the woven trim employed to brighten the cabin has the look of carbon fiber, but it is rendered in silver with a highly polished veneer. The interior is at once elegant, high tech and exceptionally clean in its appearance.
That said, we did note a few opportunities for improving the passenger compartment. The power/volume dial for the audio system is placed directly in line with the shift lever. You’ll hit your wrist on it the first time you try to turn the radio on. The center armrest is positioned just a tad too far to the rear, so your elbow rests upon its front edge. And, the piano black trim on the center console reflected sunlight into the driver’s face in mid-afternoon driving.
On the other hand, every modern driver’s aid known to the industry is offered, including steer-by-wire. The Q60’s steering wheel is basically a dial, telling a computer how many degrees of angle to apply to the front wheels, at what rate of speed and in which direction. A mechanical link is supplied as a redundancy, but it’s dormant as long as the computer is functioning properly. Another highlight is Infiniti’s Predictive Forward Collision technology, which actually looks two cars ahead of the Q60 to respond to potential changes in traffic flow and terrain.
Power comes from a twin-turbocharged evolution of Nissan’s venerable VQ series V6 engine, long praised as one of the finest assembled by any manufacturer. It is now known as the VR series. Nestled within the V of the block, one turbocharger feeds each bank of cylinders. Close proximity means less plumbing, which practically eliminates turbo lag. In fact, we found it to be non-existent. Exhaust manifolds are integral to the engine block, which further shortens the path the gasses must flow. Output for this version of the 3.0-liter V6 is 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. The Q60’s other engine offerings include a 208-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four and a 300-horsepower version of the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6.
A smart seven-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode conveyed power to all four wheels in our test car. Rear-drive is offered as well. Adaptive Shift Control makes the transmission ‘smart” in that it can read the road as well as your driving style and adjust gear changes accordingly. Left to its own devices, we saw the transmission downshift going into corners under braking and hold upshifts until well after we’d accelerated off of the apex, just before the engine hit redline. Throttle blips accompany manual downshifts and the transmission responds to the paddles on the steering wheel with considerable obedience.
Five drive modes are offered, Eco, Snow, Standard, Sport and Sport+. We spent most of day toggling back and forth between Standard, Sport and Sport +. In all honesty, we didn’t really feel much difference between Standard and Sport, but Sport+ incites the Q60 Red Sport 400 to absolutely slay the road.
Full throttle acceleration was an eye-opening experience. In a wholly unscientifically timed acceleration run, we got to 60 from a standstill in just under five seconds. Speed then continued to accumulate in a logarithmic fashion. Velocity was building in a seemingly unending fashion. And, the faster we went, the more buttoned down the car became.
Which brings up a key point; one really needs to keep an eye on the Infiniti’s speedometer, as the Q60 Red Sport 400 generally travels some 30 mph faster than your senses indicate. The engine, while lacking the distinctive aural signature of the outgoing model, still has enough of a song to make things interesting. But its muted sound makes it difficult to judge speed. Roadholding is outstanding, braking is excellent and the steering provides exceptional response with remarkable feedback.
Any way you examine it, this is a proper driver’s car. Fast, beautiful, comfortable, well finished and sumptuously equipped, the 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport S is a Grand Tourer in the truest sense of the term. If you love to drive, you’ll love driving this car. For 2017, Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 pricing starts at $51,300 with rear drive and $53,300 with all-wheel drive.