The Infiniti G35 and G37 coupes are dead, long live the Q60 — Motormouth sees how the new 400 horsepower flagship model stacks up against the German establishment
Isn’t this pretty? Say hello to the Q60 Coupe, which is the Infiniti Q50S’s sexier cousin, a two-door beauty that packs an almighty 400 horsepower wallop. You won’t have seen many around so far and that’s unlikely to change – which is one of the many reasons we’re rather fond of it — regardless of our review, but we’re going ahead and reviewing this all-wheel-drive sports car anyway, especially since everyone else seems to have properly embraced the security of four-corner traction too.
If you think we’re talking about merely a good looking Nissan with a posh badge, you’re a bit behind the times, my friend. Infiniti has upped its game recently, and although the brand is owned by Nissan and the two companies do combine forces when it comes to engineering know-how and platforms, in terms of the driving and ownership experiences, they are poles apart. What the Q60 represents is the rarefied end of the sports coupe market, offering more than enough performance for most sane drivers, a premium feel and prestige by the bucket load. Put this thing next to a 370Z and we think we know which key you’ll want to take.
For a sports car, then, a dud motor would be the end of the story right here, but this engine really delivers. We’ve already mentioned the small matter of 400 horsepower, which in the Q60 is sent to all four wheels. The engine, which feels utterly boundless in energy, is a twin-turbo V6 that produces its peak 475Nm of torque at just 1,600rpm. The muscularity of this unit should not be underestimated, for it provides slingshot acceleration without ever feeling breathless or strained — 100km/h from a standstill is possible in less than five seconds but it’s the mid-range pummelling that leaves the biggest impression. The Q60 comes equipped with a ‘sports exhaust’ but despite there being a satisfying growl when on the power, we can’t help feeling that there’s a lot more sonic character there just waiting to be liberated.
And yet, this is no tail-happy tyre smoker, at least not with Infiniti’s rather useful driver aids on watch, but it does manage to feel urgent and connected to the road. Much of its prowess stems from the stiffer damping compared to the Q50 saloon, meaning you can go faster through tighter corners without it getting all out of shape. Its ‘Dynamic Digital Suspension’ is an active set-up that does a remarkable job of disguising the Q60’s 1,800kg bulk, endearing it with sharp responses and a feel of fleet-footedness at odds with the numbers you know it’s contending with. Ultimately a BMW M4 would feel more alive, particularly on a circuit, but the Q60 does manage to feel both extremely rapid and totally planted so you can squeeze more oomph out of it without running out of talent.
As for the electric steering, on the face of things yes, it’s a gimmick. This is a bizarrely unnecessary system that might, in years to come, cause us to scratch our collective heads and wonder why they thought having no physical connection between the steering wheel and the actual wheels was ever a good idea. Infiniti remains doggedly determined to keep pushing it on us, though, and in practice it does notch up refinement levels considerably, providing complete abstinence of any kickback from rough surfaces. There’s plenty of artificial ‘feel’ depending on which driver settings you opt for but we tend to agree, it hardly seems worth all the years and untold millions it must have taken Infiniti to develop.
Happily, you can easily live with this coupe, even with the few things that rankle. The front seats, for example, are mounted a bit too high on the floor, which means even an average height driver’s head will clash with the roof when taking speed humps at anything more than a crawling pace. There’s precious little room in the rear, too, although that’s normal for most coupes. The seats themselves are extremely comfortable and supportive, clad in particularly lovely hides, and while the cabin ergonomics aren’t up to Merc levels of design inventiveness, there’s little to complain about apart from the occasional cheap plastic surface and the mess that the glossy glass of the infotainment interface gets into after a few minutes of prodding with less than immaculate fingertips.
And we’re nitpicking, because this Infiniti does the brand a great deal of good – it is quite unlike any Nissan, in looks, feel and performance, and it offers exclusivity on roads packed to bursting with prestige German metal. It’s a very digital car, literally and figuratively, and that might put off more hardcore driving enthusiasts for whom nothing less than an M4 will do. But for the rest of us there’s a lot to love and admire about this coupe.
The Germans all make you feel rather good about yourself and they each have their loyal fans who wouldn’t dream of considering a Japanese imposter. But the Q60 is not without its considerable charms – it’s beautiful to behold (particularly in this ‘Dynamic Sunstone Red’ hue), it’s bonkers fast, and offers oodles of sophisticated and useful tech.
That it doesn’t quite match the Europeans’ handling and interior trim quality might also be overlooked when you consider the AED202,000 entry price. Audi’s S5 might be highly desirable but it’s 46 horses down in the power stakes and costs AED75,500 more than this Infiniti, which is definitely food for thought. The Q60 is an excellent package and one that does come highly recommended.
2018 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport
3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 | seven-speed automatic, all-wheel drive | 400bhp @ 6,400rpm and 475Nm of torque @ 1,600rpm | 0-100km/h in less than five seconds and a top speed of 250km/h | AED202,000 (starting price)