by Tony West
Infiniti tries to do it all with the new Q50 sports sedan. With a base price of $36,400, a hybrid companion, and new performance and safety features they almost pull it off. A lot of manufacturers have done efficient luxury, affordable sportiness, and even sporty luxury. But very few could create an affordable sedan with athletic character that has luxury features inside and great powertrain and mpg’s. The 2014 Q50 tries to accomplish this with an impressive powertrain for its hybrid models.
The 2014 Infiniti Q50 is a rendering of concept cars of the past upgraded to include some of the world’s first safety technology, like Direct Adaptive Steering and a fully customizable digital environment. The Q50 is stout and sporty with an aggressive wide low body. The Q50 has chrome accents on the door handles and the exhaust trim for a touch of class. The Q50 also has LED headlights and taillights, and offers more sporty design cues for different models.
The Q50 comes standard with a 3.7 liter V6 engine with an estimated 328 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. The Hybrid Q50 comes with a 3.5 liter V6 with an estimated 296 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque and a lithium-ion battery. The Hybrid engine is mated to a 50 kW electric motor with 67 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. The Infiniti Q50 Hybrid hits it out of the park with an efficient net power of 354 horsepower. I would much rather whip the hybrid- bending corners and saving gas.
All models have a 7-speed automatic transmission and available paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Also standard is the Drive Mode Selector where 5 modes can be chosen to match road conditions or driver preference. Sport, Standard, Eco, Snow, and Custom drive modes adjust engine, transmission, handling and steering for a truly specialized driving experience. The Q50 also has multilink rear suspension, vented disc brakes, and 17” or 19” aluminum alloy wheels with available sport-tuned suspension.
Infiniti boast that the new Q50 has a fully customizable digital environment with 96 optimal settings to adjust and save for up to 4 drivers. Settings range from drive modes to climate, navigation, seating, and telematics. Along with customizable luxury and performance, the Q50 has some innovative new technology like the Direct Adaptive Steering which assesses road conditions with driving behavior to send the driver’s intentions to the wheels faster. Also an industry first is the Q50’s Active Lane Control, which uses a camera on the rear view mirror and in the rear to enhance on-center driving.The Interior of the Q50 ranges from tech sporty to premium luxury with standard features like the dual touch screens with Infiniti I-Touch and optional leather and maple wood trim. I take a lil issue with the fact that many of the features I’ve come to enjoy standard with a $40,000 luxury sedan are optional add-ons with the Q50. Though the Bose Studio on Wheels System is standard, that’s pretty much where the base premium luxury train stops. For additional money, buyers can have a sunroof, leather seats with thigh extensions, heated seats and steering wheel, the climate control system with air purifier, navigation, and most importantly the Safety Shield Technology – which includes the Forward Collision Warning, Emergency Braking, Distance Control Assist, Back-Up Collision Intervention, and Lane Departure Prevention.
Basically for $36,400 buyers can get a base model Q50 that’ll get up in speed, handle pretty well, and be cute on the inside. If buyers want more, they gotta pay more. Infiniti is able to create an affordable sport luxury sedan with premium hints for $36,000 by giving more a la carte features and making buyers pay an extra $7,000 for the Hybrid Q50. With the Q50 Hybrid, you would have to pay nearly $10,000 more for all the premium luxury, performance, and safety features.
It makes me wonder who the 2014 Q50 and all its counterparts plans to compete with – a 30 grand Ford Fusion, a 35 grand CLA, or an Acura RLX or Lexus GS? We’ll see what happens when the 2013 Infiniti Q50 and the Q50 Hybrid go on sale Summer 2013.