The main facts about the newest Infiniti are as follows:
The Infiniti Q50 will compete with cars like the BMW 3-Series, the Audi A4, the Mercedes C-Class, the Lexus IS and the Cadillac ATS / CTS. But the Q50 is longer than BMW 3 Series by 16 cm, and its 5 сm wider than its predecessor, the Infiniti G Sedan.
As a result, Q50 has become one of the largest sedans in its class, being reasonable alternative to bigger mid-size sedans.
Still, don`t expect lots of room at rear seats: this car is for driver, and the Q50 promises a lot of interesting experiences...
The most powerful Infiniti Q50 features a hybrid powertrain of a gasoline 3.7-liter V6 and a 68-hp electric motor, providing combined power of 364 hp, great acceleration (see below) and good fuel efficiency.
The only other engine option in Germany is the Mercedes-made 2.2-liter diesel (170 hp, 400 N*m), though at some other markets Infiniti also offers traditional non-hybrid V6 version (328 hp), as well as a small turbo-charged 2.0 liter, 211-hp engines.
The fastest version of the Q50 is the hybrid one, providing acceleration to 100 km/h in just about 5 seconds, with claimed fuel efficiency still about 9 l/100 km both in city and just about 5 l/100 km at highway.
Just as in the Q50`s predecessor, the G sedan/coupe, the driver of the Q50 can switch the gears manually, using the beautifully finished magnesium paddle shifters with leather cover mounted at the steering wheel. The diesel version in Europe can be equipped with manual stick, too.
The 170-hp diesel version is obviously much slower, taking about 8.5 seconds to achieve 100 km/h, but with just about 4-6 l/100 km claimed fuel consumption.
Available at some other markets non-hybrid 3.7 liter version provides virtually the same performance as the hybrid one (except for higher city fuel consumption), while the 2.0 liter turbocharged 211-hp engine is slower (but still provides respectful 7.3 seconds to 100 km/h) and cheaper.
Besides driving dynamics, the primary feature of the Q50 is a large number of driving assistants, with the biggest innovation hidden in the steering column.
The two main goals of the system are:
- sportier handling and safety: thanks to variable steering ratio, the driver can turn the steering wheel on smaller angles while driving at low speeds (like while parking or driving at sharp corners); and at higher speeds the steering ratio increases, to make steering more precise
- more ride comfort: since there is no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and front wheels, absolutely no road bumps are transitioned to the steering wheel. Whatever the road quality is, you won`t feel it at the steering wheel (pity it can`t be done to the whole car)
Meanwhile, driving the Q50 at normal road shouldn`t feel any different from an ordinary car: a special force feedback system (similar to ones user at gaming steering wheels for Playstation) generates some return force at the wheel, emulating traditional steering experience.The return effort at the wheel increases with the speed, and also can be adjusted via setting menu.
Completely electronic control of the steering wheels also provides a number of new safety features like:
- automatic correction of road bumps (especially in corners), side winds and other forces that could change the vehicle`s course
- active lane control: automatic steering helps to keep the car in its lane
- active side impact system: if the blind-spot monitoring systems detects a vehicle on parallel course, the force feedback system generates slightly increased effort on the steering wheel, while the car gives the driver an audio and visual warning of possible collision, so you could not only see and hear, but "feel" the danger
And in case of a complete system failure, the steer-by-wire system automatically switches to completely manual mode, so the driver won`t lose control of the vehicle.
The top versions of the Q50 (only the hybrid and, at some markets, the V6) can feature optional 4-wheel-drive system, which is extremely important for a powerful car, even on dry pavements.
As its now common, in normal conditions the 4WD Infiniti remains a read-wheel drive car, but as soon as electronics detect a wheel slipping, upto 50% of torque is sent to the front wheels.
As usual for Infiniti, almost every possible option is included in the base version (and the actual price difference between the base and fully equipped version is just about €10 thousand). Besides all traditional features (dual-zone climate control, keyless entry/start, rearview camera leather power seats etc - except for ventilated seats, which can`t be installed at all), the most interesting features are:
- infotainment system with internet access and built-in features to surf social networks, check email etc.
- 14-speaker Bose sound system with 3 subwoofers and HDD to save music
- available advanced climate control with auto-recirculation, Plasmacluster air purifier and Grape Polyphenol Filter.
Multiple and sophisticated electronic driving assistants are the main feature of the Infiniti Q50. Just one €2.6 thousand "Deluxe Technology" package provides:
- active full-speed range cruise control with forward collision warning and emergency braking features
- lane departure and prevention system (thanks to the above-mentioned steer-by-wire system)
- backward (!) collision prevention
- blind spot warning and prevention system
- adaptive LED headlights with automatic adjustment of the light in turns and high/low beam switching (in order not to blind other drivers)
All in all, one has to be quite determined to get in a crash in Infiniti Q50.
Thanks to Infiniti`s tradition to include most of the features into a base versions, the price difference between the base and the very top versions is relatively small.