First Drive: 2017 Infiniti Q60

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An all-new 2017 Infiniti Q60 has arrived in dealer showrooms. This performance-oriented coupe features a bold fascia, pronounced body sculpting and a family of new turbocharged engines.
The 2017 Q60 is based on the platform underpinning the Infiniti Q50 sedan. Both models represent a long succession of premium coupes and sedans dating to the G Series, which was introduced soon after the Infiniti brand launched in 1990.

New Q60: Lower, Wider and Sleeker

Infinti Q60

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The 2017 Q60 sits lower and wider than the previous model. Up front, a much more aggressive expression is evident in its double-arch grille and what Infiniti describes as “human eye” styled headlamps. Strong shoulders, an athletic silhouette and a tapered rear deck amplify this coupe’s rakish demeanor. All models sport 19-inch alloy wheels.

Infiniti replaced the previous naturally aspirated V6 engine with three turbocharged engine choices. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque is standard. A pair of twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 engines are available, making 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque and 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, respectively.

Eight Model Choices, No Manual Transmission

Eight models are offered, beginning with the rear-wheel drive Q60 2.0t ($38,950). Three other trims powered by the base engine follow: 2.0t AWD ($40,950), 2.0t Premium ($41,300) and 2.0t Premium AWD ($43,300). Both the 3.0t Premium ($44,300) and 3.0t Premium AWD ($46,300) are powered by the 300-horsepower, V6. Rounding out the model line is the Red Sport 400 ($51,300) and the Red Sport 400 AWD ($53,300), which both come with the 400-horsepower engine.

A seven-speed automatic transmission returns, but A six-speed manual is no longer offered. Infiniti cited minimal interest in the gearbox as the reason for its retirement.

Sporty Interior Design

2017 Q60

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Inside, seating is for four with generously bolstered, but comfortable sport bucket seats up front. The two seats in the rear are more comfortable than those found in the outgoing model. Back-seat legroom, however, remains tight, as the seats are put to better use for holding children in booster seats than full-grown passengers.

Infiniti has long garnered high marks in cabin layout, design and materials quality. These attributes are evident with the 2017 Q60. The dashboard is driver-centric with the instrument panel composed of a tachometer, speedometer and a digital information center. Simulated leather seats in the base model become full leather seating in the Red Sport. Leather is also available as a package upgrade elsewhere. Carbon fiber replaces brushed aluminum trim in the high-end models. A leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum doorsill kick plates and aluminum-accented pedals underscore additional luxury and sporty touches in this model.

Updated Technologies

2017 Q60

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On the tech front, all models come with at least a six-speaker audio system with HD radio, satellite radio, Bluetooth audio streaming, and a CD player with MP3 playback capability. Premium models are outfitted with a 13-speaker, Bose Performance Series Audio System providing superior audio clarity throughout the interior. Keyless entry and two USB ports are also standard.

The center stack features a dual screen system with an 8-inch upper display and a 7-inch lower display. Together, the screens comprise the latest version of the Infiniti InTouch infotainment system, with fewer buttons to manage. The system memorizes more than 200 settings, including the driver’s seat position, navigation, display, steering and suspension modes and climate control preferences.

Key Safety Features

Available driver safety technologies include an around view monitor, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, moving object detection and forward collision warning.

Also available is forward emergency braking and backup collision intervention. An adaptive lighting system and six air bags are standard equipment.

2017 Q60 Driving Impressions

Infiniti supplied rear- and all-wheel drive versions of both V6 models for testing.

We immediately noticed the strong improvement in off-the-line acceleration when compared with the previous model, which is especially evident in the 400-horsepower Red Sport edition. With a pair of turbos at work, lag was minimized. Infiniti claims lag reduction was achieved due to a shortened flow path and water-cooled charge coolers, which company’s engineers say are more efficient than the standard air-cooled units.

Infiniti Q60

(CARFAX, Inc.)

A significant improvement in steering becomes quickly evident in models equipped with the second-generation direct adaptive steering system, which is a $1,000 upgrade. Just as the current Infiniti Q50 sedan now offers a “steer-by-wire” system that replaces mechanically linked parts with computer inputs, the Q60 does the same. The result is improved steering feel and feedback. Notably, the system relies on a trio of electronic control units (ECUs) to relay steering inputs from the driver to the wheels, managing tire turning angles. At the same time, the system filters plenty of negative road feedback felt through the steering column when traveling on uneven road surfaces.

An upgraded drive mode selector supplies as many as seven settings, adjusting steering and suspension inputs accordingly. Put the Q60 in the available Sport+ mode on twisty roads, and the system provides tighter turns and imbues driver confidence. Wider rear tires and wheels on the rear-wheel drive Red Sport 400 also help matters with improved handling and grip. As for braking, the coupe comes to a certain stop without the grinding and shuddering some antilock systems produce when operating under extreme pressure.

A Compelling Luxury Sports Coupe

The second-generation Infiniti Q60 represents a bold leap forward for this luxury performance coupe. It is better in every way than the model it replaces, although the absence of a manual gearbox is an important demerit of note. The Q60’s strongest competitors include the BMW 4 Series, Lexus RC and Audi A5. The Cadillac ATS coupe and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe are two other models to compare.

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By | 2018-02-13T20:51:31+00:00 October 4th, 2016|Driving|0 Comments

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