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NAIAS 2016: Infiniti Q60 Is Ready To Roll

NAIAS 2016: Infiniti Q60 Is Ready To Roll

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When manufacturers introduce concept cars to the public, they are usually just that, concepts. Flights of fancy designed to showcase the company’s design and engineering prowess without having to deal with the reality of regulations, human factors or sometimes even physics. So last year when Infiniti unveiled the Q60 Concept at the North American International Auto Show, I was skeptical of their claim that the production car would be very similar to the beautifully sculpted coupe that Alfonso Albaisa and his team had created.

I am a skeptic no more.

When they drove three versions of the new coupe on their stage at Cobo Hall, it was clear that Infiniti had been true to their word. The production version of the Q60 has remained faithful to the concept’s design thanks to a deep-body stamping process that allows Infiniti to execute the crisp lines and sharp angles we saw last January. Infiniti’s design language is really starting to come into focus now with both this new car and the Q30 that was unveiled in Frankfurt. The double arched grill flanked by triangular headlamps that taper inward is a big improvement from the previous face of the brand. It is bold and distinctive without feeling gimmicky.

From the side there are excellent touches, like the flared fenders that give the car a muscular and dynamic look, the sculpted doors and the flowing roofline that melds beautifully with the rear deck. In short, the Q60 is a beautiful coupe that doesn’t take a backseat to anyone – not Jaguar, not Lexus, not Mercedes, not Cadillac – when it comes to design.

In addition, the interior of the car maintains its driver focus with well bolstered yet comfortable seats and an instrument panel that is thoughtfully organized to allow the driver to find the important things quickly without having to take much attention from the road. Upgraded with a faster processor than earlier editions of the technology, Infiniti’s InTuition system allows occupants to personalize the interior environment of the Q60 according to their preferences, with fully adjustable temperature, seating positions, audio-visual settings, navigation and more. The sport version of the Q60 features carbon fiber trim pieces. And it all has a tightly crafted, well made feel, with contrast stitching providing a nice accent throughout the cabin.

As for power, you have a choice of two engines offering three output options in the Q60. The base engine is a 2.0 Liter turbo that makes 208 horsepower. There’s also an all new 3.0L twin-turbo V6 that’s available at two output levels. In standard tuning it makes 300 horsepower. Not content to leave it there, Infiniti engineers tweaked the new power plant to create a High Output version that makes 400 horsepower which should provide ample motivation for this tidy, light coupe.

The Q60 is built on a rear wheel drive platform that uses electronic drive mode selector to control the car’s performance based on road conditions and your mood. There are six options available: Standard, Eco, Snow, Sport and Sport+ along with Customize that give you the ability to customize your driving experience. This allows you to fine tune the chassis, throttle mapping, shift patterns and direct adaptive steering system just the way you want it.

Both engines are mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission that includes adaptive shift control, a feature that uses a lateral acceleration sensor to detect hills and corners, thus optimizing gear selection according to the changing conditions. It also learns your driving behaviors and adapts shifts to how you like to drive. Also available is intelligent all-wheel drive that delivers 50:50 torque distribution in standard mode, but can redistribute power to each of the four wheels independently as conditions require.

Pricing for the Q60 has not been announced but will closer to the coupe’s late summer availability. After years of wandering in the proverbial automotive wilderness, Infiniti has clearly found its footing and is quickly becoming a car company to be reckoned with. And, I for one, couldn’t be happier.