Words: Stephen Spyropoulos
Photography: Stephen Spyropoulos
Published: February 16, 2017
The third-generation Q60 is a gift from Infiniti in the form of an AWD-only coupe that comes with three different powertrains, including the Red Sport we recently drove that churns out a magical 400 horsepower. Four hundred! Yet, the new Q60 can be somewhat underwhelming.
What looks fun on paper is rather conflicted in reality – it’s stuck somewhere in no-man’s land between the expectations of a performance coupe and a comfy luxo-cruiser. The Q60 is a serious effort with serious engineering behind it, but it has a hard time coming together as a truly exciting and indulging car. Attempting to master the crafts of both sport and luxury is clearly, a bit of challenge.
To explain, we should begin with what is under the hood. Following the updated Q50 sedan, this coupe features a 3.0-liter twin turbo V6 that is available in either a 300-horsepower or a 400-horsepower set up. Like many of its German competitors, the automaker charges a premium for the two-door Q60 over the four-door Q50.
We tested the 300-hp variant (read about the 400-hp variant here), and it is a clear improvement over the 3.7-litre “VQ” V6 in which it replaces. The new VR30DDTT, as it is so eloquently named, is buttery smooth and quiet. In some respects, that is a great thing. In others, it’s where the Q60 starts to fall flat. Pin the throttle and the twin turbocharged rocket launches forward without any fuss –there’s a subdued and synthetic sounding engine note with a tad of jet-like whir, but it’s just too quiet and not entirely exciting.
Audio engineers with high tech gadgets will likely be able to enjoy a full concert of engine sounds, but to the human ear I was left feeling empty. Who doesn’t love to hear a good V6 thrum and bark to life under command from a lead-footed driver? I am not saying that the Q60 should sound like a bombastic Jaguar F-Type, but I feel like a sport coupe with 300 hp should have some more acoustic noise to drive home the point.
On the bright side, the new V6 is responsive enough to fool inconspicuous luxury-car owners that the car is naturally aspirated. It still reminds me of the outgoing motor, just smoothened out with a rolling pin. A sprint to 100 km/h is just under 6 seconds. If so, that’s a bit slower than the BMW 435i, which produces similar power numbers, though the Q60 does weigh about 90 kilograms more, at 1,750 kg. What matters is that the Q60 feels just as fast as its rivals.
Of course, the Q60 is also a luxury coupe, and if identified as such, spine-crunching acceleration and ear-drum-tickling exhaust noises aren’t a necessity. Nobody complains that a Rolls-Royce is too quiet – serenity is entirely the point. A car that nonchalantly delivers the sort of smooth, effortless power as the Q60 does certainly has some appeal. However, such a luxury car should also deliver a comfortable and adjustable ride.
The V6-equipped Q60s come with an adaptive suspension, offering standard and sport settings, but the differences between the two are so miniscule that its like trying to get a Canadian to understand the difference between Russian and Ukrainian. The dissimilarities are too subtle and the standard mode skews toward the firmer end of the spectrum. The ride was at times jittery over rough stretches of pavement. Other luxury models like the BMW 435i seemed suppler.
But how does it handle you ask? Having a set of firmer suspension settings does result in great body control, as you can keep a rapid pace in corners but the steering is a betrayal to its sporty intentions. Infiniti’s re-tuned Direct Adaptive Steering system makes its way into the Q60, the steer-by-wire system with no mechanical connection between rack and steering wheel apart from an emergency backup. The disconnected feeling makes it feel like you are driving with a PlayStation controller and the wheels will make small inputs and corrections that your hands did not tell them to do. This sensation seems less noticeable at higher speeds, though.
As for the rest of the interior, the Infiniti dual-screen tech interface with redundant console controller for the upper navigation-focused screen is easy to use. Unlike Acura’s similar system, there is less confusion over which screen does what, and the buttons and knobs are most definitely welcome. The Bose speakers are great for blasting hip-hop and R&B, and the bass response is crisp and really clean even at high volume.
The seats are superb, specifically designed to match the curvature of the spine and provide consistent support to both the upper and lower back muscles. The back seat is less praiseworthy; anyone under six feet tall should fit comfortably. The trunk is similarly petit, but average in this segment.
Finally, there is the Q60’s value. A similarly spec’d Cadillac ATS or a BMW 440i costs thousands more than the $52,990 price tag for the Q60 3.0t with 300-hp. The base trim Q60 2.0t with a four-cylinder motor sourced from Mercedes-Benz is even more affordable, starting at $45,990, and delivers more features for less money than its competitors.
I suspect that the 2017 Infiniti Q60 will be a far more compelling coupe on the lower end of its spectrum with greater value to flaunt and fewer performance expectations to hang around its neck. Plus, unlike some other value-oriented luxury cars, it actually strikes an emotional chord with its distinctive styling and refreshing interior.
型号 Model: 2017 Infiniti Q60 3.0t AWD
顏色 Paint Type: Electric Indigo Metallic ($650)
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $52,990
試車售價 Price as Tested: $58,840
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,850
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,690 / 1,850 / 1,395
車重 Curb weight (kg): 1,750
引擎 Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6
最大馬力 Horsepower: 300 hp @ 6,400 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 295 lb-ft @ 1,600 - 5,200 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 7-speed automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
油耗 Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway ) L/100km: 11.2 / 8.5
油耗 Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 11.3