2015 Infiniti Q50 Sports Sedan Review
- Q50 Sports Sedan continues to set the design, performance and technology direction for new generation of Infiniti vehicles and brand
- New Q50 Limited Edition reinforces Infiniti’s promise of Inspired Performance, delivering no-compromise access to the premium sports sedan market
- Choice of powertrains for Canada includes 3.7-litre V6 and 3.5-litre Hybrid
- Offers world’s first technologies designed to enhance the driving experience, including Direct Adaptive Steering™, Active Lane Control™ and Predictive Forward Collision Warning
- Infiniti InTuition™ – Fully customizable digital environment for linking various driver settings and driving characteristics to Intelligent Key
- Infiniti InTouch™ next-gen smart connectivity features dual touch-screens and an array of advanced functions and features
Building on Infiniti’s legendary sports sedan styling, performance and technology leadership, the 2015 Infiniti Q50 is designed to create a distinct level of customer engagement – taking Infiniti in a bold direction as a brand and as a provider of a unique luxury performance experience.
For 2015, the Q50 Limited Edition has been added to the lineup, delivering the Inspired Performance that Canadians expect from Infiniti in a new well-equipped package. Featuring 19″ spoke aluminum-alloy wheels and a new rear spoiler, the new Q50 Limited Edition sports sedan is a no-compromise premium vehicle for drivers and features performance, styling and technology that its head-to-head competitors cannot contend with.
Dimension, Depth and Dynamic Design
Infiniti sports sedans have always been noted for their outstanding proportions, presence and premium style, and 2015 is no exception. It reflects the direct influence of the Infiniti Essence concept, while honouring the iconic design dynamics of earlier Infiniti sports sedans.
The Q50’s strong first impression is anchored by the smooth yet dynamic character line arising from its “double arch” grille. The line energetically flows through the bodyside like a wave and merges with the rear end, creating a highly fluid and intriguing profile and fully illustrating the Infiniti Q50’s dynamic and athletic stance. The athletic and tightened appearance blends its lower and wider proportions with enhanced interior roominess to stunning effect inside and out.
Signature Infiniti exterior design features, along with the powerful “double arch” grille, include the dynamic arch roofline and Crescent-cut C-pillar. The front end is decidedly aggressive, with a sport front fascia offered on the Q50 sport models.
The grille’s three-dimensional, textural quality is provided by elaborate detailing of the waved mesh pattern surface and chrome surround, while the distinctive LED headlights and daytime running lights suggest an almost human look.
The lean, robust body sides are designed to anchor the performance stance with a strong, solid “bone” and arched roofline that flows to the Crescent C-pillars that are similar to those that originally appeared on the Essence Concept. In the rear, the side character lines smoothly merge with the shape of the rear LED combination lights. The familiar rear double-arch trunk line completes the strong, unforgettable view from behind. Heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signals are standard, while a power sliding and tilting glass sunroof is standard on all models.
Other exterior refinements include door architecture with narrower, roll-formed A- and B-pillar sashes that provide improved ingress and egress, as well as a more open cabin environment.
The body design also offers enhanced airflow over both the upper and lower body portions, resulting in a coefficient of drag of just 0.26 (0.27/0.28 for Sport RWD/AWD models). The Q50 also features zero front and rear lift.
The colour palette has been specially selected to accent the Q50 contours and sculpted surfaces and includes a range of eight premium colours: Chestnut Bronze, Malbec Black, Platinum Ice, Asgard Grey, Black Obsidian, Venetian Ruby, Aspen Pearl, and Hagane Blue.
Performance With a Personal Touch
Throughout the Infiniti Q50’s development, compromise was never an option. Refusing to compromise on innovation, design or performance targets allowed the development teams to stretch the boundaries of what a sports sedan can be.
Said Wendy Durward, Director of Marketing, Infiniti Canada: “The 2015 Q50 amplifies every driver’s performance preference and enjoyment behind the wheel. We have one of the fastest accelerating hybrid engines, which also happen to be projected as one of the most fuel-efficient. We have advanced performance and safety technologies that can sense and react before the driver can. And, we have the world’s first quick and precise Direct Adaptive Steering technology.”
Two advanced powertrains are offered for North America, starting with a refined 3.7-litre aluminum-alloy DOHC 24-valve V6 rated at 328 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. The engine features Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) and Variable Valve Event & Lift (VVEL®).
Also available is an advanced hybrid powertrain featuring the Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid® system with Intelligent Dual Clutch Control.
It combines a 3.5-litre 24-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy V6 and compact laminated lithium-ion battery design with an innovative one-motor/two-clutch motor control. The system’s V6 is rated at 302 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, while the advanced 50 kW electric motor is rated at 67 horsepower and 214 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid system net power is 360 horsepower, providing strong acceleration and lean fuel consumption.
“True to the Infiniti DNA, our hybrid powertrains put performance first, without compromising fuel efficiency. It takes full advantage of the electric motor’s instant torque for exceptional acceleration and, in combination with the 3.5-litre V6, provides a sporty driving feel under all driving conditions. We have targeted the best balance of performance and fuel economy and hit it dead centre,” said Durward.
Both Q50 powertrains are matched with an advanced 7-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with manual shift mode and available steering column-mounted magnesium paddle shifters. The Q50 is available in rear-wheel drive and Intelligent All-Wheel Drive with both powertrains.
Precise handling is provided by the 4-wheel independent multi-link suspension. The front is a single pivot double-wishbone design, while the revised rear design utilizes a multi-link design with coil springs and Dual Flow Path® shock absorbers, with increased camber stiffness and improved ride comfort.
The suspension features extensive use of lightweight aluminum components, along with front and rear stabilizer bars. A sport-tuned suspension is available with Sport models. Also supporting the enhanced handling is an improvement in front body stiffness (versus the previous generation).
The Q50 rides on 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with machine-finished surface with 225/55R17 all-season run-flat tires. Also available are 19-inch aluminum-alloy sport wheels with 245/40R19 run-flat all-season or summer tires. Confident braking is provided by 4-wheel power-assisted vented disc brakes with 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution and Brake Assist. Also available are sport brakes with upgraded rotors, 4-piston front calipers and 2-piston rear. Hybrid models include a regenerative braking system. Steering is provided by a power-assisted vehicle-speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion system.
The Q50 also features available Infiniti Direct Adaptive Steering™ technology, a world’s first production vehicle design developed after more than ten years of research. The system allows independent control of the Q50’s tire angle and steering inputs, transmitting the driver’s intentions to the wheels faster than a mechanical system.
This increases the direct driving performance feel by quickly and intelligently communicating road surface feedback to the driver. Four combinations of steering settings are offered, allowing customization by driver preference or road conditions. This technology provides the flexibility for the driver to change both steering effort and the steering gear ratio. A backup mechanical steering system is provided with models utilizing Direct Adaptive Steering™ technology.
Active Lane Control is also offered, which uses a camera-based system to further enhance lane-keeping capability. The system is included as part of the Lane Departure Prevention system, not only adjusting for unintended lane drift, but also making finer adjustments for minor road surface changes or crosswinds (as detected by the camera-based, lane marker detection system).
The system goes beyond the traditional Lane Departure Prevention system, taking it a step further by not only evaluating the road ahead (the camera is located above the rearview mirror) for unintended lane drift but also by making small steering input angle adjustments if the Q50 undergoes minor direction changes due to road surface changes or crosswinds (as detected by the lane marker detection system). By reducing the need for steering input for the driver, the driver’s effort may be reduced.
“The beauty of these advanced systems is to allow a more personal driving experience, with more input when desired and less intrusion of road imperfections in the steering wheel,” said Durward. “These are just the start of a range of future technologies that are becoming a point of differentiation for our Infiniti customers.”
Another way that the 2015 Infiniti Q50 raises the performance standards in class is the high degree of available personalization, which is made possible with Infiniti InTuition™ system, a fully customizable digital environment. The system works with the vehicle’s advanced Intelligent Keys to recognize the vehicle settings for up to four different drivers.
Offering a sense of “my car knows me,” the Intelligent Key can recognize each driver and automatically engage pre-set preferences for driving position (if equipped), heating and cooling, audio, navigation (if equipped), telematics and numerous additional vehicle settings. Easy setting or changing of settings is accessed through the innovative dual touch-screen displays. In addition, by using the drive mode selector located on the centre console, engine, handling and steering adjustments can be instantly tuned, for example, for sport or standard settings (when equipped with Direct Adaptive Steering™).
Modern Luxury Meets Meticulous Craftsmanship
Matching the inspired Infiniti Q50 design and performance is an interior created to the same extraordinary standards. The interior environment offers a powerful blend of three-dimensional textures, highest craftsmanship and premium quality, combining modern luxury and user-focused advanced technology.
The Q50 interior is also designed as an invitation to drive – to celebrate the elation of driving that is often lost in the modern world. As such, special attention was paid to the driver position, offering a generous range of customizable adjustments within a cosseting yet comfortable cockpit. The Q50’s instrument panel honors Infiniti’s “double wave” design tradition, while updated with an asymmetrical flow from the top of the centre cluster to the wide centre console. Access to all key operations and controls is designed so that the driver does not need to change driving posture, including use of hard switches, touch panels, Infiniti Controller and Infiniti Drive Mode Selector.
The front and rear seats have an ergonomic design, developed to help distribute body pressure across a wider range of the upper seating surface. The roomy interior space offers ample front and rear headroom, ample rear knee room enhanced by the thin front seatback design, and greater front seat slide and lift adjustability. Front and rear seat hip points have also been adjusted for greater comfort.
The rear foot room has been expanded by moving the B-pillar forward nearly an inch (versus traditional designs), making it easier to enter and exit.
The Infiniti Q50 features a choice of interior fabrics and colours, including available leather-appointed seating surfaces. Three interior colours are offered: Wheat, Graphite and Stone.
Finishing off the elegant interior is a combination of “Kacchu” aluminum inspired by traditional Samurai armaments and optional genuine maple wood trim, which is representative of the 16th century Urushi painting technique.
Premium audio systems include an available next-generation Infiniti Studio on Wheels® by Bose® audio system with an instrument panel 3-speaker array (14 speakers total throughout the cabin) and Advanced Staging Technology®. SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately) and High Definition (HD) radio are standard. Other features include Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature Control, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, RearView Monitor and available Advanced Climate Control System (ACCS) with Plasmacluster® air purifier and Around View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection.
Infiniti Connected Technologies
Building on Infiniti’s unique approach to making owners’ lives easier, which includes the Infiniti Personal Assistant™ program with 24-hour access to a live team of professional assistants, Infiniti InTouch™ telematics system brings the future of in-car connectivity to the Q50 interior today. Unlike conventional interfaces, the Q50 has not one but two touch capacitive screens with intuitive hand gesture screen operation to easily connect drivers to their lives outside the car.
“We have technologies that embrace the way people live today – seamless connectivity and personalization everywhere they go, including while in their cars, with an optimized human-machine interface for ease of use,” said Durward.
Along with the large dual screens (LCD/VGA 8-inch upper and 7-inch lower colour displays), the Infiniti InTouch™ system is designed to effortlessly synchronize car and driver. Content and functions directed to the upper screen includes the most frequently used applications, such as navigation maps. Other content is directed to the lower display screen. The two screens work together so that, for example, the navigation map can be viewed on the top screen while setting destinations or finding points-of-interest can be done on the lower screen. A limited number of critical functions, such as heating and cooling, are operated by hard switches. Content can be customized using easy-to-understand menus.
The final area of segment leadership for the 2015 Infiniti Q50 is its advanced safety systems that build on the long list of safety and security technologies already found in other Infiniti models.
The Infiniti Q50 offers available Intelligent Cruise Control with Full Speed Range, Forward Emergency Braking, Distance Control Assist, Blind Spot Warning, Blind Spot Intervention®, Backup Collision Intervention®, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention with Active Lane Control™, Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) and high beam assist technology. The world’s first Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW) system warns the driver of risks that lie beyond the driver’s field of view. It not only can sense the relative velocity and distance of a vehicle directly ahead, but also of a vehicle travelling in front of the preceding one.
“The 2015 Infiniti Q50 was a true game changer in the sports sedan segment,” said Durward. “For 2015 we continue to build the Q50 reputation. With its cutting-edge performance, design and technology, it breaks away from ordinary – just like the Infiniti brand.”
A Range of Models
The 2015 Infiniti Q50 is available in a range of premium and sport rear-wheel and all-wheel drive models: Q50 3.7 RWD, Q50 3.7 RWD Sport, Q50 3.7 AWD, Q50 3.7 AWD Limited Edition, Q50 3.7 AWD Sport, and Q50 AWD Hybrid.
In addition to the long list of standard equipment and features, select models include Infiniti Studio on Wheels® by Bose® 14-speaker Premium Audio System, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, auto-dimming inside mirror, leather seating and heated front seats.
Infiniti Q50 Hybrid AWD models include power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, sport-tuned suspension, leather-appointed seating and driver’s seat power lumbar. The rear seat pass-through is not available with Hybrid models.
In addition to the Premium equipment, Q50 3.7 Sport, Q50 3.7 Sport AWD and Q50 Hybrid Sport AWD models include 19-inch wheels and tires, solid magnesium paddle shifters, aluminum-accented pedals, sport-type leather-appointed front seats with driver power lumbar support and torso bolsters, manual thigh extensions for both front seats, Sport Brakes, sport-tuned suspension (standard on Hybrid models) and the unique front fascia and bumper treatment.
There are five package options available: Moonroof, Premium & Navigation Package (requires Moonroof Package), Deluxe Touring & Technology Package (Requires Premium & Navigation Package), Limited Edition models, and Sport & Deluxe Technology Package (only available on hybrid).