The Infiniti Q60 holds a special place in our hearts.
Not only is it a mid-sized luxury sports coupe, but because it is the reincarnation of the car that we all wish we could have had in high school. When the G35 Coupe came out in 2002, it was a classy grand tourer that drew the admiration from everyone at school, and a few more with its burly exhaust note. It is a car that continues to age very well.
Good news for those who have grown up to be able to afford a new G35 Coupe; the Infiniti Q60 exists. It is the two-door version of Infiniti’s Q50 (reviewed here), and our sample this week is the cream of the crop, the 2019 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 I-Line. It is painted in a stunning Dynamic Sunstone Red that is becoming the signature shade for the Q60. The overall styling of the Q60 is equally gorgeous, with beautiful curves all over its bodyline and balanced proportions.
This is one of the classiest and most stunning-looking coupes in the market in my opinion and garners ample attention everywhere it goes. If we have to pick a flaw, it would be the gloss black wheels; the weak offset and convex rim face takes some athleticism out of the Q60’s stance and it would be nicer to see a more aggressive setup to highlight those big Red Sport brakes.
The nameplate Red Sport 400 denotes the amount of horsepower the Q60 produces from its 3.0L twin-turbocharged VR-series engine. This motor allows the Q60 to leapfrog to the top of its class in terms of power, beating out German performance rivals such as the BMW 440i, Mercedes-AMG C 43 Coupe, and the Audi S5. With 400-horsepower and a healthy 350 lb-ft. of torque pushing all four wheels, the Q60 accelerates likes a rocket when you plant your foot down.
The only available transmission, a seven-speed automatic, is quick to upshift and the stainless-steel performance exhaust system lets out a rewarding pop in between shifts and off throttle. The exhaust system has a noticeably deeper note than the standard Q60, but its deep rumble does drone a little bit at cruising speeds below the 2,500RPM mark.
We mentioned the Q60 accelerating like a rocket ship when you put your foot down; however, that is also the only way to get Q60 to get anywhere quickly. Regardless of the driving mode, there is a slight lag between throttle input and engine response, and the turbochargers also need time to spool up. The drive-by-wire system here needs some fine-tuning to get the most potential out of this engine.
In spirited driving, the Q60 is good but the delayed response makes for a frustrating experience for city commuting. We also noted a dulled response with the paddle shifters; on several occasion we would have to tap the paddle a second time to get the desired shift. Our recommendation is to leave the transmission in automatic mode and let the smooth shifting gearbox do all the hard work on its own.
Fuel economy ratings for the Q60 are 12.5L/100km city and 9.2L/100km highway; not a huge premium to pay for 400 horsepower and is only 0.2 and 0.6L/100km, respectively, less efficient than the regular 300hp Q60. We observed an average of 11.5L/100km over our weeklong mixed commute, and as expected, 91-octane premium grade gasoline is required.
Despite its 4,047-pound curb weight, the Q60 is well sorted on winding roads. Entering a corner, you can feel the weight transfer but dive is controlled and not excessive. The all-wheel-drive system puts power down smoothly and Infiniti’s Active Trace Control system intelligently corrects the car by automatically applying braking to each wheel if the system detects that it is making a mess of itself in corners. There is vagueness from the Direct Adaptive Steering system, feeling a bit too much like a video game as an overall digital experience.
Interior comfort is excellent in the Q60, which important for any luxury coupe, as most would buy it as a grand tourer. Our tester was equipped with elegant Gallery White Semi-Aniline upholstery, which looks modern and classy against the black dashboard. The silver optic fiber trim on the centre console looks good from the driver’s view, but looks plasticky and tacked on in an otherwise luxurious space. The front bucket seats are comfortable for long drives, rear legroom was more than acceptable, and headroom is more generous than many would expect given the low roof.
The Infiniti InTouch dual display system is tasked to provide infotainment for its occupants. On paper, the system is brilliant, with the upper eight-inch touchscreen providing navigation information and the lower seven-inch offering entertainment, climate control, and other functions. In practice, the two-screen system works as advertised once it is set up, but navigation with the knob controller is confusing and we would recommend using touch instead.
The Q60 does not support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but instead drivers can download the Infiniti InTouch App for a smartphone connection. Our recommendation is to stick with the tried and true Bluetooth connection. The good thing is, regardless of the connection method, you will enjoy the sound quality from the Q60’s premium 13-speaker Bose Performance Series sound system.
The 2019 Infiniti Q60 3.0t I-Line Red Sport 400 AWD starts at $65,295. We would suggest adding the $3,200 for the ProACTIVE package (Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, Lane Departure Warning/Prevention, Blind Spot Warning, Auto-leveling headlights with automatic high beams, etc) and an extra $1,000 for the beautiful paintjob to get our as-tested price of $69,495.
On paper, the Q60 is good value when pitted against the German rivals, with its drop-dead gorgeous looks and luscious power. Its throttle response overshadows what could have been a great grand tourer. Overall, it is not far off and the Q60 is still a very good car, one that we would absolutely dream about if we were still in our early 20s. It is in need of an update or two to realize its true potential, and we can’t wait to see what Infiniti does with this brilliant motor moving forward.