INFINITI Q50: A NEW MODEL, A NEW NAME, A NEW ENGINE… AND A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS FOR INFINITI IN EUROPE
OVERVIEW: SEDUCTIVE DESIGN, AGILE PERFORMANCE, INTUITIVE TECHNOLOGY
The first of a new-generation of premium Infiniti models, the Q50 is Infiniti’s most significant car yet for the European marketplace. Marking the debut of the new Infiniti Q naming structure, the Q50 is designed, engineered, equipped and built to compete at the highest level in the premium D-segment.
With its low and wide proportions and athletic, flowing form the Infiniti Q50 brings a new level of emotional design to the BMW 3-series/Audi A4 class – a fresh face whose self-confidence is summed up by its striking new human-eye like headlights and distinctive ‘double arch’ grille. Other design features, inspired by Infiniti’s trilogy of concept cars – Essence, Etherea and Emerg-e – go hand-in-hand with an interior that offers unexpectedly spacious accommodation for this class.
The Infiniti Q50 is the first Infiniti to benefit from the brand’s collaboration agreement with Daimler AG. The 2.2-litre direct-injection four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine has been modified by the Infiniti engineering teams to ensure engine response is in line with Infiniti’s emphasis on performance. The engine offers power and torque whilst retaining a low CO2 output (under 115g/km) which positions the Q50 at the centre of the premium saloon market in Europe – as well as guaranteeing the dynamic drive Infiniti owners expect. Like the engine, both available transmissions – a 6-speed manual and 7-speed automatic – have been tailored to Infiniti’s specific requirements.
The second version of the Q50 for Europe is the Q50 3.5 Direct Response Hybrid whose accelerative ability will guarantee it a place in the top echelons of European high performance sports saloons. With 0-100km/h estimated to be well under 5.5 seconds it is likely even to topple its big brother, the Infiniti M35h, which is currently listed in Guinness World Records as the world’s fastest accelerating hybrid car.
The 364PS Q50 3.5 Hybrid shares the same intelligent dual-clutch Direct Response Hybrid system and 7-speed automatic transmission as the M35h, but with changes to improve performance, extend its electric-only range and allow for an outstanding cargo capacity for a hybrid in this class.
In characteristic no-compromise Infiniti manner, the performance is matched by a remarkable level of efficiency – with fuel consumption on the combined cycle estimated to be 6.2 l/100km (45mpg) and CO2 emissions under 145g/km. The Q50 3.5 Hybrid will be available in both rear and all-wheel drive forms in Europe.
The dynamic performance offered by every Infiniti Q50 is enhanced with the availability of Direct Adaptive Steering – a world-first technology that provides faster steering response and greater precision with an unrivalled scope for driver customisation. Direct Adaptive Steering can be configured easily for both steering effort and gearing, ensuring steering response is always in tune with driving style and type of road. The system is overseen by three separate control units and works in parallel with the mechanical steering linkage for failsafe reliability in all situations.
Infiniti’s reputation as a technology leader is reinforced in the Q50 with the world’s most advanced lane departure prevention technology yet, Active Lane Control. The newest addition to Infiniti’s all-encompassing Safety Shield technology, Active Lane Control is unique in using the steering (rather than the brakes) to encourage the car to stay between the lane markings on the motorway – an effect described as being “magnetized to within its lane”, making driving less tiring on long journeys.
Like all Infiniti technologies, Direct Adaptive Steering and Active Lane Control have been developed to seamlessly and unobtrusively support the driver rather than isolate them.
The Infiniti Q50 offers a new-generation digital environment designed for maximum customization and ease of use. Up to 96 vehicle parameters can stored on the i-Key for up to four different drivers, making the Q50 not just one of the most configurable cars in the class but also one that offers a very real sense of “my car knows me”.
Infiniti InTouch™, Infiniti’s next-generation communications technology, makes its debut on the Q50. Dual touch-screens, a first in the class, de-clutter the control layout and ensure totally intuitive operation of all functions, features and custom apps.
The Q50’s interior has an emphasis on natural elegance, spacious rear passenger accommodation and the signature craftsmanship, attention to detail and premium materials that set every Infiniti apart. In the design, there is a clear focus on the driver. Comfort was a particular focus and in the search for a new type of comfortable seat came from NASA research into the neutral posture the body adopts in a zero gravity environment. The Q50’s comfort seats are designed to offer maximum spinal support and thus reduce fatigue on long drives.
The Q50 is the first model to feature Infiniti’s new naming strategy that will see all models bear either a Q or (for the crossovers) QX badge. The change recalls iconic Q models of Infiniti’s past and offers a clear and logical naming platform into which all existing and future Infiniti models will fit, with the double digit number signifying the area of the market where the car competes.
The Infiniti Q50 makes its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 2013 – in the same halls that in previous years saw its concept car forebears unveiled –following its world reveal at NAIAS in Detroit two months before. The Q50 in both diesel and hybrid forms will go on sale across Europe from autumn 2013 (depending on country) in a range of standard and Sport models all designed to offer maximum choice and flexibility for both private and fleet customers.