The reborn Infiniti brand has arrived, with the all-new Q50 sedan launching in Australia this week.
Internationally, the Q50 is the replacement for the G sedan - a model that never made its way to Australia - while the G Coupe and Cabriolet will continue in local showrooms until a successor appears.
The range starts at $51,900 for the 2.2 diesel model, topping out at $73,900 for the all-wheel-drive 3.5 petrol-electric hybrid.
“The all-new Q50 sedan is a true driver’s car that embodies everything Infiniti stands for: seductive design, agile performance and high-level intuitive technology,” Infiniti Australia boss Peter Jones said.
“This exceptional car pushes the boundaries of what defines a premium sports sedan and sets a new direction for Infiniti.”
Last year, 2013, saw sweeping price cuts across the local Infiniti range. The new Q50 however sees Infiniti putting its first salvo right into the heart of Australia's prestige market.
More, Infiniti estimates drive-away pricing for the Q50 2.2d at $55,900, matching the retail price of the new Lexus IS 250 Luxury model.
On the styling front, the Q50 adopts the curved lines previewed with the brand's recent concepts, and seen in the seven-seat JX SUV.
The Q50 evolves Infiniti's hooked lighting design, while the back-end shows long tail-lights stretching into the rear quarter panels.
The theme continues in the cabin with an evolution of the brand's current dash design appearing in the Q50. There is also a new centre display, the centrepiece being a twin-screen design.
Interior space also benefits from a long wheelbase measuring 2850mm, compared to 2780mm in the new Lexus IS and a slightly shorter 2840mm in the new Mercedes C-Class.
The entry-level 2.2 diesel model, which sources its engine from development partner Mercedes-Benz, will offer 125kW and 400Nm of torque.
Fuel consumption is rated at 5.2 l/100km, and the 2.2 diesel lists a 0-100km/h time of 8.5 seconds.
Joining the diesel model in Australia will be the $67,900 petrol-electric Q50 Hybrid, which partners a 3.5 litre V6 engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 268kW and 546Nm of torque.
In rear-wheel-drive form, the Q50 Hybrid lists fuel consumption at 6.8 l/100km, with a 0-100km/h time of just 5.1 seconds.
The top-shelf all-wheel-drive Hybrid model list fuel use at 7.2 l/100km, and - weighing nearly 100kg more - gets to 100km/h in 5.4 seconds.
All models, diesel and petrol-electric hybrid, are matched with a seven-speed automatic transmission with manual mode functions.
Suspension in the new Q50 is by a double wishbone setup at the front and a multilink arrangement with dual flow path shock absorbers at the rear.
Handling also benefits from a stiffer body structure, extensive use of aluminium and a lower body weight.
Braking is managed by 320mm ventilated discs and two-piston calipers at the front and 308mm ventilated discs with single-piston calipers at the rear.
Sports versions get specially tuned suspension, and the 3.5 litre models get 355mm (front) and 350mm (rear) brake rotors with four-piston calipers up front and two-piston calipers at the rear.
Steering in the 2.2 diesel is with speed-sensitive hydraulic electric power steering, while the 3.5 litre models get Direct Adaptive Steering with a customisable steering ratio.
Towing capacity across the range is rated at 1500kg braked and 750kg unbraked.
Opening the Q50 range will be the GT trim grade, which includes 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and daytime running lights, leather-faced seat trim with power adjustment, dual touchscreen displays, advanced climate control, drive mode selector and Intelligent Key system.
Moving up to the Q50 S adds 19-inch alloys for the Q50 Hybrid and 18-inch alloys for the 2.2d, along with Direct Adaptive Steering with Active Lane Control, paddle shifters, 14-speaker BOSE audio, a powered moonroof and a sports front bumper.
The Q50 Hybrid S also gets sports tuned suspension and opposed piston regenerative brakes.
At the top of the range is the Q50 S Premium, which gets Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive (Hybrid only), 19-inch alloys (2.2d), Intelligent Cruise Control and Distance Control Assist, Forward Collision Avoidance, Predictive Forward Colllision Warning and Forward Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Warning and Blind Spot Intervention, Back-up Collision Intervention, Around View Monitor and Active Front-lighting System.
There's 60/40 split-folding rear seats in the 2.2 diesel model, although the 3.5 Hybrid misses out due to the space required for the electric motor's battery pack.
Rear storage capacity is listed at 500 litres in the 2.2 diesel, and 400 litres in the 3.5 Hybrid.
- Q50 GT - 2.2 diesel - $51,900 ($56,809 drive-away) ($55,900 drive-away through Feb-Apr).
- Q50 S - 2.2 diesel - $57,900 ($64,197 drive-away)
- Q50 S - 3.5 Hybrid - $67,900 ($74,597 drive-away)
- Q50 S Premium - 2.2 diesel - $61,900 ($68,397 drive-away)
- Q50 S Premium AWD - 3.5 Hybrid - $73,900 ($81,787 drive-away)