Infiniti’s boldest style statement yet has arrived in Australia with the second-generation Q60 coupe. A full range will launch in Australia from March 2017 but before more luxurious or more powerful variants arrive, the Q60 2.0t GT has made its debut.
Powered by a turbocharged 2.0 litre engine the Q60 GT puts out a respectable 155kW of power making it competent, if not quite as scorching as some rivals and its more sportier siblings still to come.
The way it looks, on the other hand, is what will really sell it to potential owners, with a dramatic style that sets the template for Infiniti’s future range.
Vehicle Style: Prestige medium coupe
Price: $62,900 GT, $65,900 GT with Enhancement Pack (plus on-roads)
Engine/trans: 155kW/350Nm 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo petrol | 7sp automatic
Fuel Economy Claimed: 7.7 l/100km | Tested: 10.9 l/100km
Eventually the Q60 range will grow to include a Sport Premium model powered by the same four-cylinder engine as the GT, and a flagship Q60 Red Sport variant with a 298kW twin-turbo V6 engine.
For this new generation no convertible is planned, so it's a coupe only proposition at this stage.
Right now though the GT is the sole, range-opening model, but with standard features taken into account, the Q60 is anything but a base model with real leather trim, powered seats and steering column with memory function, and keyless entry and start - some of which remain options on other luxury coupes in the class.
With pricing that will open from $62,900 for the GT or $65,900 for the GT Enhancement Pack, the range will expand in March 2017 with the addition of the four-cylinder Sport Premium from $70,900 and the range-topping twin-turbocharged V6 Red Sport from $88,900
- Standard Equipment: Semi-aniline leather trim, front sports seats with electric adjustment and seat heating, brushed aluminium trim highlights, dual-zone climate control, power adjustable steering column, leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto lights and wipers, keyless entry and start, 19-inch alloy wheels
- Infotainment: Dual-display 8.0-inch upper and 7.0-inch lower touchscreens, Bluetooth phone and audio, satellite navigation, DAB+ digital radio, USB input, six-speakers (13 speakers, noise cancellation with Bose Performance Series audio)
- Options Fitted: Enhancement Pack (Adaptive headlights, sunroof, Bose audio, 360-degree camera) $3000
- Cargo Volume: 342 litres
Infiniti wants to make an impression with the quality of its interior, which is why the Q60 comes standard with real leather, not an imitation material. Above that it is semi-aniline leather, which is dyed to maintain a natural feel instead of having a top-coat of colour applied.
To go with the leather trim there’s powered front seats with two-position, electric steering column adjustment, LED headlights, and 19-inch alloy wheels which are all part of the standard spec sheet and not optional extras as you might find in other entry-level prestige coupes.
The dash itself is the same as you’ll find in the related Q50 sedan, with a double-cowl design, dual-screen touchscreen system, but a few differences including the aluminium decor trim, double-stitching for the dash and doors, and a unique sports steering wheel.
Front seat space is every bit as roomy as you’ll find in the sedan in every direction except headroom, thanks to a lower roof. Opt for the Enhancement Pack and the included sunroof eats into overhead space even more, but the Q60 feels no tighter than its competitors.
Rear seat space is generous enough to slot in adult passengers up to around 180cm, but the rear window stretches well above the rear seats making it a warm place to be in the harsh light of an Aussie summer.
At 342 litres the boot falls on the small end of the scale, but Infiniti claims there’s more than enough space for two sets of golf clubs - although you’ll be lifting them a long way up to clear the high loading lip, which sits just a few centimetres below the top of the bootlid.
ON THE ROAD
- Engine: 155kW/350Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol
- Transmission: Seven-speed automatic, rear wheel drive
- Suspension: Double wishbone front, multi-link independent rear
- Brakes: 330mm discs with two-piston front calipers, 316mm discs with single-piston rear calipers
- Steering: Electrically assisted power steering,
With style as the Q60 2.0t’s driving force, the 155kW 2.0 litre turbo engine isn’t the fastest you’ll find, but for buyers seeking more urge the high-powered Red Sport arriving next year will fill the performance void.
From behind the wheel the Q60 GT is authoritative enough when you plant the foot, and even musters a sporty sound at high revs, with a claimed 7.3 second 0-100 km/h time.
Around-town acceleration is where the Q60 GT is at its happiest though, where you may not need a huge number of kilowatts, but the available 350Nm of torque from low down makes it a great cruiser.
The engine itself is provided by Mercedes-Benz as part of an alliance between the two companies, and matches the outputs of the Benz C 250 sedan - the genuine prestige origins might also help explain why the Infiniti is so smooth and quiet, even when punted hard.
Unlike the Q50 sedan on which it is based, the Q60 range won't add the diesel, hybrid, or low-output V6 engines available in the four-door lineup.
Interestingly the Q60 also ditches the controversial Direct Adaptive Steering (a by-wire system) of the Q50 and runs a more traditional electrically assisted power steering system instead, which results in a more natural feel - though the Q60 is hardly a benchmark for feedback through the wheel.
Even on big 19-inch wheels and low-profile 255/40 R19 run-flat tyres the Q60 GT rides with surprising absorbency - with fixed rate dampers in lieu of any kind of adaptive suspension the ride stays the same no matter which drive mode.
With a comfort-biased tune, long trips behind the wheel shouldn’t be a problem, although on the of the bigger hits we encountered during our first drive it revealed a soft-rebound that made the rear end feel floaty.
While the Q60 doesn’t exactly wilt under pressure, it really drives much better at about two-thirds of its potential, feeling more like a composed luxury couple than an outright sports car.
ANCAP Rating: The Q60 range has yet to tested by ANCAP
Safety Features: Six airbags (dual front, front side, full-length curtain), ABS brakes, electronic stability control, front pre-crash seatbelts, forward emergency braking with pedestrian protection, rear ISOFIX child seat mounts, stability and traction control, tyre pressure monitoring and optional 360-degree camera (as part of the Enhancement Pack).
WARRANTY AND SERVICING
Warranty: Four years/unlimited kilometres
Servicing: Infiniti offers a six year/125,000km capped price service plan with 12 months/25,000km service intervals and pricing for the first three services set at $538, $643, and $849 respectively with pre-paid servicing packages available.
RIVALS TO CONSIDER
Perhaps the most obvious competitor is the Lexus RC 200t, with slightly more power but the same torque output. The Lexus feels more premium inside, but its compact interior and heavy kerb weight hold it back.
The latest C-Class coupe looks and feels premium inside and out, but the entry-level C 200 is less powerful and misses out on some of the Infiniti's luxury features. For some buyers the lure of a three-pointed star in the grille might be all they need to steer them in the C 200’s direction.
The sharp dynamics of the BMW 4 Series put it at the top of its class, and one of the segment’s easiest to use infotainment systems make it easier to live with day-to-day, but like the Mercedes, to get a BMW to match the infiniti’s standard features you’ll need to take a trip through the options list.
TMR VERDICT | OVERALL
With unique and premium styling the Infiniti Q60 is sure to lure buyers looking for something that stands apart. Infiniti harbours no illusions about the car’s potential in Australia - this is a halo car, not a volume seller, but it promises incremental growth for the brand.
The full range is still some months off, but when it arrives Infiniti should have a model-spread broad enough to tackle its more established competition, but before that happens the Q60 GT is ready to spark a battle amongst boutique coupes - and this time around it’s going in without a hand tied behind its back.
With a plush interior, a strong equipment list, and a unique look that won’t see it confused with anything that Benz or BMW has to offer Infiniti has the confidence to announce that it is unafraid of convention in all the right ways without rocking the boat when it comes to the discerning needs of prestige buyers.