Infiniti Q60. The 400HP Dark Horse

The Infiniti Q60 is somewhat of a dark horse. Few people know much about it, and fewer would be able to tell you what it is. It’s hard to know exactly which cars to compare it to – it’s similar in many ways to the current line-up of sports coupes (Audi A5, Mercedes C Class, BMW 4 Series), but at the same time, very different. Does it do enough to justify its £43,535 starting price?

It is a striking car to look at; the dominant and angry front grille complimented by the pretty LED headlights ensures the car is a real head-turner. Sunstone Red, as per our test car, is a refreshingly different shade to current offerings from other manufacturers, and received plenty of compliments during testing.

On the inside, you’ll find a wide array of electrical gadgets, including an interesting pairing of large screens; on the bottom, a shiny touchscreen panel used to control infotainment and navigation, and at the top a slightly larger, non-touch screen which displays maps and car information. I wish they were both linked and it was one monster big screen, instead of two smaller screens, but I guess that will come in the next generation.

The car also features a whole host of driver aids, such as blind spot detection and lane assist.

The electrically adjustable heated seats are excellent and provide great support and adjustability, making it really easy to find a good driving position. All-round visibility is good, too. The back seats also offer plenty of support, although a central armrest wouldn’t go amiss. Leg room was not an issue, although the headroom may leave taller passengers something to desire. Despite that, the car is a true 2+2 and totally usable as such.

The build quality inside is very good, and still feels brand new despite 8,000 miles as a press demo. While the interior feels modern enough, it is left behind by its latest German rivals, although still looks the part with black leather and beautiful blue-carbon-fibre trim as tested. The boot is an awkward shape for loading, but offers perfectly sufficient space inside.

The buttons and switches are not particularly ergonomic, and take a lot of getting used to before you can operate them without having to think twice. Every feature seems to have a different method of operation – somewhat like a ‘Bop It’ toy. The satnav certainly scouted out some interesting routes, taking us on a few unplanned sight-seeing detours. The map itself, however, was easy to read, as well as the readouts on the dashboard. The sound system was perfectly adequate, and offered good sound quality, as is to be expected from most modern cars.

The fuel economy display was a useful feature, constantly updating MPG figures as you drive, encouraging you to be as light-footed as possible. We managed an average of roughly 25 mpg, which is not bad for a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 producing an ample 400 bhp and 350 lb-ft of torque.

Speaking of that engine – the car is no slouch. 0-60 mph can be achieved in 5 seconds, and the top speed is limited to 155 mph. Despite these levels of performance, the car rides incredibly well, and remains quiet and refined inside the cabin at all times. On the standard driving mode, the steering is much too light, thanks to Infiniti’s direct adaptive steering, which is connected to the front wheels purely electrically – that’s right – no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and front wheels, although this is improved when Sport or Sport + modes are selected.

There are six different driving modes; Sport +, Sport, Standard, Eco, Snow and Personal. Personal allows the driver to configure the car however he or she prefers it, up to a grand total of 336 different combinations of settings for throttle response, suspension stiffness, transmission and steering. Sound like too many? Perhaps, but if you can’t find something you’re happy with out of those 336, then you’re probably too fussy.

The all-wheel-drive system means the car can really put all of its 400 bhp onto the tarmac. There’s bags and bags of grip, making it basically impossible to step out of line, even on damp, cold roads. Inside the cabin, the V6 really screams up to its 7000 rpm limit, although the car remains almost inaudible from the outside, which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what type of person you are.

On the whole, the Q60 is a very good sports GT, and a rather interesting and quirky alternative to the current mainstream line up of sports coupes. It proves itself to be a worthy contender, combining incredible performance with superb day-to-day usability. Where the car lacks in comparison to its rivals, it makes up for by excelling elsewhere.

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Paul Woodman

Love cars, travel, food, drink, sport, friends and family. Founder of Lovecars