A great powertrain and stunning looks are only let down by the Q60’s weird steering.
– Detroit, Michigan
I’m a firm believer that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that car styling doesn’t typically engender universally approved opinions. For instance, I actually don’t love the Jaguar E-Type – it’s fine, I just don’t get the abundance of mawkish sentiment for that big-nosed shape – and I’ve always considered the Espada to be one of the all-time best-looking Lamborghinis. What? You like weird things, too.
With all of that taken as read, I’d think that there will be little debate that this new Q60 is the most attractive car in Infiniti’s stable right now. And, perhaps, one of the most attractive for the brand, ever. Anyone that follows me on social media knows I even love it in gold.
300 horses are ready to ride. If you’re looking for the ultimate performance version of this expressive shape, you’ll want the 400-horsepower Red Sport and more than sixty grand in your checking account. But the biturbo V6 under the hood of this Q60 3.0t is better than a consolation prize. The 300-hp output, with 295 pound-feet of torque, is more than enough to make the car feel very quick. Deep forays into the gas pedal resulted in grin-producing shots of acceleration, even though the exhaust doesn’t much add to the experience. If there’s a turbo-laggy spot in the rev range, I couldn’t find it.
Uncompromised ride quality. Infiniti has nailed the handing/ride quality compromise for this luxury sporty coupe segment. My commute to and from the office is littered with bad paving and frost-fueled potholes, but even on these mean streets the Q60 rides beautifully. Harsh road surfaces are filtered out for the most part, though the suspension is still stout enough to stand up to an aggressive corner or three.
Back seats! Alright, I wouldn’t stick a grownup in one of the Q60’s rear bucket seats for more than a trip across town. But I did manage to get myself and three other adults to a dinner party without breaking any kneecaps. Getting in and out of the rear quarters is a little tricky, but once back there you’ll find enough room for more than just a handbag or a nine-year-old, like some luxury/sport cars.
Again with the steering. Infiniti’s Direct Adaptive Steering (steer-by-wire) system is optional on the 3.0t model, which is great, because it sucks. I drove this car for three days and never quite settled into the steering experience, which feels either too heavy or too light at different times, and never seems to weight up naturally. Forget about any road feel – there is none. I suppose a detached experience could be okay for this posh-leaning segment, but I would still save my money and get the standard electronic power-assisted setup.
Tranny trouble. The seven-speed automatic isn’t a great companion for enthusiastic driving. Even in the most aggressive Sport+ driving mode (Eco, Snow, Standard, and Sport are the others), it didn’t seem to be in my preferred gear most of the time; the paddle shifters work better for this kind of driving, but they don’t feel as crisply responsive as I’d like. For cruising, the auto 'box is just dandy, of course.
Opportunity cost. There are just some great cars in this sporty coupe segment right now – the Q60 has an uphill battle despite its great looks. Particularly the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe is a pretty tremendous all-around star, and the darkhorse Cadillac ATS Coupe might not sell many copies, but it’s perhaps the best-handling machine in the segment.
Photos: James Bradbury / Motor1.com
Note: U.S. model pictured.