The 2016 batch of Infiniti Q50 will come with the company’s newest powertrain, a 400 hp 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6, and a host of other mechanical upgrades that improve the car’s overall dynamism. Infiniti Malaysia first introduced the 2.0-litre turbocharged Q50 here in August 2014 which had a starting price of RM249k.
Prior to this update, there were two engines offered (three if you count the diesel engine sold elsewhere) – a Mercedes-sourced 2.0-litre turbocharged engine making 211 hp and 350 Nm of torque and the RM400k hybrid variant with a 3.5-litre V6 engine (364 hp and 350 Nm) that’s paired to an electric motor.
The new VR30 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 slots at the top of the Q50 range, making it the most powerful Q50 to date, although Infiniti maintains that the engine provides great fuel economy. It can be had in two states of tunes – the lower makes 300 hp at 6,400 rpm and 400 Nm of torque from 1,600 to 5,200 rpm, and the higher tune makes 400 hp and 475 Nm of torque, both of which peak at the same revs. All engines are paired to the same seven-speed automatic transmission from before.
With that sort of power, the Q50 still falls short in terms of outright performance when compared to the BMW M3/M4 or Mercedes-AMG C 63 S, but Infiniti is working with its performance division to roll out an even hotter variant some time soon. Other upgrades, besides the new engine, include revised front and rear stabiliser bars and uprated rear suspension (multi-link type) for improved handling and stability.
Exclusive to the 3.0-litre Q50 Sport are a set of upgraded Dynamic Digital Suspension which allows the driver to adjust damping levels depending on drive modes. With Infiniti’s Drive Mode Selector, there are six different driving modes that alter steering response; Personal, Standard, Snow, Eco, Sport – and for 2016 models, a new Sport+ mode.
If you’re not in the know, the Infiniti Q50 is the world’s first vehicle to feature a steer-by-wire system, affectionately termed by Infiniti as Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS). Those wanting more feedback will be pleased to know that the DAS system for 2016 models has been significantly upgraded to enhance steering feel and feedback. The company claims its engineers have optimised the second-generation DAS’ control logic to improve road feedback, which is achieved by fine-tuning parameters so that the default settings can also better mimic the feeling drivers get from using conventional steering systems.
To date, Infiniti has shifted almost 50,000 units of the Q50 globally between January and October 2015 – a 65 percent increase compared to the same period in 2014.