Infiniti claims to have greatly improved on the styling and dynamics of the outgoing G37 for its new BMW 3-series fighter, the Q50. Boss Johan de Nysschen goes as far as describing the Q50, unveiled today at the Detroit motor show, as a “true game changer in the sports saloon segment”
The sports-orientated saloon will feature two V6 petrol engines for the North American market: a 3.7-litre producing 328hp and a 3.5-litre unit mated to a hybrid system. Two new global engines will follow, possibly for a Geneva reveal, which are likely to be Mercedes-sourced four-cylinder petrol and diesel units.
Both US-market engines push power to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic gearbox and the configuration is likely to be retained for European models.
Infiniti’s engineers have employed extensive use of aluminum components for the double-wishbone front and multilink rear suspension design. The Q50 introduces Infiniti’s Direct Adaptive Steering system, which is claimed to be a world-first in a production car. The system independently controls both tyre angle and steering inputs faster than a mechanical system. Steering effort and ratio can be changed by the driver.
Another world-first is the Q50’s advanced lane departure warning system. It monitors for unintended lane drift and can compensate for direction changes due to variations in road surface and crosswinds. Infiniti says the system can reduce driver fatigue by reducing the amount of steering inputs required.
The Q50 can identify up to four smart ‘i-Keys’ to recognise each driver and set the vehicle’s preferences accordingly. Driving position, climate control, audio, navigation and telematics can be saved. Infiniti says more than 96 settings can be configured.
The cabin is claimed to offer impressive levels of rear seat space, adopting thin front seatbacks and moving the B-pillar forward to improve access to the rear. Noise cancelling and twin touch screens are among other available technology.