What is it?
With the brains and brawn of Nissan behind it, Infiniti has always had the potential, on paper at least, to be a class-leading manufacturer. However, despite maintaining its presence in the UK for over eight years, Infiniti has categorically failed to make an impact in the premium car sector – I mean, when was the last time you saw one in the wild? Exactly.
Ultimately, Nissan’s luxury sub-brand has long been in need of something special; a car to lure buyers away from the diverse range of accomplished, but in most cases, rather staid European competitors. Something, Infiniti hopes, its new range-topping Q50 3.0t will be able to achieve.
On first inspection, things are off to a positive start, thanks to some handsome exterior styling. Granted, the gaping grill and swooping lines won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but next to our long term BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 it’s undoubtedly a striking design. And unlike previous Q50s, it’s no longer all show and no go.
Under the bonnet sits an all-new 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo engine, a motor belonging to the new VR family that replaces Nissan’s highly regarded VX engine, as used by the 370Z, among others. With a new direct injection system and revised turbochargers, the high-output version (the Middle-East gets a restricted unit) certainly doesn’t want for power, delivering 395bhp at 6,400 rpm and 350lb ft of torque between 1,600-5,200rpm.
Our car's power is sent to the rear wheels (a four-wheel driver version is available) through a seven-speed automatic gearbox and Infiniti’s Direct Adaptive Steering system: its world-first ‘by-wire’ fully electronic steering setup, now in its second generation, allegedly provides smoother and more responsive directional handling.