Infiniti Q50 History
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The Infiniti Q50 is an all-new sport sedan for the 2014 model year, though it's loosely based on the G37 sedan that preceded it. Competing with the Cadillac ATS, Mercedes-Benz C Class, Acura TL, BMW 3-Series and Lexus IS, the Q50 is in one of the toughest classes in the market–but it's coming to the fight with a lot of new technology.
The Q50 arrives in summer of 2013, and it's the first model in Infiniti's lineup to bow to a new naming convention that starts sedans and coupes with 'Q' and SUVs and crossovers with 'QX,' with the numbers no longer corresponding to engine displacement, but rather relative size in the lineup.
Moving to a new nameplate actually makes the least sense here. The G37 already had quite the reputation—for being one of the best-steering, best-handling sport sedans, as well as one of the most dynamically satisfying driver's cars. In the past, as in our full review of the outgoing 2013 Infiniti G37 Sedan, we have however noted that it's not all that roomy or quiet.
As for the new 2014 Infiniti Q50, it's clearly an evolution of the G37; but striking sheetmetal, an attractive profile, and an expressive new cabin styling all add up to one of the most visually appealing—and cohesive—new sport-sedan designs. At the center of the dash is a new infotainment system that aims to rival Cadillac's CUE, MyFord Touch, and the latest iDrive interfaces; with twin screens over two levels of the dash, it aims to separate out important and frequently used functions and place them on the upper-display.
For its first year, the Q50 will come with two quite different V-6 powertrains, and a choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. First, there's a 328-horsepower version of the company's tried-and-true 3.7-liter V-6—with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Then there's a hybrid model, featuring a 3.5-liter V-6 with an electric motor system, two clutches, and a lithium-ion battery pack—essentially what's been previously installed in the M35h hybrid—altogether making an output of 354 hp. We've felt in prior model years that the 3.7-liter can be a bit too raspy for luxury sport sedan duty, but in the Q50 active noise cancellation helps damp road and powertrain noise.
The G37 Sedan already had a reputation for being one of the best-steering, most nimble sedans in this class; now Infiniti is introducing a new Direct Adaptive Steering system in the Q50, allowing four different steering settings, each with its own weighting and ratio.
Inside, the Q50 builds on a G Sedan–sized package—meaning that rear legroom may still be on the tight side for adults—although Infiniti has pushed the B-pillar slightly forward to allow for easier entry in back. And while we've thought of the aggressively bolstered seats in the outgoing G37 to be among the best in the class for long-distance or performance driving, Infiniti says that it's redesigned these front seats for more comfort. The Q50 comes with run-flat tires in all its variations, which helps free up more cargo space. Hybrid models will lose some cargo space nevertheless, but there's quite a bit of space in either model (14.1 cubic feet for the hybrid, versus 18.0 for the others). Trims build on the plush, modern look of the M sedans, with new 'Kacchu' aluminum and maple wood detailing.
Expect the Q50 to build on the G37's already-great reputation for incorporating active-safety technologies without too much interference for the driver. Look for Intelligent Cruise Control with a full speed range, plus the world's first application of predictive Forward Collision Warning, as well as Blind Spot Intervention, Back-up Collision Intervention, Active Lane Control, and other accident-avoidance aids. A rear-view monitor and an Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection are also standard across the model line. And in addition to the all-new infotainment interface at the center of the dash, expect a next-generation Studio on Wheels by Bose audio system, standard HD Radio. The 2014 Infiniti Q50 starts from $37,355.
While we haven't yet driven the Q50, but see our preview page of the 2014 Infiniti Q50 for more information and updates—such as pictures, and detailed specs—and in the meantime catch up on our full review pages for the 2013 Infiniti G37 Sedan.