New & Used Infiniti Q60: In Depth
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Although the Infiniti Q60's name has changed, its place in the market hasn't. It's a luxury two-door with four seats, available as a standard coupe or a convertible with a retracting hardtop. Competition comes mainly from Germany—including the BMW 4-Series coupe and convertible, hard- and soft-top versions of the Audi A5 and S5, and Mercedes-Benz's C-Class coupe—but also from the new Lexus RC coupe and Caddy's two-door ATS variant.
Infiniti's Q60 Coupe was a new model for 2014, but instead of being an all-new car, the Q60 is a rebadged version of the former Infiniti G37 Coupe and convertible line. Other than the name switch, it's basically unchanged. (If you find this confusing, you're not alone. Check out our story on Infiniti's naming strategy to find out more about these changes in the brand's nomenclature and model lineup.)
To add to the confusion, the former G37 sedan is now the Infiniti Q40. Plus there's a new four-door sedan called the Infiniti Q50 that was going to replace the old G37, until the luxury brand decided to sell both the new Q50 and the old Q40 side by side with the Q60 coupe. A new Q60 coupe, based on the updated Q50 architecture, is due for the 2016 model year.
Both body styles are available with a manual transmission, while only the coupe offers all-wheel drive. In the transition from G37 to Q60, Infiniti dropped the former base G37 coupe, leaving the Q60 Coupe Journey, the Q60 Coupe AWD, and the Q60S Coupe 6MT. Convertibles are available in two trim levels: the Q60 Convertible and the Q60S Convertible 6MT. Infiniti also offers its high-performance IPL versions of both body styles.
The primary differences between versions of the Q60 are denoted by their extended names: the Q60 Coupe AWD is the only variant to offer all-wheel drive, while the Q60S Coupe and Convertible 6MT are the only to offer a six-speed manual transmission. As with the G37 two-doors before it, a paddle-shifted seven-speed automatic transmission is standard on the rest of the Q60 range. The same 330-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 engine that powered the G37 provides the Q60's motivation.
Higher-performance versions are also available from the Infiniti Performance Line, or IPL, range. Both the coupe and convertible are offered in Q60S IPL and Q60S IPL 6MT versions. Again, the difference between the two is the transmission; 6MT models get a six-speed manual, while the standard car uses the seven-speed automatic found in the rest of the Q60 range. All IPL versions of the Q60 share an upgraded, 348-horsepower version of the 3.7-liter V-6 engine as well as suspension and styling tweaks.They ride more firmly than the other cars, trading some of the balanced comfort for handling and making them feel a bit more like the related Nissan 370Z.
Standard equipment lists are extensive, with the Journey and other higher trims bringing more equipment and more options. All models include a standard 7-inch color information display; HID bi-xenon headlights; power windows, mirrors, door locks, and seats; remote keyless entry with auto-locking; automatic climate control; push-button start; and much more. Optional upgrades vary by model, but include sport-tuned suspension; an 11-speaker Bose audio system (standard on the Sport model); a dual-occupant memory driver's seat; DVD video playback; GPS navigation; voice-recognition control for infotainment and navigation; and sonar-assisted parking sensors.
Infiniti showed a dramatically styled Q60 concept at the 2015 Detroit auto show, promising a production version soon. This new luxury two-door will share an architecture with the new Q50 sedan and be powered by a new twin-turbocharged V-6 that the company promises will be more powerful and efficient than the engines currently available in the Infiniti lineup. It's possible that the Q60 coupe will once again be followed by a convertible variant, and higher-performance models along the lines of today's IPL versions are almost a given. And although Infiniti hasn't mentioned it, all-wheel drive will probably be available again, making it marketable in snowbound states.
Q60 and G Coupe History
Born of a sedan line that has itself grown from G35 Sedan to G37 Sedan to the all-new Q50, but built from the ground up to be a two-door, the Q60 draws its lineage back to the G35 Coupe, which was introduced in 2003. Powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 from which it took its name, the G35 Coupe quickly drew attention for its pleasing, if none-too-daring styling, well-executed cabin, and engaging performance.
The G35 carried on until 2007, and in 2008, a new engine and a new body design brought us the G37 Coupe, followed a year later by the G37 Convertible. The new engine, a 3.7-liter V-6 bred from the 3.5-liter that preceded it, was rated at 330 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, a gain of about 10 percent over the G35. A six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic were offered, powering the rear-wheels, or, in G37x trim, all four wheels. All-wheel drive models were only offered with the automatic transmission.
Though the new 3.7-liter engine wasn't quite as sonorous as its predecessor, its high power output and willingness to rev up to its 7,500-rpm limit quickly won fans. As the model line developed, particularly in Sport trim, the G37 became recognized as a legitimate luxury/performance coupe, capable of running with the established German leaders of the segment, though at the expense of ride quality in more ordinary driving.
The previous G37 Coupe was available in four trim levels: base G37 Coupe; G37 Coupe Journey; G37 Coupe AWD; and G37 Coupe Sport 6MT. The Sport model was the only one to offer the six-speed manual transmission. The other three models feature a seven-speed automatic with available steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, manual shift mode, and downshift rev-matching. The G37 Coupe AWD is the only all-wheel-drive model, but all four share the same 330-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 engine.
In 2011, Infiniti introduced the IPL G37 Coupe, offering an up-rated 348-hp version of the 3.7-liter V-6 engine, IPL-tuned suspension, unique wheels, and unique aerodynamic bodywork. This high-performance version of the G37 Coupe puts an even sharper edge on the car than the Sport model. In late 2011, Infiniti unveiled the Convertible version of the IPL G ahead of initial sales for 2013. Otherwise, the G Coupe (and Convertible) carried into 2013 with only a few very minor changes.