InfinitiQ60 Red Sport 400 Coupe

11 Feb 2017 | 1,488 views | No Comment
Some cars are just beyond expression in words. You gotta drive it instead. Such a car is Infiniti's Q60 Red Sport 400 AWD. Exhilarating. Chock full of tech.  Awesome exhaust sounds. And lusty, catch me if you can driving thrills. To be clear, I would not describe this as a sports car per se. It is a luxury grand touring coupe--a strong handling high speed car that is meant to be driven on weekend trips and cross country journeys. Of course, this car is designed to impress, and it does that admirably. Outside, it has Infiniti's signature "flowing water" rear roof pillar that can be seen from the sides of the car, which is one of the auto industries most subtle, but distinctive and well-done brand styling element.  And though the design shape isn't as pure as the previous generation's profile, it does come off as way more brutish and threatening, with an aggressive front end and those squinting headlights. And it works beautifully!  The Q60 is one of the industry's sexiest coupe designs, hands down. Then there are the distinctive little things about the Q60 that are shared  by all the brand's models. First,, for the enthusiasts among us, there is the distinctive, growling yet silky sound that comes from dual exhausts that are the size of beer cans.  Infiniti's engineers and designers know full well that this sets their cars apart from anyone else's--you can hear it coming from a block away---and they spend much time and energy preserving that distinctive quality. There is the bespoke looking interior design of the coupe---like something that was specially designed and ordered for you alone. This is a characteristic that is far more emblematic of Infiniti than most of its competition. While the best known luxury brands do have lovely interiors too, they  still look mass manufactured--albeit elegant. Not Infiniti. Our Iridium Blue test model had a base price of $53,300. With options, the price came to $61,555. Standard equipment for the base 2.0t includes  19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, LED foglights, heated mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats, leatherette upholstery, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, the Infiniti Touch dual-touchscreen tech interface (8-inch upper screen, 7-inch lower), two USB ports, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio. A sunroof is optional. Buying the 2.0t Premium gets you the sunroof plus a 13-speaker Bose audio system that includes HD radio. The 3.0t Premium differs only with its V6 engine and different steering. Of course, there are packages to be had, unless you buy the base model. The Premium Plus package adds auto-dimming outside mirrors, a power-adjustable and heated steering wheel, heated front seats, driver memory functions, power-adjustable driver seat bolsters, Infiniti InTouch emergency communications services and a navigation system, which on the 3.0t works with the transmission to maximize performance and efficiency. The Leather Seating package adds leather upholstery. The Driver Assistance package adds front and rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, a 360-degree parking camera system, blind-spot monitoring, reverse automatic braking, and a forward collision warning and automatic braking system that can sense pedestrians as well as potential accidents beyond the car ahead. The 3.0t Premium is available with the Technology package (Driver Assistance package required), which adds adaptive headlights with automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot intervention (it steers for you if you don't heed its warnings), a lane departure warning and intervention system, and an air filtration system. Infiniti's Direct Adaptive Steering system is also optional on the 3.0t. Finally, the range-topping Red Sport 400 gets a more powerful 3.0-liter V6 engine, 19-inch forged alloy wheels, an adaptive suspension, the auto-dimming outside mirrors, leather upholstery, the power-adjustable driver seat bolsters and steering wheel, and driver memory functions. Its Premium Plus package is essentially the same as the 3.0t Premium version apart from those items already standard. It too can be equipped with the Driver Assist and Technology packages. The Silver Sport model will be equipped similarly to the Red Sport but will come with the less powerful 3.0t engine and have narrower tires. The Red Sport 400 AWD comes with a 400 horsepower 3.0 liter twin turbo V6, with 350 lb-ft of torque, turbo speed sensors, a higher capacity air to water intercooler system with dual coolant pumps. Fuel economy is rated at 21 miles per gallon overall with 19 in the city and 26 on the highway. We found those figures to be a bit conservative, though.  We consistently got one to two miles per gallon more in our driving on all of those categories. Annual fuel cost is $2,000, and  that is based on gasoline costing $2.80 per gallon, and driving 15,000 miles per year. You will spend about $3,000 more in fuel costs over five years compared to the average new vehicle.  It takes 4.8 gallons to drive 100 miles. As for safety features, the Q60 comes with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, a rearview camera, front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. All but the base model is available with the Driver Assistance package, which includes a forward emergency braking system capable of detecting pedestrians and stopped vehicles ahead of the car directly in front of you. It also includes a blind-spot monitoring system and an automatic braking system when in reverse. The Technology package enhances the blind-spot system with an automatic steering intervention system and adds a lane departure warning and intervention system and enhanced front seat belts. The Premium package also includes Infiniti InTouch services that include automatic crash notification and an emergency services call button. Driving the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 is a blast, as you might expect.  Acceleration is instantaneous, and explosive. Handling is a strong point too--no body lean, no uncertainty, and sticking to the road like glue when going around corners.  However, the ride is firm and may be considered uncomfortable for some, especially if you hit a pothole or buckle in the road. There are a few issues with the Red Sport 400, however. First the back seat is quite tight, and really is only suitable for young children. Secondly, the instruments could use some repositioning. Some controls are non intuitive and poorly placed--why is the control for the defroster all the way across the center stack on the right side of the navigation screen? You have to search for it, and like most of the controls has a very small symbol on it that can be hard to see. Then there is the cruise control system. At night, you cannot see the switch to turn it on very easily--it is very small and almost impossible to make out in the dark. By the way, the car comes with a four year, 60,000 mile basic limited warranty, while the powertrain has a limited warranty coverage of six years/70,000 miles. This car is a gem to drive, and of course, because Infiniti is a brand that appeals to very specific tastes and desires, you aren't likely to see it everywhere--which of course, makes the experience just that much more delicious.    

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