Infiniti Q50: 7 Facts About The Most “Electronic” Compact Sedan
This Infiniti`s compact sedan provides very fast and efficient hybrid version (360 hp, 5 seconds to 60 mph), ultra-modern equipment and good price.
Besides ability to gain speed and brake autonomously, the Q50 is even capable of automatic steering (though in a small range), thanks to the first-in-the-world drive-by-wire system. .
The most powerful and fully-equipped 4-wheel-drive Q50 hybrid costs about $55.000, while the cheapest 328-bhp non-hybrid version starts from below $40,000
The main facts about the newest Infiniti are as follows:
1) Compact size, closer to mid-size (189 inches long)
The Infiniti Q50 will compete with cars like the BMW 3-Series, the Audi A4, the Mercedes C-Class, the Lexus IS and the Cadillac ATS / CTS. But the Q50 is longer than BMW 3 Series by 6 inches, and it`s also 2 inches wider than its predecessor, the Infiniti G Sedan.
As a result, Q50 has become one of the largest sedans in its class, being reasonable alternative to bigger mid-size sedans.
Still, don`t expect lots of room at rear seats: this car is for driver, and the Q50 promises a lot of interesting experiences…
2) High-power hybrid version with 360 hp
The most powerful Infiniti Q50 features a hybrid powertrain of a gasoline 3.7-liter V6 and a 68-hp electric motor, providing combined power of 360 hp, great acceleration (see below) and good fuel efficiency.
The only other engine option is an ordinary V6 version (328 hp), which, though weighting about 200 pounds lighter, provides virtually the same performance, though obviously not so efficient.
3) Great dynamics: 5 seconds to 60 mph (even with base version), and with good fuel efficiency of a hybrid
The fastest version of the Q50 is the hybrid one, providing acceleration to 60 mph in just about 5 seconds, with claimed fuel efficiency still about 30 mpg both in city and at highway.
Just as in the Q50`s predecessor, the G sedan/coupe, the driver of the Q50 can switch the gears manually, using the beautifully finished magnesium paddle shifters with leather cover mounted at the steering wheel.
Also there the Q50S version, which provides sportier handling, styling and adds about $5 thousand. In includes:
– Sport suspension
– Sport brakes
– Sport seats with 10-way driver`s power seat
– Gears can be shifted via magnesium paddle shifters
– Unique sport front bumper and 19″ wheels
The non-hybrid, 328-hp version of the Q50 is only slighly slower (still jumping to 60 mph in just about 5 seconds), though covers more traditional 20 miles per gallon.
4) The first-in-the-world car with completely electronic steering system
Besides driving dynamics, the primary feature of the Q50 is a large number of driving assistants, with the biggest innovation hidden in the steering column.
The two main goals of the system are:
– sportier handling and safety: thanks to variable steering ratio, the driver can turn the steering wheel on smaller angles while driving at low speeds (like while parking or driving at sharp corners); and at higher speeds the steering ratio increases, to make steering more precise
– more ride comfort: since there is no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and front wheels, absolutely no road bumps are transitioned to the steering wheel. Whatever the road quality is, you won`t feel it at the steering wheel (pity it can`t be done to the whole car)
Meanwhile, driving the Q50 at normal road shouldn’t feel any different from an ordinary car: a special force feedback system (similar to ones user at gaming steering wheels for Playstation) generates some return force at the wheel, emulating traditional steering experience. The return effort at the wheel increases with the speed, and also can be adjusted via setting menu.
Completely electronic control of the steering wheels also provides a number of new safety features like:
– automatic correction of road bumps (especially in corners), side winds and other forces that could change the vehicle`s course
– active lane control: automatic steering helps to keep the car in its lane
– active side impact system: if the blind-spot monitoring systems detects a vehicle on parallel course, the force feedback system generates slightly increased effort on the steering wheel, while the car gives the driver an audio and visual warning of possible collision, so you could not only see and hear, but “feel” the danger
And in case of a complete system failure, the steer-by-wire system automatically switches to completely manual mode, so the driver won`t lose control of the vehicle.
5) Four-wheel-drive optional, rear-wheel drive standard
The top versions of the Q50 (both the hybrid and the V6) can feature optional 4-wheel-drive system, which is extremely important for a powerful car, even on dry pavements.
As its now common, in normal conditions the 4WD Infiniti remains a read-wheel drive car, but as soon as electronics detect a wheel slipping, up to 50% of torque is sent to the front wheels.
6) Very rich interior equipment (and almost everything is included in the base version)
As usual for Infiniti, almost every possible option is included in the base version (and the actual price difference between the base and fully equipped version is just about $10 thousand). Besides all traditional features (dual-zone climate control, keyless entry/start, rear-view camera leather power seats etc – except for ventilated seats, which can`t be installed at all), the most interesting features are:
– infotainment system with internet access and built-in features to surf social networks, check email etc. Also Sirius XM Satellite radio is included
– 14-speaker Bose sound system with 3 sub-woofers and HDD to save music
– available advanced climate control with auto-re-circulation, Plasmacluster air purifier and Grape Polyphenol Filter
7) Very rich driving equipment
Multiple and sophisticated electronic driving assistants are the main feature of the Infiniti Q50. Just one $3-5 thousand “Deluxe Technology” package provides:
– active full-speed range cruise control with forward collision warning and emergency braking features
– lane departure and prevention system (thanks to the above-mentioned steer-by-wire system)
– backward (!) collision prevention
– blind spot warning and prevention system
– adaptive LED headlights with automatic adjustment of the light in turns and high/low beam switching (in order not to blind other drivers)
All in all, one has to be quite determined to get in a crash in Infiniti Q50.
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