The 2018 Infiniti Q50 is available in several different ways. The Q50 designation is followed by the power source indication. 2.0t represents a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder. 3.0t is for the 3.0-liter twin turbo V6. Finally, there’s an hybrid 3.5-liter V6. Confused yet? It gets better – the 2.0-liter comes on two levels of trim – Pure and Luxe, with each available in either RWD or AWD. The 3.0t is available in Luxe or Sport trim in both RWD and AWD. The more powerful, 400 horsepower V6 – dubbed Red Sport 400 – is also available in both RWD and AWD configurations.
Infiniti’s top selling vehicle is the Q50, with all of its variants and with pricing within the lineup ranging from $34,200 for a 2.0t Pure Q50 RWD to $51,000 for a Red Sport 400 RWD. Add another $2,000 to all models for AWD along with a $950 Destination Charge for all Q50s.
The Q50 Hybrid comes in Luxe trim only and may ordered as a rear or all-wheel drive. This time around, I received a 2018 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Sport to test.
When Infiniti’s powers that be decided to change the model nomenclature for all Infiniti car models from “G” and “M”, they carried a “Q” designation, while all Crossover and SUVs became identified as QX models.
My test 2018 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Sport sedan’s base price was set at $45,650 which rose to $50,410 after some options. The 3.0t Sport Essential Package, ProASSIST Package, Sensory Package, ProACTIVE Package, and Performance Package kicked up the price. After packages galore, illuminated kick plates and destination charges rounded things off at just over $50,000. The exterior was finished in Sunstone Red Liquid Platinum metallic. The interior came in Graphite tones with contrasting stitching and metal trim accents for the doors and console.
The Q50’s refreshed styling cues coincide with the latest global grade naming structure: Pure, Luxe, Sport and Red Sport 400. Option package content and labeling has also been upgraded for 2018.
There is now a greater differentiation between model grading. The enhanced exterior design continues to display sleek, racy proportions along with the Q50’s iconic athletic stance. The Infiniti “zero lift “ philosophy for efficient aerodynamics has resulted in a more pronounced air foil at the front bumper’s base for the Q50 in general. The Q50 3.0t Sport and Q50 Red Sport 400 grades showcase a more angular front bumper along with wider, lower air intakes, adding greater visual prominence.
2018 Q50 design highlights include revised standard sport front and rear fascias for 3.0t SPORT and RED SPORT 400 models. Infiniti also revised the front grille, headlights and taillights. There’s the signature double-arch front grille, dynamic arch silhouette and Crescent-cut C-pillar, distinctive LED headlights, fog lights and daytime running lights, and LED rear combination lamps. The adaptive front lighting system is available as an option. Standard are the power sliding and tilting sunroof with one-touch open/close and sliding sunshade (except Q50 2.0t Pure) and heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signals.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
Moving to the interior, the new Q50 cabin’s artistic level has also been enhanced. Infiniti set out to provide a more comfortable and a more high-tech connected space. The new grade structure has enabled Infiniti designers to differentiate each model with its own unique interior flavor.
Significant interior enhancements include unique stitching on premium and soft-touch materials surrounding the instrument panel and a sport-oriented leather shift knob. Seating features Infiniti’s spinal support seats that ensure a comfortable and supportive ride. The steering wheel is new featuring molded positions for the driver’s thumbs and Infiniti InTouch Services designed to effortlessly bring the car and driver in sync.
Driver assistance technologies include available Direct Adaptive Steering, Active Lane Control, Intelligent Cruise Control, Distance Control Assist, Backup Collision Intervention, Blind Spot Warning and Intervention, Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, Forward Emergency Braking, and Predictive Forward Collision Warning.
2018 Infiniti Q50 models connect a refined 7-speed automatic transmission with available solid magnesium paddle shifters for all powertrains. The drive mode selector is standard on all models, and offers five settings. There’s Snow, Eco, Standard, Sport and Personal. Its part of Infiniti’s InTuition System, a customizable digital environment system allowing drivers to create unique settings for engine, suspension and steering (when equipped with Direct Adaptive Steering). Infiniti made the Direct Adaptive Steering available on all 3.0- liter V6-equipped models as part of the new ProACTIVE Package.
The sensory pleasure of driving is not a problem with the new Infiniti Q50 3.0t Sport. Defining its proper category is another story. Is it a Sport sedan, a luxury sedan, or a blend of the two? I place it in the latter category as it is both sporty and luxurious. It’s on the same level as several German competitors as well as its Asian rivals.
Whether charging over scenic, twisty back roads or negotiating truck traffic laden freeways, the Q50 Sport excels on all fronts. The ride quality is comfortable, yet taut and stable even in demanding scenarios. Handling characteristics are athletic and instantly responsive.
Place the Q50 in Sport+ mode and prepare for a ride that’s sure to satisfy one’s motor senses (pun intended). There’s some really tough competition on the playing field, but it’s definitely capable of holding its own. It rises to meet the sporting heritage of the Prince R380 – one of Japan’s first purpose-built racers and winner of the 1966 Japanese Grand Prix.
The 2018 Infiniti 3.0t Sport is an excellent example of sports sedan design. Its engineering, technology and craftsmanship delivers a complete suite of safety and connectivity features, along with stellar performance qualities. In essence, It is clearly a winner. Should you require more, there’s always the Red Sport 400 model.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Sport
|Price as Tested:||$50,410|
|Engine:||3.0-liter, DOHC, twin-turbo V6|
|Horsepower:||300 hp @ 6,400 RPM|
|Torque:||295 lb-ft @ 1,600-5,200 RPM|
|Transmission:||7-speed automatic w/ manual-shift mode and downshift rev-matching|
|Drivetrain:||Longitudinally-mounted front engine, rear-wheel drive|
|Suspension:||Front: Independent double wishbone w/ stabilizer bar
Rear: Multi-link independent w/ stabilizer bar
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four-wheel discs w/ ABS, EBD and BA|
|Tires:||Dunlop Sport Maxx 050 DSST CTT 245/40 R19 94W|
|Fuel capacity:||20.0 gallons|
|Fuel economy (EPA):||19 City/26 Highway/22 Combined MPG|
|Turning Circle:||36.7 feet|
|Curb Weight:||3,993 pounds|