White bone, blue blood – the Infiniti Q50 could be just another ambitious child in a noble family. It happened differently. Japanese engineers have made one of the best mid-range sedans.
Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury arm, has been around for a quarter of a century. Originally oriented towards the US market. It is interesting that the ancestor of our hero, the Infiniti G20, aka Nissan Primera, was just one of those cars that gave the brand a start in life in 1989.
Satisfying the requests of sybarites, you can earn good money at all times. The Japanese, in order to stand out in the market of those years, it turned out to be enough to provide the “Example” with leather trim, air conditioning, power accessories and stick a new nameplate, indicating the claim to prestige.
Yes, this is a completely different Infiniti! It’s time to forget about the monotonous Asian design, huge gluttonous engines with an endless loud herd of “horses” and slow tired gearboxes. Model Q50 is tailored for Europe, and you can immediately feel it.
I must say that the Japanese managed to find the very symbiosis between the typical sharp design and the smooth modern lines, more familiar to the car enthusiasts of the Old World.
As a result, the car began to look harmonious, stylish and modern. A special charm is given by LED daytime running lights, adaptive xenon headlights that “look” into corners, as well as, without exaggeration, beautiful alloy wheels of 19-diameter on a low profile.
Powerful, like the deltoid muscles of a bodybuilder, longitudinal ribs on the hood and a huge radiator grille, characteristic of the brand, with an indispensable logo in the middle, give solidity to the image. The rear lights also received fashionable diode outlines, and under the bumper the exhaust pipes of a fairly solid diameter are symmetrically located.
Inside, the Q50 is more than honest with its owner. Everything that is possible here is sheathed with leather, and of very good quality and electrical adjustments everywhere. The steering wheel is not only multifunctional, but also has an optimal diameter and thickness, which makes it comfortable to hold.
There is absolutely everything, but at the same time, there is nothing superfluous. Have the Japanese finally passed the ergonomics exam? I was especially pleased with the “two-story” media system – the upper screen displays readings from all-round cameras, as well as navigation, and the lower screen displays all other multimedia: from radio to telephone and Internet. There are very few standard “push” keys and they are all intuitive.
In general, everything is quite strict, but concise and informative: you get used to the car and its controls pretty quickly, but what else does the driver need? The passengers will not be offended either – despite the compactness, two adults in the back will fit without any problems, except that tall citizens, most likely, will rest their heads against the ceiling – the rear roofline of the Infiniti Q50 is too sloping, but here full-fledged comfort is sacrificed for the sake of stylish design.
Trying to conquer Europe with a gigantic 405-horsepower S-engine is sheer madness, so Infiniti engineers found a simple and at the same time reasonable way out by joining a conglomerate with another world-class manufacturer – Mercedes-Benz.
Moreover, despite the presence of 2.0 t nameplates decorating the front fenders, the engine has even a slightly smaller volume. This is a well-known 1.8-liter turbocharged unit, perfectly combined with the 7G-Tronic transmission, all from the same “three-beam”.
These 211-horsepower engines live under the hoods of cars from Stuttgart that carry the numbers “250” on their trunk lids. It seems that such a technical solution was just not enough! Infiniti drove briskly, and also very economically – even in Sport mode and with active work with the gas pedal, it never managed to get out of the appetite of 10.1 liters per hundred. Yes, there is a small turbo lag, but it is quite portable and not very annoying.
Is there any innovation?
The Infiniti Q50 sedan has become a kind of bridge for the company from the past to the future: here there are both developments of past models and new, even frankly innovative solutions. Some of the equipment was disassembled on the example of other Infiniti cars, so I will only tell you the basics and I will give links to past materials. So, the basis of the Infiniti Q50 is the FM (Front Midship) platform, i.e. longitudinal arrangement of the motor with a strong offset to the center of the wheelbase, rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive with an emphasis on the rear axle, wheelbase 2 850 mm, independent suspensions front and rear.
This platform became the basis for Infiniti cars back in the early 2000s. However, the platform has gradually evolved and changed, making it possible to create completely different models: for example, the Infiniti Q70 business sedan and the Infiniti Q60 sports coupe, the Infiniti FX and EX crossovers, the Nissan 350Z and 370Z sports cars, etc. At the same time, the FM platform cannot be called elderly – after all, it is still “in service” and even allows you to install a lot of modern equipment: from active cruise control, continuing with the emergency braking system, to the function of controlling the lane of movement – all this was described using the example of the Infiniti Q70.
And it was the Infiniti Q50 sedan that became the place of the debut of a radical innovation in the world of automotive industry – the DAS (Direct Adaptive Steering) system. In the normal mode of movement, there is no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels: the steering wheel only acts on the block that reads the information about the steering wheel angle, then the command is transmitted to the electric actuators – and they already turn the wheels.
The system has a redundant controller unit in case of a sudden failure of the main unit, plus a mechanical coupling between the steering wheel and the wheels in case of a complete DAS failure. Why are there such difficulties, what is the DAS system for? First, it allows you to change not only the effort on the steering wheel (the steering wheel becomes “lighter” or “heavier”), but also its sharpness (ie, the angle of rotation of the wheels relative to the steering angle, the gear ratio between them), and in the widest limits. Secondly, it makes it easier to implement the steering function in your lane and automatic parking. Third, this system will completely remove unpleasant parasitic twitching of the steering wheel when driving on a bumpy road. DAS steering can be adjusted through the Infiniti Drive Mode Selector menu.
And now a few words about the competitors. First of all, the famous German should be recorded as rivals of the Infiniti Q50: Audi A4, BMW 3-series, Mercedes C-class. The company should add a couple of sedans to them for those who want to look more original and are not afraid of it: Lexus IS, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Jaguar XE.