I didn’t expect to like this car as much as I do. Infiniti’s successor to the current G37 sedan is part of the brand’s new Q global lineup and the first to represent the Q name; it’s also an entry level platform that’ll be joined by the Q60/70 (and QX crossovers/SUVs) shortly, but it is far from entry level with regard to styling or performance. That front end hits harder than ever, although similar to the latest Lexus IS, you may find it appalling or buffer than Sam Du’s physique during beach season. Perhaps in the hands of the right aftermarket aero producers, the Q50 could be turned into a real VIP stunner unlike one we’ve never seen before. Of course, that would also require a low drop and upsizing to at least 19" wheels.
Looks aside, the defining feature of the Q50 is how it performs. From a 3.7L motor, it’s capable of clocking 328hp and 269lb-ft, which is all matched to a 7-speed auto transmission with manual shift mode. New to this model is the Adaptive Shift Control, an electronically controlled system that offers quicker response (as opposed to a mechanical system) and the ability to personalize your driving experience with four different steering combinations. Cruising the local canyons from Malibu up to Ojai, switching between those modes have noticeable feels with Heavy and Standard being my personal favorites. The power is plenty to push and makes you feel like the king of the road. Place the car in Manual mode and you can sequentially shift gears and take advantage of the Downshift Rev Matching.
We could see the base model Q50 as a great cruiser but if plans call for this to be a daily ride, I’d probably spring the extra cashish (mind you, it’s a good chunk of change) for the S (Sport) model, which comes with a more aggressive looking front bumper, tuned suspension, 14" with four (front) and two (rear) pistons, special 19" wheels and a few interior enhancements. If this does become a project for you—and if history repeats itself—like the older G35s/37s, there could easily be both turbo and supercharger kits on the horizon. Let’s just hope the car isn’t too high tech for the aftermarket to embrace it—otherwise, it’s game on.
The Sticker $36,700 (base); $43,200 (Q50S)
The Power 328hp at 7,000rpm; 268lb-ft at 5,200rpm
Scale Tipping 3,574lbs (base); 3,675 (S)
Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Transmission 7-speed automatic with Adaptive Shift Control
Footwork & Chassis Front Independent double-wishbone/rear Independent multi-link
Wheels & Tires 17x7.5" (base) with 225/55R17 all-season tires; 19x8.5" (Sport) with 245/40R19 all-season tires
At the Pump 20/30 (city/highway, base); 20/29 (city/highway, S)
The Competition BMW 3-series, Acura TL, Lexus IS, Mercedes Benz C-class
Deep Thoughts The successor to the G37 couldn’t be any sweeter than this. Styling and power are great, and can’t wait to see how they can be made better/faster with the right parts.