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Driven: Q60 Red Sport to become Infiniti halo

Red alert: The Infiniti Q60 Red Sport will be aimed at the likes of the Lexus RC and Audi’s new A5.

Twin-turbo V6 Infiniti Red Sport Q60 to hunt down German sportscars


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18 Apr 2017

INFINITI Cars Australia has launched into the premium sportscar segment with the Q60 Red Sport tagged as a halo model that will steer buyers into showrooms, rather than drive sizeable sales growth.

The $88,900 plus on-road costs flagship Q60 follows the $62,900 2.0t GT launched last year, with this month’s $70,900 2.0t Sport Premium addition now delivering a duo of 2.0-litre turbos under a single 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6.

Infiniti Cars Australia product planning manager Bernard Michel said that in addition to the already-launched Mercedes-sourced 155kW/350Nm base engine, the new Nissan/Infiniti-engineered 298kW/475Nm V6 model grade would deliver the Q60’s “daring design with performance to match.”“Q60 went on-sale in November last year in a 2.0-litre format, but today it’s about a 3.0-litre twin-turbo,” he said at the national media launch of the Q60 Red Sport in rural Victoria last week.

“What will it do for the brand? Well, it’s a halo car for us, it will showcase our performance DNA as well as showcasing our daring design, so that’s very much part of the Infiniti mantra – our cars being noticed on the road.”

Mr Michel listed design and driver-centric technology as the major selling points for the Q60 Red Sport, which in buyer profile terms would target “predominantly males between 45 and 65 (years old)”.

“(It) seems to be where that sports coupe target market is,” he added.

A “double-waved” bonnet, unique C-pillar kink, “pronounced” side stamping and integrated spoiler would draw people in, Mr Michel said, while a sports steering wheel, unique gear lever, ambient lighting, Nappa leather and genuine carbon-fibre were tagged as primary interior selling points.

Although still a relatively new brand in Australia, having launched in 2012, Mr Michel insisted that the Q60 Red Sport draws upon the “heritage” of its Nissan/Infiniti two-door predecessors mostly sold overseas.

“It does have some heritage, the ‘G35’ was renowned as a sports orientated vehicle that even had a sports seat that was designed solely for the driver that was different from the passenger side,” he noted.

“The G37, which was later known as Q60 from 2014, was renowned for its handling. Those attributes have today been brought into this car in 2017.”

The two-door, four-seat Q60 Red Sport aligns closely with the Audi A5 and Lexus RC, Mr Michel said, while attempting to undercut the likes of the BMW 440i and Mercedes-AMG C43 coupes by $12,000 to $17,000.

“Lexus RC, Audi A5 is probably what we see are natural competitors to the car,” he continued.

“If you look at the potential gap (to a BMW 440i) there is a $10K difference in price with no options (added to that rival). So we are certainly trying to encompass as much value as possible from a spec point of view.”

Infiniti does not claim a 0-100km/h performance time for its flagship sports coupe model grade, however it offered between 4.9 and 5.0 seconds as quoted in other markets, which is around two seconds faster than the Q60 2.0t versions.

As with all Q60s, the Red Sport is rear-wheel drive-only, despite being available with an all-wheel drive system in other markets, with multi-link front and rear suspension and a seven-speed automatic transmission only.

All Q60s have a 2850mm wheelbase, with four seats and a 341-litre boot volume, however at 1784kg the Q60 Red Sport is 42kg heavier, and at 8.9 litres per 100 kilometres (combined) is 1.2L/100km thirstier than 2.0t Sport Premium.

Beyond the extra speed, for $18,000 over the 2.0t Sport Premium the Q60 Red Sport further adds Digital Dynamic Suspension (DSS) and a Sport+ setting – altering steering, transmission and electronic stability control (ESC) calibrations.

It otherwise shares its six-mode direct adaptive steering (DAS) with that model, as well as Akebono performance brakes (four-piston 355mm front/two-piston 355mm rear), 19-inch alloy wheels with 245mm-wide tyres and all equipment.

A single option is $1500 metallic paint, while black, white or red leather trim options are available at no extra cost.

Standard are auto-levelling and adaptive LED headlights, LED foglights and tail-lights, electric sunroof, electric-folding door mirrors and steering column, keyless auto-entry with push-button start, Nappa leather trim with heated and electrically adjustable front seats and dual-zone climate control air-conditioning.

A 13-speaker Bose audio system and around-view monitor has also been added to the standard Q60’s upper 8.0-inch and lower 7.0-inch infotainment screens with digital radio and satellite navigation (including Suna live traffic updates).

Rear autonomous emergency braking (AEB) has further been added to the standard ‘predictive’ front system with forward collision warning that bounces a radar beam under the vehicle ahead to read traffic further up the road.

Meanwhile blind-spot and lane-departure warnings, and lane-keep assistance, have also been reserved for Q60 2.0t Sport Premium and Q60 Red Sport only.

Mr Michel also said that the lack of voice control for navigation functions, and a missing digital speedometer or head-up display, could be addressed within a year as Infiniti Cars Australia acknowledges these as deficits versus rivals.

“What I can say is we’re looking at ways of improving, we’ve identified a few different things that we can update in the next coming model years and we’ll look at addressing some of the deficiencies, if you want to call it that,” he said.

“No specifics yet (but) we’ve got in play a lot of (that technology) given the competitors and where they’re at. Those infotainment elements we’ll get updates in due course.”

He further stated that Infiniti’s patented variable-compression turbo (VCT) four-cylinder breed of engines would be launched in production models in 2018, either signalling an end to the Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder Q60 2.0t model grade or narrowing the power and torque gap to the Q60 Red Sport.

“VCT Turbo engine we’ll see this next year, basically it’s a turbo petrol engine with the fuel efficiency of a turbo diesel,” Mr Michel continued, although he would not reveal what Infiniti model would score the engine first.

“It has 300 technology patents over it, 20 years of development in developing this engine, and we can’t wait for it. We’re always looking at ways of expanding our product portfolio.”

The Q60 Red Sport gets a four year/100,000km warranty with ‘premium’ roadside assistance offered, where an owner can use the benefits of the Infiniti coverage for another family member driving another car from any other brand.

Infiniti’s Service Assure program also includes annual or 15,000km servicing at an average cost of $411 for the first three checkups.

2017 Infiniti Q60 pricing*
2.0t GT (a)$62,900
2.0t Sport Premium (a)$70,900
3.0t Red Sport (a)$88,900
*Excludes on-road costs

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