INFINITI has always shared architecture and parts with Nissan’s global product ecosystem. For some time, the company was not quite viewed as a genuine luxury marque.
According to Infiniti, their logo consists of “two central lines leading off into an infinite point on the horizon”, symbolising the luxury performance brand’s desire to be always looking forward to new horizons, to infinity.
Last week, Inspired Motor Sdn Bhd (Infiniti Malaysia), the luxury arm of Japanese carmaker Nissan, launched the all-new Infiniti Q60 coupe and invited the media for a test-drive to Penang.
The Q60 was introduced to give the German-manufactured Audi A5 Coupes, BMW 4 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupes of the world a run for their money.
Fully imported from Japan, the coupe is powered by a Mercedes-sourced 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder direct-injection petrol engine with Idle Stop-Start system that is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. The rear-wheel-drive coupe is able to produce 211hp at 5,500rpm and 350Nm of torque from 1,250 to 3,500 rpm.
Infiniti claims that the Q60 can complete the century run in 7.3 seconds, with a top speed of 235kph.
The second generation Q60 coupe is measured at 4,690mm in length, 2,052mm in width, 1,395mm in height and weighs 1,753kg. It has a 80-litre fuel tank capacity and 342 litres of boot space.
It comes equipped with Active Noise Cancellation System to reduce the engine noise, LED headlights with light guides, LED fog lights, LED taillights, Adaptive Shift Control, 19-inch two-tone wheels, InTouch infotainment system, an 8-inch and a 7-inch touchscreen display, 7-inch coloured vehicle information display and drive mode selector.
Fourteen-way powered “spinal support” front seats with memory function for driver, semi-aniline leather upholstery, 13-speaker Bose Performance Series sound system, sunroof, ambient lighting, dual-zone climate control and acoustic windshield are also part of its equipment list.
The Adaptive Shift Control system is designed to adjust its gearshift patterns based on the topographical road conditions. It also observes the driving pattern and behaviour of the driver and adapts accordingly.
As for the safety aspects of the Q60, it comes with a pop-up engine hood for pedestrian safety, six airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock braking system, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, traction control and ISOFIX points.
The Q60 is priced at RM308,800 excluding insurance. It comes with a seven-year unlimited mileage warranty. There are five colours to choose from - Majestic White, Iridium Blue, Midnight Black, Graphite Shadow and Dynamic Sunstone Red.
Instead of producing a coupe that concentrates on performance, we find that the Infiniti created the second generation Q60 with a focus on comfort and which is stunning aesthetically.
Visually, the Q60 has sexy and aggressive looks. It is an attention seeker.
We drove the Infiniti coupe over 160km, from Ipoh to Penang, mainly on highway, with a bit of city driving. We also drove in heavy rain.
It tackled rough roads comfortably. On the highway, it offered a tremendous amount of grip even during downpours.
The engine was smooth-revving and the seven-speed automatic transmission changed gear quickly on normal driving.
However, there was a noticeable lag in downshifting when we floored the pedal. Changing to manual mode helped.
Its medium-weighted steering turned into corners sharply, but lacked steering accuracy. Cruising within the speed limit on the wet highway was comfortable and effortless.
Switching lanes quickly hardly was a breeze, and we didn’t feel excessive body roll in the coupe.
There is a generous amount of headroom and legroom to fit a large frame adult in the front seats. However, if a tall person is seated at the front, there won’t be enough legroom for the passenger at the back. Also, anyone taller than 170cm would probably need to hunch a little at the back to avoid their head from touching the ceiling.
While the interior projected elegance and luxury, we felt that Infiniti could have done something to add to its sportiness, such as changing the aluminium finishing to a carbon fibre one.
Infiniti’s engineers have done an excellent job at minimising noise, vibration and harshness levels. Below 110kph, its active noise cancellation system and acoustic windshield keeps the cabin extremely quiet.
Its 13-speaker Bose Performance Series sound system delivers solid and clear quality sound.
Overall, the Infiniti Q60 is a fine, elegant and comfortable coupe, but there is room for improvements. We felt that the coupe could have come with a more powerful engine option as offered in other countries.
It should also have come with paddle shifters and a blind spot warning system.