A value leader, if not a race leader

The Infiniti Q60, formerly the G37 Coupe, soldiered on for an absolute lifetime in car years without a substantial update. Finally updated for 2017, the Q60 is much improved.

The Q60 and its competitors exist in a relatively small end of the market, in raw sales numbers. Personal luxury sports coupes aren’t at the top of any automaker’s sales chart. That said, they’re fast, they handle well, and they’re sexier than the models that do top those sales charts.

Continue reading to learn more about our test drive on the 2017 Infiniti Q60S.

Exterior

2017 Infiniti Q60S - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Infiniti says the 2017 Q60 is wider and lower than the coupe it replaces and expresses “powerful elegance.”

Its front fascia is dominated by a trapezoidal grille and large Infiniti logo. Menacing headlights feature LED angry eyebrows. The lower edge of the front surface features a secondary grille and, in our tester, fog lights.

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2017 Infiniti Q60S - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Infiniti Q60S - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Infiniti Q60S - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Infiniti says the 2017 Q60 is wider and lower than the coupe it replaces and expresses “powerful elegance.”

The profile view of the Infiniti Q60S is more bulbous and less angular than American muscle cars, but looks right at home when viewed through the lens of European competitors. A long crease flows from the headlights through the door handles to the rear quarters, while a secondary crease strakes the rocker panels. The most easily identified design element is the crescent kink in the C-pillars.

From the rear, the Infiniti Q60S features wide taillights set on a slightly convex surface with a neatly integrated lip atop the trunk lid. A trapezoidal license plate mounting surface just below a horizontal cut line calls to mind the front grille, while a splitter at the bottom of it all houses twin exhaust outlets.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 112.2
Length (Inches) 184.64
Height (Inches) 54.92
Width (Inches) 72.83
Track front/rear (Inches) 61.22/62.20

Interior

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Our Infiniti Q60S tester came with a Monaco Red leather interior, a surprise to many who saw its Liquid Platinum gray paint. What looked like a muted sports coupe on the outside was certainly loud inside.

Front seats were power-adjustable eight ways and had a good mix of comfort and firmness, straddling a line where some can be too soft or hard. Rear seats were tight, as expected in a sports coupe. They fit a lanky five-year-old boy in a booster seat, who did not mind crossing his legs yoga-style when the driver seat was all the way back. We also stuffed a rear-facing 18-month-old boy back there, but our five-foot, three-inch front passenger ahead of him had her knees in the dash.

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2017 Infiniti Q60S - Driven High Resolution Interior
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2017 Infiniti Q60S - Driven High Resolution Interior
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Front seats were power-adjustable eight ways and had a good mix of comfort and firmness, straddling a line where some can be too soft or hard. Rear seats were tight, as expected in a sports coupe.

The trunk would accommodate bags for a weekend getaway for two. Infiniti says it has a capacity of 12.1 cubic feet. We were able to squeeze a week’s worth of groceries back there alongside a large diaper bag and an umbrella stroller.

Behind the three-spoke steering wheel were two equal-sized analog gauges — tachometer on the left, speedometer on the right. In the middle was a digital display that would call up infotainment, navigation, or telematics info.

Interior Dimensions

Head room front/rear (Inches) 37.91/34.48
Leg room room front/rear (Inches) 43.11/32.40
Shoulder room room front/rear (Inches) 54.60/52.0
Hip room room front/rear (Inches) 53.89/47.91

Power

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Our Infiniti Q60S was the Red Sport 400 edition, meaning it had the hottest version of the new 3.0-liter twin-turbo direct-injected gasoline V6 rated at 400 horsepower at 6,400 RPM. It also makes 350 pound-feet of torque from 1,600 to 5,200 RPM.

Available in either rear- or all-wheel drive, it directs its power through a seven-speed automatic transmission. The gear ratios provide quick launches while also allowing for a relaxed highway gallop. Gears 6 and 7 are overdriven.

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Our Infiniti Q60S was the Red Sport 400 edition, meaning it had the hottest version of the new 3.0-liter twin-turbo direct-injected gasoline V6 rated at 400 horsepower at 6,400 RPM.

Steering was light at low speed but firmed up on the highway. We prefer more road feel, but as modern steering goes, the Q60’s isn’t bad. Passing was easy, with a rush of power quickly pushing us past slowpokes.

There are two other engine options for the Q60: A less-powerful version of the 3.0-liter V6 exists, with 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet, while base Q60s get a 2.0-liter direct-injected turbo four-cylinder engine rated at 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet.

Technology

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Perhaps the most easily noticed technology in the Infiniti Q60 are the twin touchscreens atop the center console. Infiniti likes to say the dual touchscreens helped “minimize the number of buttons in the cabin for a neat, uncluttered appearance.” True, but what if it’s harder to use?

We prefer a more tactile experience. For that, there was a control dial in the center console, but it can be confusing to use until one has plenty of time to learn it. And call us old-fashioned, but we’d prefer more traditional HVAC controls instead of that lower screen.

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Perhaps the most easily noticed technology in the Infiniti Q60 are the twin touchscreens atop the center console.

Beyond that, there’s a ton of technology that makes the Q60 customizable and quick.

Infiniti Drive Mode Selector allows the driver to select from six drive modes: “Standard”, “Snow”, “Eco”, “Sport”, “Sport+”, and “Personal”. Of these, “Sport” and “Sport+” make use of Infiniti’s Direct Adaptive Steering to vary steering feel and ratio. Both modes make the steering more communicative and more responsive to driver input, with “Sport+” being sharpest.

“Personal” mode enables selection of custom steering attributes. We could choose from “Standard”, “Sport”, or “Sport+”, then refine further by choosing which level of steering response we wanted.

Our Q60S also featured Infiniti’s Dynamic Digital Suspension. Infiniti says it monitors body roll, pitch, and bounce rate and reduces unwanted steering feel and vibration. The driver can select from “soft” or “firm” settings within the Drive Mode Selector.

Engine 3.0-liter ‘VR30 DDTT’ twin-turbo V-6
Horsepower 400 HP @ 6,400 RPM
Torque 350 LB-FT @ 1,600-5,200 RPM
Transmission Seven-speed automatic
Curb weight 3,862 Lbs
Top Speed 155 mph
Fuel economy city/highway/combined 22/20/27

Value

Our 2017 Infiniti Q60S Red Sport 400 carried a base MSRP of $51,300. It had the following options:

- * Technology Package: Intelligent Cruise Control, Distance Control Assist, Blind Spot Intervention, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention with Active Lane Control, Auto-Leveling Adaptive Front Lighting System, High Beam Assist, Front Pre-Crash Seat Belts, Advanced Climate Control System, and Eco Pedal — $1,850
- * Direct Adaptive Steering — $1,000
- * Driver Assistance Package: Blind Spot Warning, Predictive Front Collision Warning, Forward Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, Front and Rear Parking Sensors, Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, Backup Collision Intervention with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and rain-sensing front windshield wipers — $2,250
- * Premium Plus Package: Infiniti InTouch with Navigation and Voice Recognition, Infiniti InTouch Services, NaviSync Adaptive Shift Control, SiriusXM Traffic, heated front seats and steering wheel, and remote engine start — $2,250

Adding all that and a destination charge of $905, our total as-tested price came to $59,555. You can get into an American muscle coupe for less, but among premium sports coupes, it’s competitive.

The Competition

BMW 4 Series Coupe

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2018 BMW 4 Series Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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Bavaria’s entry in this class has a style more distinctive and athletic than the Q60. Its hottest engine is a straight-six that makes 320 horsepower, so our Infiniti Q60S Red Sport is hotter, but most Q60s probably have the 300-horse V6. Both the Infiniti and the BMW are available with all-wheel drive.

The 4 Series Coupe has the Q60S beat in terms of a communicative chassis, and it offers just as much handling customization. BMW’s infotainment controls are more intuitive than Infiniti’s, and BMW has plenty of tactile buttons for things like HVAC controls.

Worth noting: BMW offers the M4 Coupe, which would blow our Infiniti right off a racetrack with its 444 horsepower and super-lightweight chassis. The M4 Coupe starts at $66,200 — a small premium to pay for what is a much faster car, if that’s your top priority.

Read our full review on the BMW 4 Series Coupe here.

Mercedes-Benz C Class Coupe

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2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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Mercedes’ entry into this segment is the C-Class Coupe. Its design splits the difference between the athletic 4 Series Coupe and the understated Q60S. Like the Q60, its base engine is a four-cylinder, in this case a turbocharged affair making 241 horsepower. The Mercedes-Benz C Class Coupe also is available with all-wheel drive.

The more direct competitor with our Q60S Red Sport 400 package is the AMG version. It has a twin-turbo V6 good for 362 horsepower or a twin-turbo 503-horsepower V8. Mercedes-AMG says it’ll do 0 to 60 in as little as 3.8 seconds.

The V6 AMG C43 Coupe starts at $55,500, and the V8 AMG C63 Coupe starts at $67,000. Again, while the C63 is more expensive than our 400-horse Infiniti Q60S, it’s a much faster car.

Read our full review on the Mercedes-Benz C Class Coupe here.

Lexus RC

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2015 - 2016 Lexus RC High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Lexus RC’s design is louder than Q60’s. Some have a love-it-or-hate-it reaction to its “spindle” grille and its Nike Swoosh LED headlight accents that are separate from the headlight lenses.

Available in four-cylinder (RC Turbo) or V6 (RC300, RC350), powertrains range from 241 to 306 horsepower. However, Lexus treats the the top dawg in the RC lineup as a separate model: The RC F packs a 5.0-liter V8 with 467 horsepower. Lexus says it’ll get to 60 MPH in as little as 4.4 seconds — not quite as fast as the German thoroughbreds above, but certainly quick.

Pricing for the Lexus RC F starts at $64,165 — a small bump in lease payments over our Infiniti Q60S Red Sport 400.

Read our full review on the Lexus RC here.

Verdict

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There’s plenty to like about the Infiniti Q60S, from its smooth design and excellent twin-turbo V6 to its customizable chassis. However, there’s stiff competition from the models above as well as the traditional Big Three ponycars — Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger — all of whom have top-spec trims that are more luxurious and refined than you might expect.

In this crowd, Infiniti needs more power and character. It was hard not to feel like the Q60S blended into its surroundings in parking garages and on the highway — not something most people want when they buy a sports coupe. We might overlook that if there were a Q60S that had the power of any of the above competitors’ top-performing models, making it a true “Q-Ship” in the segment.

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There’s plenty to like about the Infiniti Q60S, from its smooth design and excellent twin-turbo V6 to its customizable chassis.

Infiniti seems to aim for value here, much as its parent company Nissan often does. While it falls short on power and is too anonymous for some, it’s also cheaper to buy well-equipped than its competitors. The twin-screen infotainment setup is the kind of thing that, if it were available in the Mercedes-Benz C Class Coupe (it’s not), would cost a fortune as an add-on.

Optioning any of the Q60’s European competitors like our tester would cast the Infiniti in a more favorable light. Even against the Lexus RC, the Q60 is a value leader. Consider the Lexus requires a “Premium Package” at $3,240 if you want leather seats. Leather was standard on our Q60S Red Sport 400, and Infiniti’s Premium Plus Package gave us heated seats and several other options for $1,000 less.

We’re impressed with Infiniti’s value proposition. We just aren’t sure that’s the way to win sales in a segment where most shoppers prioritize power, speed, and muscular style above outright MSRP.

Disclosure: Infiniti provided the vehicle, insurance, and a tank of gas for this review.

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