Is the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport really a competitor to BMW and Mercedes-AMG?

Infiniti – it’s not a brand that you really hear a lot about these days. But with only five cars in its lineup – one sedan, one coupe, and three SUVs – you really can’t expect the brand to make headlines nearly as much as the brands that it’s actually trying to compete with. Does this obscurity mean that it’s not capable of competing in the mid-luxury performance segment? Not at al. In fact, after spending a week with the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport (basically a two-door Q50) we’ve come to be quite fond of the sporty little 400-horsepower coupe. This is what we’ve learned from that experience.

Infiniti Q60 Red Sport Driving Impressions

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
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Sitting inside the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport, as long as you’re in the front seat, makes for a comfortable afternoon.

The 13-speaker BOSE sound system doesn’t leave you wanting for more from the audio department, but we can’t exactly say the same for the instrument cluster which definitely feels like it comes out of early 2010. As far as driving the Q60 goes, it’s a blast. The car handles impeccably well with little body roll, quick acceleration, and smooth, predictable braking. As you’ll hear more about later on, we were able to routinely hit 4.5-second 60-mph sprints, so it’s not exactly a slouch either.

We would have been a lot happier if the Q60 had a manual transmission but, unfortunately, it can only be had with the seven-speed automatic. It did seem to handle most shifting duties fairly well, however, it still felt just a little under par when compared to the automatics offered by Mercedes and BMW in this class. Handling and braking are exceptional, but we walked away wishing we had a little more steering feedback. In short, the steering system felt fast and light, and after driving the Nissan GT-R for example, we would have really like to have a similar steering feel here.

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
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Overall, the Q60 Red Sport commanded a sense of confidence with its athletic handling.

We’re not exactly thrilled about the fuel economy (especially after learning what the new BMW 4 Series is capable of) but it’s not exactly horrible in that regard either. The Q60 Red Sport feels like it’s a sports car, and it drives like one too. You won’t be left asking for more power or torque, and the biggest downfall is the somewhat dated tech. If Infiniti can take what it has here and improve it with fresh tech for the next generation, the Q60 will be a downright amazing machine.

Infiniti Q60 Red Sport Drivetrain and Performance

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
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Crammed under the hood of the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport is a rather beefy 3.0-liter V-6 that’s massaged to churn out a relatively impressive 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. This engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission, which can direct power to either the rear wheels or all four wheels – the latter of which comes at a $2,000 premium at the time of ordering. The Red Sport comes standard with 20-inch wheels, front independent suspension, and electric steering.

Infiniti Q60 Red Sport specifications
Engine 3.0-Liter V-6
Transmission 7AT
Horsepower 400 HP
Torque 350 LB-FT
Driveline RWD\AWD
Fuel Premium
Fuel Economy 19/26/21
Suspension Front Independent
Steering Electric
Front Tire Size 275330R20
Rear Tire Size 275330R20
0-60 MPH 4.5 Seconds
Top Speed 155 MPH (est)

How Powerful is the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport Compared to Other Cars?

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
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With 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, the Q60 Red Sport sits at the top of the pack in terms of horsepower but falls far short in the torque department.

In comparison to the BMW M440i, The Red Sport has 26 extra ponies (400 vs. 374) but falls 18 pound-feet of torque short (350 lb-ft vs. 368 lb-ft.) When comparing the Red Sport to the Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe, you’ll find the C43 falls just 15 horsepower short at 385 ponies but pulls even further away with 384 pound-feet of torque – a difference of 34 pound-feet, to be exact.

How Fast Is the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport?

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
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Infiniti claims that the Q60 Red Sport can sprint to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds but makes no claim to top speed performance. We’re guessing that it will do at least 155 mph, but we didn’t have a proper track to perform our own testing. In comparison, the Q60 Red Sport is more than 1 second faster to 60 mph than the Lexus RC350 (5.7 seconds) and is on par with the Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe, which also makes the sprint in 4.5 seconds. The new BMW M440i is said to get to the same benchmark in 4.4 seconds, though, so it’s just a hair faster. Both German models are also limited to 155 mph, so don’t expect to win any top speed awards in either of those.

Infiniti Q60 Red Sport Fuel Economy

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
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The EPA rates the Q60 Red Sport at 19 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 21 mpg combined. With the Q60, we actually did two different tests. From a full fill-up, we jumped directly on the highway and drove for 60 miles round trip. Returning to the same gas station, we filled up and had only burned through 1.8 gallons of gas. We were driving with a light foot, but we managed to attain roughly 33 mpg with a simple run on the highway and only accelerating twice to highway speed. During our normal city driving, which we did the rest of the time, we averaged 22 mpg, so we have to admit that the Q60 Red Sport performs a little better than expected.

For the sake of comparison, the 2021 BMW M440i is expected to lay the competition to waste with ratings of 27 mpg in the city, 41 mpg on the highway, and 34 mpg combined – very impressive indeed. The C43 Coupe is rated at 19 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined. In fairness, however, it should be noted that the 2021 BMW M440i has a mild-hybrid system that gives it a huge bump in fuel economy, so it’s not exactly on the same playing field.

City Highway Combined
Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 19 26 21
BMW M440i 27 41 34
Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe 19 27 22

Infiniti Q60 Red Sport Interior Design and Quality

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
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The Infiniti Q60 Red Sport’s interior doesn’t exactly disappoint, but it’s also starting to show its age for a car that is, essentially, just three years old (the second gen Q60 was introduced in 2017). That doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of good points to make here, though. To be honest, the interior design, as a whole, is quite dramatic. The Red Sport has what we have to admit is the curviest dash of any sports coupe on the market today. With the doors shut, it actually gives you the feeling that you’re encircled by mid-levels of luxury. We found the waterfall style center stack and console to be very elegant (our pictures really don’t do it justice) but the cabin, in general, doesn’t really have the premium look that you’ll expect if you’ve sat in the C43 or seen the pictures of the new M440i.

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
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On that note, fit and finish are impressively good and the dual-touchscreen display is quite awesome. Since it’s a two-door coupe, getting to the rear is a little difficult, but it’s not as bad as it is in some cars. The seats are fairly comfortable, but we’d honestly prefer a little more support. There’s plenty of side support built into the seatbacks, but the seat cushions could benefit from a little more. Overall, the Q60 Red Sport does have a pretty nice, comfortable cabin, but it almost feels like Infiniti didn’t know where to draw the line between sports car and luxury car. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but something to be aware of when you go to check it out – it’s really not like anything else that’s on the market and is unique in its own way.

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
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Infiniti Q60 Red Sport interior dimensions
Front Headroom 37.4 Inches
Front Shoulder Room 54.6 Inches
Front Hip Room 53.9 Inches
Front Leg Room 43.1 Inches
Rear Head Room 34.5 Inches
Rear Shoulder Room 52.0 Inches
Rear Hip Room 47.9 Inches
Rear Leg Room 32.4 Inches

Is the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport Spacious?

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
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As a sports coupe that sits in the upper compact \ lower midsize segment, the Q60 is far from being the most spacious model on the market. It is, however, roughly on par with the new BMW M440i and Mercedes-AMG C43 coupe, but generally falls just a hair short. Front passengers can expect 37.4 inches of headroom, 54.6 inches of shoulder room, 53.9 inches of hip room, and 43.1 inches of legroom. Rear passengers, however, don’t benefit from nearly as much. Full size adults can fit back there, but it’s not the most comfortable place to be and I really wouldn’t want to spend a long road trip in the rear seat.

How Much Cargo Room Does the Infiniti Q60 Have?

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
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The Infiniti Q60 comes in on the lower side of the spectrum with just 8.7 cubic-feet of cargo room. Granted, sports coupes aren’t exactly known for being rich in cargo room, but even by the segment’s standards, the Q60 comes up very short. To put this into perspective, the new BMW M440i (the one with a mild-hybrid and trunk-mounted batter) offers 15.52 cubic-feet of cargo room while the Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe will grace you with 12.6 cubic-feet. So, the real takeaway here is that if cargo room is important to you, the Q60 might not be the best model for you.

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
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Infiniti Q60 Red Sport Infotainment and Technology

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
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The Q60 Red Sport comes with a rather awesome two-screen infotainment system – an upper 8.0-inch display and a lower 7.0-inch display. Control for the system are organized on either side and just below, but are, for the most part, easy to reach and self-explanatory. The infotainment system feeds sound through a 13-speaker Bose sound system (standard equipment) and includes support for SiriusXM, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. You can also stream audio and make calls via a proprietary BlueTooth connection. Two USB ports provide for charging and wired connections.

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
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Unfortunately, there’s no digital instrument cluster here, which is one of the things that really makes the Q60 Red Sport feel a little behind models like the M440i and C43. The central TFT display, however, does provide at least the most important information.

Infiniti Q60 Red Sport Exterior Design

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
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While the Infiniti Brand, in general, feels a little more obscure than a lot of automakers in this niche, the company has done an amazing job at designing an attractive, sporty, and muscular coupe. It’s painfully evident that designers put a lot of effort into blending the front end in with the rest of the car – something that’s showcased by the stout bodylines on the hood that run almost parallel with the structural line below the waistline. The front grille does feel a little dated, as do the headlights, but as of the time of this writing the Q60 is three years old, so it’s understandable to a point.

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
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The rear end is equally as attractive, if not more so, and the rear end really encompasses that sports car look. The taillights are sized just right, the rear deck as that graceful lip in the rear, and the black insert in the rear fascia really ties together the whole package. When we were out and about, we got a lot of interested looks, and even heard from a few different people that they had no idea that Infinity made such sporty cars. Perhaps that’s part of the reason you don’t see too many of them – people don’t know just how sporty the Q60 actually is. It terms of appearance it does rank up there with the BME M4 and Mercedes-AMG C43, so it’s kind of a shame that the car doesn’t get more positive publicity – it’s a real looker.

How Big is the Infiniti Q60?

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
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The Infiniti Q60 is a compact car that rides on Nissan’s FM platform. It’s roughly about the same size as the Mercedes C-Class, but is a little shorter than the new BMW 4 series. It’s interior dimensions come in at 184.4-inches long, 72.8-inches wide, and 54.5-inches tall. It also rides on a 112.2-inch wheelbase, which is identical to both the 4 Series and C43.

Infiniti Q60 Red Sport exterior dimensions
Length 184.4 Inches
Width 72.8 Inches
Height 54.5 Inches
Wheelbase 112.2 Inches
Ground Clearance 4.9 Inches
Front Track 61.2 Inches
Rear Track 62.4 Inches

In terms of garaging, the Q60 Red Sport will fit in just about any garage, even those of the single-car variety. However, in smaller garages, you might find yourself worried about knocking the doors as they door open pretty wide for a car this side. Check out the table below to see how the Q60 compares to the brand-new BMW M440i and the Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe.

Is the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport Better Than the BMW M440i?

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BMW revealed the all-new 2021 4 Series in early June of 2020, so it honestly stands a little taller than the Q60 in terms of technology and definitely fuel economy. The M440i’s appearance is dominated by BMW’s new big-grille design language, but the rest of the car is as equally aggressive as the Q60 Red Sport. In fact, it almost feels like BMW copied a little bit of the Q60’s design, but we’ll leave that discussion for another time. The interior of the M440i almost feels futuristic, but it’s just down to earth enough that it still sits within the realm of BMW normalcy. The big news, here, however, is the update drivetrain that’s efficient enough to lay waste to any other car in this segment at the moment.

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The M440i comes with the same 3.0-liter inline-six that you find in the last-gen 4 Series and current 3 Series lineup. It delivers 374 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission, with no option for a manual transmission being anywhere in site. It’s fuel economy, however, is the real selling point at 27 mpg in the city, 41 mpg on the highway, and 34 mpg combined. How is that possible? Well the new M440i has a mild-hybrid system that can deliver an extra 10 horsepower when needed but works wonders for fuel economy as well. Pricing for the BMW M440i (or the rest of the 2021 lineup, for that matter) has yet to be revealed. The M440i xDrive starts out at $53,250, so you can expect a fair increase to somewhere in the range of $55,000.

Infiniti Q60 Red Sport vs BMW M440i
Infiniti Q60 Red Sport BMW M440i
Engine 3.0-Liter V-6 3.0-Liter Inline-Six
Transmission 7AT 8AT
Horsepower 400 HP 374 HP
Torque 350 LB-FT 368 LB-FT
Driveline RWD\AWD RWD/AWD
Fuel Premium Premium
Fuel Economy 19/26/21 27/41/34
Suspension Front Independent Front Independent
Steering Electric Electric
Front Tire Size 275330R20 255/45R18
Rear Tire Size 275330R20 255/40R18
0-60 MPH 4.5 Seconds 4.4 Seconds
Top Speed 155 MPH (est) 155 MPH

Check out more details on the BMW M440i

Is the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport Better Than the Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe

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The Mercedes-AMG C43 is an attractive little coupe, and it has all the right proportions (including a roof that doesn’t slope too hard), but it’s clearly the less aggressive of the bunch. The front end is dominated by Mercedes’ typical grille and somewhat bulky taillights, while blocked off corner air intakes are there only to make the car look somewhat sporty. Even the side profile is somewhat tame in comparison to the Q60, and it’s really hard to like that body line that actually gets lower as it approaches the rear. The rear end does look pretty good, but the taililights are kind of a buzz kill with it comes to the sport car look. Overall, it’s not a bad looking car, but the appearance is overall similar to, say, the seventh-gen Honda Civic – there’s just not a lot to write home about.

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Under the hood, however, the C43 churns out as much as 385 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. It still falls short in the horsepower department compared to the Q60, but it will match it to both 60 mph and a top speed of 155 mph. Pricing for the AMG C43 Coupe starts out at $56,945, and it comes standard with AWD straight from the factory, so the only thing you’ll have to pay up for are the various packages that Merc offers.

Infiniti Q60 Red Sport vs Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe
Infiniti Q60 Red Sport Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe
Engine 3.0-Liter V-6 3.0-Liter V-6
Transmission 7AT 9AT
Horsepower 400 HP 385 HP
Torque 350 LB-FT 384 LB-FT
Driveline RWD\AWD AWD
Fuel Premium Premium
Fuel Economy 19/26/21 19/27/22
Suspension Front Independent Four-Wheel Independent
Steering Electric Electromechanical
Front Tire Size 275330R20 225/45R18
Rear Tire Size 275330R20 245/40R18
0-60 MPH 4.5 Seconds 4.5 Seconds
Top Speed 155 MPH (est) 155 MPH

Read our full review on the Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe

Philippe Daix
Obsessive and Compulsive Automotive Expert - phil@topspeed.com
Always on the lookout for the latest automotive news, Philippe Daix is our most senior editor and founder of TopSpeed.com. He likes to see himself as a consumer advocate with a mission to educate motorheads of all ages.  Read More
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