Each week our team of experienced senior road testers pick out a new model from the world of innovative, premium and performance badges, and put it through its paces.
MAR 20th 2017
The Goodwood Test: Infiniti Q60
The Q60 is a brand-new idea to the world as of last year, although it was first shown to the public in ‘concept’ form back in 2015 – when it looked basically like the final car. Indeed Infiniti itself is only a recent addition to the pantheon of motoring names in Europe. However, it actually serves as a replacement for the G-Series Coupe, a car which lived from 1990 to 2015 in the US, originally as a rebadged Nissan Primera, but eventually as its own full-blown offshoot. The G was one of the first cars to arrive on our shores in that initial wave of Infinitis that made the crossing to Europe in the mid-2000s. While styling in the early days was always, shall we say, difficult, the G35 and G37 were not to be mistaken for anything else on the road, helping to clearly introduce the brand to an unfamiliar audience. The Q60 could be seen as the first introduction of Infiniti as a standard brand in the UK, rather than a quirky alternative.
This is where Inifiniti has finally got it absolutely right. The Q60 manages to be both unmistakably an Infiniti, while also a genuinely pleasing car to look at. From the front, we struggle to think of another large coupe that is as genuinely ‘pretty’. Sure the M4 and C-Class coupe are all great to look at, but they both tick the ‘imposing’ and ‘purposeful’ boxes rather than the Q60's tilt at beauty. Side on it follows the traditional coupe lines. We at GRR are great believers in the idea that coupes should be cool again, recalling the heady days of Capris, Quattros and Camaros being the car of choice of the ‘cool dude’ – the Q60 is a car we want to be seen in. The standard Infiniti squiggle on the c-pillar is still a little daft, but doesn’t detract from the overall image, and from the rear, the car seems muscular and sporty, even with the smaller 2.0-litre engine under the bonnet. Inside it’s not quite so rosy, the standard interior from the Nissan offshoot is starting to date a teeny bit, but is still a pleasing place to be. The fact that we fitted three adults of around six-foot into the car together shows that space has been well used.
Initially, it’s hard to tell how well the Q60 performs. There’s plenty of low-down grunt from that turbocharged two-litre four-pot and it revs all the way to nearly 7,000rpm, but the seven-speed manual ‘box is outclassed by its competitors, leaving you wondering what might have been. There are no flappy paddles here – perhaps a move to be applauded in an era when extra appendages for the steering wheel have become de rigueur – but you can slip the stick sideways into a manual slot (albeit with up and down the wrong way round) and discover that yet, the grunt is there to be used. The constantly variable electric steering rack takes some time to get used to, sometimes popping random feedback into your driving experience, but the best way to approach it is to take this on as a challenge. The car obviously wants to be driven, and the chassis is decent but this car is made for long-distance cruising rather than hammering through the twisty stuff. Give it a dual carriageway and the gearbox is unruffled, steering unstressful and the seats absolutely spot on.
The Q60 2.0T is all about that wonderful exterior. It’s the first time we’ve seen an Infiniti that genuinely makes us turn and stare. Ours arrived in a wonderful shade of ‘Iridium Blue’ and within 20 minutes had West Sussex locals approaching us to ask what it was. It lags a little behind some of its competition in driving terms for £40,000 but for the price we can’t think of much that looks better. If you cover big distances then this is a comfortable, stylish alternative to the norm, no one will stare at a 4-series in the way the Q60 will turn heads.
Join our motorsport community
Get closer to motorsport at Goodwood! Join the GRRC Fellowship to be first in the queue for event tickets, to attend the GRRC-only Members' Meeting and to enjoy year-round, exclusive benefits.