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2014 Infiniti Q50 Test Drive

by Gary Witzenburg on

This all-new Infiniti Q50 doesn't look dramatically different from its G37 predecessor (which will stick around for a while at a lower price), but it moves Infiniti's recent styling themes to more "passionate" levels. It is lower and wider, with a more athletic stance and more interior room.

The cabin blends three-dimensional textures, fine craftsmanship and premium materials. Front and rear headroom and rear leg, foot and knee room are ample, as is luggage space at 13.5 cu.ft. (9.4 cu. ft. for the hybrid).

Two powertrains are offered for North America: a 3.7-liter DOHC 24-valve aluminum V-6 with a Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) and Variable Valve Event & Lift (VVEL), good for 328 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque, and the Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid system with Intelligent Dual Clutch Control. It marries a 302-hp, 258-lb-ft 3.5-liter version of the V-6 to a 67-hp one-motor/two-clutch system powered by a laminated lithium-ion battery for a system net power of 360 horses. The hybrid powertrain -- both the performance and the higher fuel-efficiency choice, is EPA rated at 29 mpg city, 36 highway and 31 combined with rwd vs. the gas V-6 at 20/30/23. Both offer a 7-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels or Intelligent All-Wheel Drive.

The 2014 Infiniti Q50 -- offered in standard, premium and sport, Hybrid Premium and S Hybrid models -- boasts three world's-first technologies: Direct Adaptive Steering transmits your intentions to the wheels faster than a mechanical system, allows independent control of steering inputs and tire angle and enhances feel by quickly communicating road surface feedback; camera-based Active Lane Control, which adjusts for unintended lane drift, road surface changes and crosswinds; and Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), which Infiniti says can warn of risks beyond your field of view by sensing not only the relative speed and distance of the vehicle directly ahead but also (somehow) of a vehicle in front of it.

New Infiniti InTouch telematics uses two touch screens (8-inch upper and 7-inch lower), with intuitive hand-gesture operation. Navigation maps and other frequently-used functions are directed to the upper screen, while other content goes to the lower one, so the navigation map can be viewed on the top screen while you're finding or setting destinations on the lower one. There's a pre-loaded selection of vehicle-centric apps, and you can download, update and synch personal apps through your smartphone and USB drives.

In addition to Active Lane Control, the Q50's suite of driver assist and safety features includes Full Speed Range Intelligent Cruise Control, Forward Emergency Braking, Distance Control Assist, Blind Spot Warning and Intervention, Backup Collision Intervention, Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) and high beam assist.

The Infiniti Q50's double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension delivers sport-sedan handling (especially S versions) along with precise (standard) steering, powerful braking and comfortable ride. The standard V-6 gives strong performance, and the Hybrid is stronger still. All things considered, there's no good reason why this all-new Q50 should not be prominent on sport-sedan-shoppers' consideration lists, and we definitely think it should be.

Update: 2014 Infiniti Q50 Expanded Review

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