2015 Infiniti Q60SPosted on January 29th, 2015
Sport coupe elevates the art of driving
By Nina Russin
Sometimes a car makes the driver wish he would never have to leave the wheel. The Infiniti Q60S sport coupe is one of those cars.
A 330-horsepower V-6 engine is the coupe’s ace-in-the-hole: lead chair in a symphony that also includes a six-speed manual gearbox, aluminum-based four-wheel independent suspension, dual exhausts, and ventilated disc brakes. All ride in a front midship platform derived from the OEM’s formula racing experience.
For 2015, Infiniti adds two S Limited grades to the Q60 palette with sport seats, a special steering wheel and aluminum pedals. Standard convenience features include leather upholstery, 12-way driver’s and 8-way front passenger power seats, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, navigation with real-time weather and traffic updates, rearview camera, Bluetooth interface, satellite radio, high-intensity discharge headlamps and LED tail lamps.
Base price for the Q60S Limited with the six-speed manual transmission is $47,700 excluding the $905 destination charge. Options on the test car include pearl white exterior paint, floor and cargo mats with a first aid kit and kick plates, bringing the final MSRP to $49,575.
Test drive in Arizona
I spent the past week behind the wheel of the Q60S driving on surface streets and highways in Phoenix, Arizona’s east valley as well as a section of the Gila River Indian reservation south of town. While the Q60S is at its best on deserted two-lane thoroughfares, it is a very civilized companion around town.
A week before the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl, Phoenix’s tourism business is at full throttle, clogging every corner of its adjacent cities from Scottsdale and Chandler to Glendale where the stadium is located. The fact that at least half the drivers on the road aren’t local doesn’t help the traffic situation.
A car with good low-end acceleration is always a boon in these situations, since it gives the driver the ability to pass slower cars and steer out of the way of potential accidents. For this reason, I was very happy to be driving the Infiniti Q60.
Although the test car didn’t come with blind spot monitoring, I had a good view of the car’s perimeter. The B-pillars that normally obstruct the driver’s view to the side are located far enough back to make monitoring traffic in the adjacent lanes easy.
A manual gearbox requires a bit more work than an automatic transmission in these situations, but the gears have enough range to prevent the driver from having to shift constantly. The short throw shift lever makes it a pleasure to snap between the gears.
On less crowded roads, one grows to appreciate the coupe’s near perfect front-to-rear weight balance, speed-sensitive steering and lightweight suspension components that minimize unsprung weight.
In the corners, the car will go as fast as the driver dares to take it and remains well in control. Nineteen-inch alloy rims and summer performance tires give the coupe an ample footprint for high-speed driving.
Engineers did an excellent job minimizing road, wind and engine noise intrusion to the interior so the driver and passengers can converse or enjoy the standard Bose audio system. The only interruption is a pleasing growl from the dual exhaust pipes during hard acceleration.
As with most two-plus-twos, the Infiniti Q60S can hold up to four passengers but is most comfortable for those in the front row. Keyless entry and start saves the driver from having to fumble for the key fob, adding a measure of safety after dark.
In addition to adding some style, the sport seats on the S model provide excellent support for the lower back and legs, reducing driver fatigue on long road trips. I was able to adjust the driver’s seat to provide a clear forward view. The steering wheel is a nice diameter that smaller women can feel comfortable with.
Driver’s seat, steering wheel and outside mirror memory setting enable multiple family members to share the car.
I found both the gauge cluster and center stack display easy to see in bright sunlight and after dark. A mouse-type control keeps knobs and buttons for the infotainment system at a minimum. The driver can also pull up an information screen about the vehicle, a ‘where am I” function and program the navigation system using the same controls.
The trunk is fairly deep for a car of this size, with plenty of room for luggage, golf clubs and the weekly groceries. Cyclists would need to add a hitch rack.
The Infiniti Q60S comes with front, side and side curtain airbags, active head restraints, antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, rearview camera and tire pressure monitoring. Buyers living in four-season climates can opt for the all-wheel drive model.
The factory warranty includes 24-hour roadside assistance and free loaner cars while the vehicle is being serviced.
The Q60S is on display at Infiniti dealerships nationwide.
Like: A stylish sport coupe with exceptional performance and the practicality to function as an everyday car.
Model: Q60S Limited
Base price: $47,700
As tested: $49,575
Horsepower: 330 Hp @ 7000 rpm
Torque: 270 lbs.-ft. @ 5200 rpm
Antilock brakes: Standard
Side curtain airbags: Standard
First aid kit: Available as part of an option package
Bicycle friendly: No
Fuel economy*: 17/25 mpg city/highway
Comment: The manufacturer recommends using 91octane premium unleaded gasoline.
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