2018 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 new car reviews

The days of Infiniti’s coupe basically being a 2+2 version of the Nissan Z-car are over. An all-new Infiniti coupe, now dubbed the Q60, debuted for the 2017 model year.

What’s new? Pretty much everything.

The Q60 is lower and wider than its predecessor. It still has that Infiniti face, but the sides sport the hockey stick stripes that have come back into vogue. (Check out the Kia Stinger GT or really any current BMW for more examples.)

The powerplant is also new. The standard engine is not a six-cylinder engine–for real. The model run starts with a 208-horsepower turbo four. The upmarket cars, including our Red Sport 400 model, come with a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V6 from Nissan’s VR engine family. It can be called an evolution of the one found in the latest GT-R. In the Q60, the VR can be ordered in one of two flavors: 300 or 400 horsepower.

No matter which engine is selected, it comes backed by a seven-speed automatic transmission. All three engines come standard with rear-wheel drive, but all-wheel-drive is an across-the-board option.

The other big news found under the hood: electric steering. Here’s we’ll give you the explanation right from the source:

“INFINITI's second-generation Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS) offers high levels of feedback and more direct steering responses in the Q60. The 'steer-by-wire' system does away with mechanically linked parts, instead employing digital components to improve steering feel and feedback. The connection between the driver and DAS is instantaneous, thanks to the electronic connection between components.”

The Q60 largely carries over into 2018 unchanged: “For 2018, the Q60 adopts INFINITI's global model nomenclature – PURE, LUXE, SPORT and RED SPORT 400 – along with 20-inch wheels and tires for the RED SPORT 400 (previously 19-inch) and a new exterior premium metallic color, Solar Mica.”

Our test car, of course, was a rather loaded, rear-drive Q60 Red Sport 400 wearing that premium Solar Mica paint. Base price of our car was $52,000, while options bumped that figure all the way up to $63,705 after delivery. The car had the Sensory Package (heated front seats, remote engine start, etc.), Proassist Package (blind-spot warning, front and rear sonar, etc.), Proactive Package (intelligent cruise control, adaptive headlights, etc.) Silver Option Fiber Interior Trim and a Carbon Fiber Package.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

First, no, it’s not a Miata. It’s not a BRZ fighter, either. I don’t think someone would cross-shop this against a Mustang or Camaro.

I see it aimed at a tech-savvy individual who desires a sporty car that could carry four in a pinch. It’s not an autocrosser, track star or race car fodder. It is fast and comfortable, though, which is what most people really want.

First impressions: Yep, it looks like an Infiniti. Where Lexus has gone a full-on Predator with their grilles, Infiniti is keeping it more or less under control.

Power? Yeah, that twin-turbo six works nicely. No dead spots. No waiting. It’s really smooth.

The transmission? It could be a little crisper. A twin-clutch would rock here. A few times I caught the transmission sleeping on the job, quickly awakened and not totally sure what to do. On the plus side, props to Infiniti for giving us a real transmission, not a knob, push buttons or some other silliness. I would have accepted Lightning Rods, though.

Other things I liked:

For a coupe, rearward visibility, especially over the shoulder, is pretty good.

Comfy seats.

Great steering wheel. Okay, great steering wheel feel. It does look a bit busy, but I’m thinking that what the buyers want.

Good trunk space.

Quiet.

OMG, real gauges. Yeah, there are some digital displays in there, but it’s not just a big TV screen.

Did I mention that it’s quite quick?

Okay, some issues:

That electric steering might be the latest in technology, but it didn’t feel perfect to me. I’d call it vague on center with too light a feel. It gave this $60,000 car an econobox vibe. Maybe it just needs some tweaking, although I was fine with the old-fashioned mechanical steering linkage.

Some of the interior appointments and switches felt a bit cheap, too. The Q’s interior looks modern and fresh, but then things feel a little light when operated. TL;DR: Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz don’t shop at the same place for switchgear. At least splurge for a better volume knob.

And I’m not 100 percent sold on the styling. It’s fresh and bold, but I also detected a bit of Altima Coupe in there.

I’m also doing a little cross-shopping right now–just online, of course. Our Q60 stickered at $63,700. A BMW M2 Coupe starts at $54,000. The base MSRP for latest Porsche 718 Cayman is $55,300. Okay, I realize that the BMW might not have quite the curb appeal for the masses while that base Cayman might seem a bit stripped-down, but personally those two cars would keep me from picking up a Q. For those who are hipper, though, the Q is aimed right at them.

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Comments
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Duke
Duke MegaDork
3/2/18 1:39 p.m.

So, with steer-by-wire, how do you steer a stalled car to get it on a rollback, let alone one that suffers an electrical failure at road speed?

FooBag
FooBag Reader
3/2/18 1:42 p.m.

Only 208 HP for the base model that weighs nearly 3800 lbs? That's a terrible weight to HP ratio, like '90's econobox bad.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
3/2/18 2:23 p.m.
FooBag said:

Only 208 HP for the base model that weighs nearly 3800 lbs? That's a terrible weight to HP ratio, like '90's econobox bad.

It's also 20-25% less than the turbo 2.0 / 4 cyl in our S60 makes.  Which is fine, but not a spectacularly high-output engine itself.  The Volvo weighs in right around 3800 lbs in AWD trim.

kanaric
kanaric Dork
3/2/18 3:26 p.m.
FooBag said:

Only 208 HP for the base model that weighs nearly 3800 lbs? That's a terrible weight to HP ratio, like '90's econobox bad.

We are also talking about a company that needs twin turbos to make 400hp from a v6 when they used to be close to that naturally aspirated. Their lesser model twin turbo v6 only makes 300 hp. Someone needs to let them know this isn't 1989. 4 cylinders make 300hp now, non turbo 4 cylinders can easily make 208hp, and a twin turbo v6 could be making MUCH more than 400 yet this is their hot car to compete with the M3? Unless these power figures are all massively underrated and since it actually isn't a '90 model year 300ZX i'm guessing no. 

dculberson
dculberson UltimaDork
3/2/18 3:30 p.m.

I can think of a looooot of new cars I’d rather spend $63k on!!

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 Dork
3/5/18 12:52 p.m.

Just wait till you have to go to a tuning shop to get a performance tune on your steering control unit...

 

I do like the looks though, very attractive. 

tjbell
tjbell Reader
3/5/18 1:31 p.m.

208 From a 4cyl turbo does seem low from todays standards.

The0retical
The0retical UltraDork
3/5/18 2:38 p.m.

The Japanese luxury brands do make a handsome car. I'm not sure I'd buy one over a G80 Genesis or Stinger though. Much less an M2 or RC 350 F Sport.

Carbon
Carbon SuperDork
3/5/18 6:13 p.m.

Berkley steer by wire, and any car (kinda any company) that adopts it. Talk about numb feedback, what makes a car less of a driver's car? 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
3/5/18 6:40 p.m.

My buddy at church just bought the sedan version on Saturday night.  All red with the fancy brakes.  

I’ll get his take on Wednesday.  

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