The happiness grows when the happiness is granted. The Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 evokes emotions.
Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 could be the longest title ever I’ve come across. And I was thinking is it there for a purpose or just a fancy name to excite a potential customer. The last time Rearview Mirror reviewed was back in December 2014 when Q50 came out replacing the G37, however, it came with “industry first” Drive-by-wire steering system. Infiniti calls it “Direct Adaptive Steering”. The epiphany was the fact that Infiniti engineers took almost ten years to develop and perfect the system before making it available for the customers. Here’s a real deal the steering system is further upgraded for the betterment, hence you call it in today’s jargon as v2.0.
Now here I am standing next to the 2017 Q50 Red Sport 400 in Hagane Blue which looks almost the same as the Q50 reviewed earlier… So much so I had to ask the nice guy who brought the car – that is this the right car? Or are you sure even if it’s the right car, it is still for the Rearview Mirror? He showed me the order sheet which bears all the correct credentials. However, during the walk around, he showed me the differences. The 3.7 badge is replaced by S3.0T and then there’s an additional badge S on the back rear deck with red color. Perhaps an extra wide set of tires all-around and that’s all.
While going through the official press release that promises to evoke all emotional senses of the driver. Will there be sparks in the brain? Will my heart come into my mouth around the bend? How much happier would I be after tearing down the tarmac in real road conditions? As few experiences in the past where I got the chance to drive the Q50 on the track and it was satisfying. So let’s find out.
Still Sharp Styling – 7.5/ 10
Apart from the distinctive Red Sport S badge, there’s hardly any cosmetic change on this Q50 that may seem interesting. Yet the sedan has all the right proportions. I still like the fascia of the car with its double-grill bumper and striking headlights that incorporate the daylight running lights. The rear has the twin exhaust pipes with holes in it to enhance the sound for the people on the road to enjoy. The profile sits well on the road thanks to the large 19-inch triple-spoke light alloy wheels which looks awesome.
Inside the cabin, it was a standard affair. The cabin feels premium and as you glance through the cabin. The dark cabin in black leather and wood panels emanate warmth. It feels a pretty well put together with the use of quality materials. The seats comfortable, thanks to the ‘neutral posture’ zero gravity seats for extra comfort especially on longer journeys. I have only two concerns: As an owner the twin touchscreens, apart from their functionality, one is glossy and the other one is the matte-finished tactile screen. Obviously, the glossy screen reflects more fingerprints and the surface is prone to the scratches as it would be on an old school mobile phone screen. Then as a driver, I was unable to find the digital display indicating the speed on the screen between the classy looking instrument binnacle. On this fast saloon, it would help look at the number rather than at pointer on the speedometer.
I put a spell on you, performance 9.0/ 10
The whole purpose of this car to deliver a remarkable performance. To start with Infiniti puts together all the hardware together for a close inspection before tooling them. So the first thing is the new and improved VR series engine over the old VQ-series engine. The VR 3.0l-V6 direct injection twin turbo already acclaimed the Wards top 10 engines for 2017 prize.
In this Red Sport 400 S guise This new engine now produces clean and healthy 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft torque. Coupled with a 7-speed tranny the visceral power is unleashed. The Q50 breaks the shackles and reaches 0-60 in just 4.7 seconds in sport plus mode. The Red Sport 400 can continue to spin the wheels to a quarter mile without any hesitation. I kept myself thrown back into the bolstered sports seats by shifting through the paddle shifters.
On the other hand ‘Direct Adaptive Steering’ is quick to respond. Unlike the mechanical linkage rack steering, this drive-by-wire steering makes one thousand corrections per second. This also means it overlaps every gap digitally. Yet when you turn the mechanical (or electromechanical) steering wheel you dial every gradient to pin-point the direction you required. This one feels that it just flows over and there aren’t any gradients imprinted on the column. So at the slower speed, it is quite smooth requires lesser turn lock to lock for easy parking but t higher speed, the steering response is pretty fast and you have to adjust yourself accordingly.
The Q50 Red Sport 400 is also fitted with 19″ 5 triple-spoke light alloy wheels with 245/40RF19 tires, which provide lots of grips as the car continues to behave confidently on the bends in conjunction with electronically controlled independent sports tuned suspension further augment with 4 pistons hugging the large disc brakes.
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Safety- 9.0/ 10
As you would expect any Infiniti which takes safety quite seriously and remains at the forefront of safety and technology. Our 2017 tester has fitted all sorts of imaginable safety features. Starting from Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) with full speed range – Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) – Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Blind Spot Intervention systems – Forward Emergency Braking – Predictive forward collision warning system – Distance Control Assist (DCA) – Backup Collision Intervention – Front Pre-Crash seat belts
Buyer’s guide to the Galaxy – 8.5/ 10
What is Infiniti Q50 red Sport 400 then? At one hand it can surprise any other car on the road and win the battle of pride on the road by challenging the competition. On another hand, it is just an another same Infiniti Q50 on the road. Only a trained eye can identify that the car in the next lane is a special character. Sports car demands a presence and Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 totally contradicts, why? Perhaps being discreet is the big idea for Infiniti? There are customers who deny pomposity and there Q50 Red Sport stands tall.
It has all the performance on the road and it has all the luxury features for the driver inside. Fitted with a BOSE Premium audio system – 14 speaker sound system to impress you binaurally. USB multimedia connectivity and Bluetooth audio streaming was a breeze. Dual touch-screens (LCD VGA 8″ and LCD VGA 7″) with Navigation. Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) with Smart Beam. Keyless access via Infiniti Intelligent Key that keeps the memory setting for the individual driver. There is everything one could wish for and above all everything is functional rather than being there as a cosmetic filler.
There are not many cars in this segment, however, it is the most closely contested segment. Reigning champion BMW M3 followed by Mercedes C63 AMG and closed by yet another Teutonic Audi S4. Followed by Cadillac ATS-V sedan, Lexus IS-F, and Jaguar XE-R. Interestingly all of these cars carries high emotional values. However, being in the market for long they have grown into Johnny Bravo. Where is the civility? These cars shine on the track and leave a gap on road for a daily drive. How many times in a month you go for a track-day? Q50 Red Sport 400 fills this gap. It’s lean and athletic with a disarming approach. It undercuts the above cars with the huge price difference.
Our tester is priced at a ridiculously awesome AED2,20000/- Walk into any Al Masaood / Infiniti dealership in Abu Dhabi and treat yourself with Red Sport 400 S, with a 5 years/ unlimited mileage warranty. My heart is pounding and I see the sparks!