First of the automaker's products to be introduced using its recently announced Q-centric nomenclature, the 2014 Infiniti Q50 is a comprehensively redesigned replacement for the current G37 Sedan. Making its world debut in Detroit, the Q50 sets the visual and conceptual tone for the entire next generation of Infiniti models. On sale in the summer, this stunning 4-door melds riveting style elements with advanced technology and exceptional dynamic characteristics in a way that Infiniti believes will set new benchmarks for the mid-size sport sedan segment.
Drawing many of its exterior cues from previous Infiniti concept cars -- particularly the Essence -- the new Q50's elegantly aggressive bodywork and flowing yet well-tailored lines and contours have all been aero optimized to yield an outstanding 0.26 coefficient of drag with zero front and rear lift at speed. LED-infused headlamps and taillamps add interest to the dramatically cast fascias while the Q50's wide/low/lean proportions and relatively long wheelbase with wide track dimensions help reinforce its sporting character.
"Moving forward, we want all Infiniti vehicles to reflect an energetic force rooted in nature, such as the shape of a dynamic wave," said Shiro Nakamura, senior vice president and chief creative officer. "The Q50's enhanced sense of three-dimensionality gives it a look of strength and agility - a look that is highly personal, seductive and slightly mysterious."
Accented in aluminum or real maple wood inspired by Japanese art and cultural themes, the Q50's passenger cabin embodies that same kind of 3D flair. However, it puts a decidedly driver-centric focus on the dash and control layouts while offering enhanced seat/steering-wheel adjustability. Both the front buckets and 60/40 split folding rear bench feature more ergonomic designs whether clad in cloth or available leather and the standard Active Noise Control system helps banish low-frequency rumble. Other nifty touches that are either standard or available in the new Q50 include the Infiniti InTouch next-generation Human Machine Interface (HMI) with dual touchscreen displays, a 14-speaker Studio on Wheels by Bose audio system, Advanced Staging Technology, Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and Bluetooth Hands-free Phone/Streaming Audio.
In addition to its long list of safety standards, the new Q50's option roster will include Intelligent Cruise Control with Full Speed Range, a world-first predictive Forward Collision Warning system, Forward Emergency Braking, Distance Control Assist, Blind Spot Intervention, Backup Collision Intervention, Lane Departure Prevention and Active Lane Control.
Available in both rear-drive and Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive configurations, the 2014 Infiniti Q50 will offer two powertrains: the well-proven 3.7-liter V6 that makes 328 horsepower or the Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid System that matches a 3.5-liter V6 with Infiniti's Intelligent Dual Clutch Control package (one electric motor/two decoupling clutches) in a system that develops 354 total horses. Both Q50 variants will be fitted with an electronically controlled 7-speed automatic transmission that features Downshift Rev Matching and Adaptive Shift Control.
With a stronger, stiffer body structure and handling fine-tuned using input from drivers affiliated with the world-champion Red Bull Racing Formula One team Infiniti co-sponsors, the new Q50 promises to be a major overachiever in the fun-to-drive department. Standard 17-inch alloys are wrapped in 225/55 run-flat tires but Sport models can be had with 245/40 run-flats or stickier all-season rubber, as well as a tauter suspension, bigger brakes, and Direct Adaptive Steering technology in place of the standard speed-sensitive unit. That latter item - a world first on a production model - quickens and enhances control of the tire angle and steering inputs in accordance with any of four driver-selectable modes. Another Q50 first, available Active Lane Control, is a camera-based lane-marker detection system that keeps the car more ideally positioned, particularly when travelling in a straight line.
Pricing for the 2014 Infiniti Q50 and Q50 Hybrid will be announced closer to the on-sale date. And for those who want even more of a good thing, Infiniti is preparing an ultra-spec version of the Q50 that reportedly will come with a turbocharged V6 set to crank out 550+ horsepower.
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