2016 Infiniti Q50 Upgrade Infuses Performance
Cranking up its enthusiast credentials, the 2016 Infiniti Q50 receives a serious dose of performance upgrades including a trio of new force-fed engines to complement the carryover Hybrid setup. The revamp also includes ride and handling tweaks as well as a broader selection of comfort, convenience and safety touches.
The biggest news in the 2016 Q50 portfolio update is the first use of Infiniti's new VR-Series V6 engine, a high-tech twin-turbocharged direct-injection unit that's smaller, lighter, cleaner and more fuel efficient than any other V6 Infiniti has ever produced. In base form it makes 300 horsepower and 296 lb-ft of torque when fitted in the Q50 3.0t Premium and Q50 Sport. A more potent version found under the hood of the range-topping Q50 Red Sport 400 churns out 400 horses and 350 lb-ft of torque. Although not quite equal to Infiniti's stillborn Q50 Eau Rouge, it should make the new Red Sport decidedly quick. At the entry end of the Q50 spectrum, the 2.0t and 2.0t Premium have a new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo that makes 208 horsepower while the Q50 Hybrid retains the existing 3.5-liter V6 and an electric motor that produce a collective 360 horses. Whether rear-drive or fitted with optional all-wheel drive, the sole transmission on all Q50 models remains a 7-speed automatic with column-mounted shift paddles.
Smoother ride and more precise control
The other key changes on the 2016 Infiniti Q50 are to its chassis and steering. In addition to a suspension retune that gives even the lesser versions better ride characteristics and improved control, the Q50 Sport has a multi-mode Dynamic Digital Suspension (DDS) package that elevates handing prowess to deliver greater confidence and agility. While 2.0-liter models feature a speed-sensitive electro-hydraulic rack-and-pinion system, all V6s -- including the Hybrid - get Infiniti's electronic Gen II Direct Adaptive Steering. Upgraded to provide better feedback, it actively adjusts the ratio and effort a thousand times per second. Also, it offers additional levels of customization and integrates with Active Lane Control to keep the Q50 centered in crosswinds or on uneven road surfaces.
Additional revisions for the 2016 Q50 include a new Driver Assistance Package that includes Forward Emergency Braking, Blind-Spot Warning, Rear Collision Intervention with Cross Traffic Alert, Predictive Forward Collision Warning and an Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection. A revised Technology Package featuring an Adaptive Front Lighting with High Beam Assist, Intelligent Cruise Control, Distance Control Assist and advanced climate controls with air filtration is also available.
Also joining the Q50's expanded option roster is a new Premium Plus Package that adds Infiniti InTouch with voice activated navigation and one year of InTouch services, navigation-synchronized adaptive shift control, SiriusXM Traffic, a power adjustable steering column with memory, heated steering wheel/front seats, a 60/40 split-folding rear bench and more. The 2016 Infiniti Q50 goes on sale next year following its first public appearance at the North American International Auto Show. The revamped Q50 is set to take on compact luxury sport sedans like the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Lexus IS. Pricing and final EPA figures will be released closer to the on-sale date.
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