- New Car Test Drive
The 7-speed automatic transmission that’s in the Q60 has made its way around the Nissan/INFINITI lineup a few times now. We presume that it’s beefed up for the Red Sport, to handle its 400 horsepower, compared to the base four-cylinder engine’s 208 hp (and, more significantly to transmission strength, the Red Sport’s 350 pound-feet of torque versus the base engine’s 258 lb-ft). At low speeds the transmission is hesitant unless it’s being shifted manually with the paddles. At higher speeds it’s more willing.
Another thing that might be going on here is transmission shifting triggered by the navigation system. For all we know, the transmission wasn’t upshifting because it got a signal from a satellite telling it that there was a hill ahead.
The 3.0t V6 is a relatively new to the Infinity family of engines, cousin to the V6 that’s in the super-fast Nissan GT-R.
In the V6 models there is a mind-spinning number of settings available, including damper stiffness, throttle response, steering heft and ratio, and Active Trace Control, an electronic torque-vectoring system that helps the Q60 bite and rotate through corners by applying brakes to inside wheels and adding torque to outside wheels.
The Q60 also features INFINITI’s latest Direct Adaptive Steering, an electronic steer-by-wire system. In the past we preferred the standard mechanical power steering in the Q50 sedan, but we like this new system in the Q60 just as much. The Q60’s advanced safety systems require the steer-by-wire system. Engineers say it’s quicker to respond, and makes the Q60 more comfortable at lower speeds, and for the most part they’re right, because the Q60’s movements have slowed to a more progressive rate for a better, predictable response. We still felt the need to select Sport+ for the most resistance at the steering wheel, for a more direct feel.
So we can say that choosing the safest Q60 doesn’t require a compromise in steering feel. If you don’t call driving around town in Sport+ a compromise.
The Red Sport gets a beefier suspension for better grip in corners. It’s a adaptive double wishbone in front and multi-link in the rear.
The Red Sport’s power comes on fast, happily smoking its wide 265/35R19 rear tires. But it’s not so happy slowing back down, as we wish the brakes didn’t fade so quickly. The base Q60 gets 12.6-inch front and 12.1-inch rear rotors, while the Red Sport gets four-piston 14-inch front and two-piston 13.8-inch rear brakes, so it stops quicker, but not necessarily more times without overheating. After a half-spirited sprint in the hills outside San Diego, we smelled the pads smoking.