Infiniti Q60 first drive

By JAY WONG | 1 June 2017

Coupes are uncommon on our roads, but they do make lasting impressions, especially so with the Q60.

Infiniti recently organised a drive from Kuala Lumpur to Penang. And the vehicle of choice was the third-generation Infiniti Q60.

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Fully-imported and costing RM308,800, two Q60 premium sport coupes draped in Dynamic Sunstone Red and Graphite Shadow were prepared for the journey north.

Visually, there’s a lot going for the Q60 with its intricate curves and that very distinct and sharp crease along the shoulder line to connect the front end of the car to the rear.

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Being the sportier and more compact version of the Q50 luxury sedan, it certainly looks the part with its long hood and short “muscular” rear haunches.

While there’s that aura of sportiness from its compact dimensions and 19-inch wheels, the bodywork seems to provide some play of light and shadows to emasculate the Q60 with enough femininity to bring about some elegance and sophistication.

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Although a glance from the outside-in might seem a little cramped, it really isn’t the case after dialing in those preferred settings on the powered front semi-aniline leather seats with good amounts of bolstering and a generous amount of shoulder room.

The controls are housed in an angled centre console that feature an 8.0-inch (upper) and 7.0-inch (lower) stacked touchscreen displays.

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While the centre console’s design aids reach, it has unfortunately left the leather-wrapped gear knob pushed a little too rear-ward.

With it being a sports coupe that’s marketed as a 2+2 seater, the confines of the rear seats are usually next to useless, but in this case, it’ll actually fit two with a surprising amount of leg-room. The lack of headroom back there is due to the aerodynamic roof line.

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The boot isn’t impressive as in most coupes, but the plus point is that Q60’s tailgate opens high.

With the brakes engaged, pushing the “Start” button brings the 2.0-litre (1,991cc) turbocharged Mercedes-Benz M270 engine with 211hp and 350Nm of torque to life.

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In Normal mode, the ‘German’ engine wants to be ‘uber’ smooth when taking off from standstill and the suspension has a note of suppleness to its borderline-harsh disposition.

Switching over to Sport mode and it’s ‘bye-bye’ suppleness and ‘hello’ responsive engine and weighted, reactive steering wheel - only it won’t feel weighted till the car thinks it’s speeding up.

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That said, new owners need to take heed when flooring it out of a T-junction from standstill, which will suddenly make the steering wheel feel reluctant to return back to its straight-line position.

With a 0-100kph time of 7.3 seconds, the Q60 undoubtedly feels sporty in the hands, but unfortunately with the lack of paddle shifters, the experience just wasn’t able to come to full-cirle.

This relegates the driver to some old-fashioned gear-knob ‘tapping’ to cycle through the seven-speed automatic when in Manual mode, but with the gear knob’s current position. The left arm felt wedged between the gear-knob and the seat’s side-bolster.
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With two hands on the wheel and cruising along on the highway, the cabin was well insulated, but plant the right foot down and the 13-speaker Bose Performance Series Audio system starts to emulate the engine with its speakers.

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Unfortunately, the Q60’s corner-hugging abilities weren’t experienced, but the extended time spent on the highway did allow us to appreciate the firmness of the suspension, which kept us stable and from wallowing over uneven road surfaces.

The Q60’s straightline stability is undoubtedly confidence inspiring with the driver feeling very much in control and and knowing that there’s a set of strong biting brakes to help keep them out of trouble.

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Even with the suspension that’s seemingly borderline harsh, we expected the stiff 255/40 run-flat tyres to be communicative than the current ‘muddled’ state.

Still in Sport mode, the steering is quick to repond, but still lacked that fundamental connection between driver and road with its synthesised feedback resistance (like in a video game) rather than actual steering load.

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Ultimately, it felt more unnatural than real and left us assuming as to what the wheels were doing - something that might not bode too well for the purists.

Switching back to Normal mode might have drivers having less of that unnatural feedback, but it was inherently still pronouned. While a touch of suppleness returned to the suspension the engine now felt anaemic.

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Luckily for Personal mode, it allowed us to tailor the experience so that the engine remained responsive in Sport mode, while we set the suspension to a more compliant Normal mode.

This provided a touch more suppleness when rolling over bumps as we cruised along at lower speeds towards the conclusion of our drive.

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To sum up the Q60, this might not be a coupe to attract the purists who prefer a more visceral behaviour from their coupe.

Rather, it’s more for those who seek to stand out from the crowd and occasionally enjoy that rare burst of performance that this stylish coupe has to offer.