Valentine's Day take: Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 gives the most 'arousing' drive

By CARSIFU | 13 February 2017

HONG KONG: According to Infiniti's research carried out in the run-up to Valentine's Day saw the Q50 Red Sport 400 sedan providing greater levels of mental excitement, focus and engagement when compared to a generic simulated driving experience.

In a collaboration with Emotiv – a bioinformatics company specialising in electroencephalogram (EEG) technology - the two companies gathered neural reaction data measured in real-time from 100 drivers while helming the 400hp 3.0-litre V6 sedan to measure their emotional responses.

INFINITI Q50 Red Sport 400 - 04

It was then evaluated against the scientifically-validated Hebbian-Yerkes-Dodson behavioral performance model, to which Emotiv independently interpreted the brainwave activity to have mirrored the shape of the model's curve.

According to the model, participants in the test drive reached the optimal "excitement" zone during their actual drive with a mean of 0.582, compared to a mean of 0.507 with the simulator.

Infiniti Q50 Valentines

However, the EEG data from the Q50 drive showed a peak in mental "arousal" of around four times of that experienced by drivers on the simulator.

Conversely, brainwave activity captured during the time on the simulator showed that relative excitement levels remained flat throughout.

INFINITI Q50 Red Sport 400 - 05

"A car is more than just a machine, and the best of them – the ones which drivers love the most – should provoke an emotional response," said said Infiniti executive design director Alfonso Albaisa who oversaw the design of the Q50 Red Sport 400.

"In an era when emotionless, autonomous appliances dominate the headlines, this test backs up a long-held belief of ours – that Infiniti cars invoke a true passion for driving," he added.