posted 6 years ago

Infiniti Q50 to take on the Germans

Infiniti Q50 Diesel unveiled at the Geneva Motorshow

The exciting wait for the Infiniti Q50 Diesel is now officially over after being unveiled at the Geneva Motorshow, and were there to see it. Tuesday 6th of March 2013 saw the official launch of the groundbreaking new Infiniti Q50 diesel and it was very well received by the worlds motoring press, followed by a visionary talk by the Infiniti President Johann de Nysschen about the Q50 and what it means for the future of Infiniti along with other segment launches.

So what about the Infiniti Q50 diesel and what does it mean to the sector where 90% of it is dominated by BMW, Mercedes and AUDI. Renault-Nissan's tie-up with Daimler has spawned a crucial Mercedes-supplied four-cylinder diesel engine for the new Infiniti Q50 saloon and this could be finally be a car that could take market share from the big German brands.

The new BMW 3-series-rivalling the Q50 replaces the G37 saloon. The G37 was hampered by only ever being offered with a thirsty V6 petrol engine, but the Mercedes-sourced diesel in the Q50 should make it a much more competitive offering along with groundbreaking design both in and out of the car, and with technical advances along with unique safety features it is an exciting time for Infiniti. The 2143cc turbodiesel engine is familiar from a wide range of Mercedes models, including the C-class and E-class. In the Q50, the direct-injection oil-burner produces 168bhp and 295lb ft of torque. It sends power to the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox, both also Mercedes-sourced.

Final figures are yet to be confirmed, but the Q50 2.2d is expected to crack 0-62mph in less than nine seconds and reach a top speed of 143mph. Combined economy of 64mpg is expected, as are CO2 emissions of less than 115g/km.

When European sales of the Q50 begin in the autumn, a hybrid version will also be offered. It will mate a V6 petrol engine to an electric motor for a combined 359bhp. This set-up will be offered in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive forms. De Nysschen said "If I had to pick one German saloon as a target, it would be the BMW 3-series. But the truth is that the Q50 should attract a more confident, successful and youthful buyer than the German rivals. Our buyers look for a car that reflects their individuality and difference; not one that's such a common badge of status and success.”

The Infiniti Q50 has some groundbreaking features especially when it comes to safety which will appeal to the luxury car buyer who wants it all for example DAS - Direct Adaptive Steering which is a worlds first and apparently has had input from Sebastien Vettel the current F1 world champion but what is it? The system allows independent control of the Q50's tire angle and steering inputs, transmitting the driver's intentions to the wheels faster than a mechanical system. This increases the direct driving performance feel by quickly and intelligently communicating road surface feedback to the driver. Four different steering settings are offered, allowing customization by driver preference or road conditions. This world's first technology provides the flexibility for the driver to change both steering effort and the steering gear ratio. A backup mechanical steering system is provided with models utilizing the new Direct Adaptive Steering technology. Another Feature Active Lane Control is another world's first which uses a camera-based straight-line stability system to further enhance on-center driving capability and improve vehicle stability. The system is included as part of the Lane Departure Prevention system, not only adjusting for unintended lane drift, but also making finer adjustments for minor road surface changes or crosswinds (as detected by the camera-based, lane marker detection system). The system goes beyond the traditional Lane Departure Prevention system, taking it a step further by not only reading the road ahead (the camera is located above the rearview mirror) for unintended lane drift but also by making small steering input angle adjustments if the Q50 undergoes minor direction changes due to road surface changes or crosswinds (as detected by the lane marker detection system). By reducing the need for steering input for the driver, the driver's effort may be reduced.

"The beauty of these advanced systems is to allow a more personal driving experience, with more input when desired and less intrusion of road imperfections in the steering wheel," said de Nysschen. "These are just the start of a range of future technologies that are becoming a point of differentiation for our Infiniti customers."

Infiniti's Intelligent Brake Assist with Forward Collision Warning alerts a driver to a potential collision with audible and visual warnings and automatically engages the brakes to reduce collision speed and help mitigate damage in an accident. But instead of radar, it uses a laser range finder.

Interior and onboard Entertainment

This Car really has something for everyone and as well as the leading safety features its interior and entertainment are best in class. The Infiniti Q50 offers a new-generation digital environment designed for maximum customization and ease of use. Up to 96 vehicle parameters can stored on the i-Key for up to four different drivers, making the Q50 not just one of the most configurable cars in the class but also one that offers a very real sense of “my car knows me”. Infiniti InTouch™, Infiniti’s next-generation communications technology, makes its debut on the Q50. Dual touch-screens, a first in the class, de-clutter the control layout and ensure totally intuitive operation of all functions, features and custom apps.

The Q50’s interior has an emphasis on natural elegance, spacious rear passenger accommodation and the signature craftsmanship, attention to detail and premium materials that set every Infiniti apart. In the design, there is a clear focus on the driver. Comfort was a particular focus and in the search for a new type of comfortable seat came from NASA research into the neutral posture the body adopts in a zero gravity environment. The Q50’s comfort seats are designed to offer maximum spinal support and thus reduce fatigue on long drives.

There are still some questions that cannot be answered yet for example...what are the final prices? inc extras? and further engine ranges along with waiting to see if finance packages will be competitively priced in order to challenge BMW, Mercedes and AUDI, but they seem to have it right so far so let’s see.

Looking at the new Infiniti Q50 Diesel is an absolute pleasure and driving it will hopefully match up, one thing is for sure though is that this car can truly rival the Germans and about time too.