nfiniti has been undergoing somewhat of a revolution lately, following the departure of Johan de Nysschen. One of the big changes following the executive’s departure was the scrapping of the Q50 Eau Rouge project. Rumors and thinly veiled comments from the brass at Infiniti has led all of us to believe that a performance-oriented Q50 would eventually arrive, and with the release of the information surrounding the updated Q50 comes this confirmation.
The big news is, of course, the announcement that the Q50 will have a performance trim level known as the Red Sport 400. The number at the tail end of the name tells the majority of the tale, as this sedan comes with a twin-turbo V-6 engine that cranks out a mammoth 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. The Q50 Red Sport 400 also comes with 19-inch wheel wrapped up in sticky summer rubber and unique exhaust tips to set it apart from other Q50s.
Sure, the Red Sport 400 is no Eau Rouge, but it is a step in the right direction.
While the Red Sport 400 is the big announcement for the new model year, it is far from all the automaker rolled out today. It also announced another state of tune for this new 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine that lays down 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of twist, and the new base turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.
Infiniti will also continue to offer a hybrid version of the Q50, and this powertrain will continue on essentially unchanged from 2015. It will use a 3.5-liter V-6 gasoline engine and an electric motor to create 360 horsepower.
All six U.S.-spec versions of the 2016 Q50 – 2.0t, 2.0t Premium, 3.0t Premium, Hybrid Premium, Q50 Sport, and Q50 Red Sport 400 – will be available with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, and a seven-speed auto will handle shifting duties.
Like all Infinitis, the Q50 delivers impressive handling, and the 2016 model year improves upon this, thanks to careful revisions to Infiniti’s Direct Adaptive Steering. One change is the addition of more steering modes that are tied to the Drive Mode Selector, and these modes are: Personal, Standard, Snow, Eco, Sport, and Sport+ (new for 2016). Drivers can also fine-tune the Q50’s steering by selecting from three core steering modes (Standard, Sport, and Sport+) then choosing their preferred level of responsiveness from three options: Default, Dynamic, and Dynamic+.
According to Infiniti, the 2016 Q50 will hit showrooms in 2016. In most cases, a car manufactured in 2016 would actually be a 2017 model year here in the U.S., but Infiniti has informed me that this will be a 2016 model. Stay tuned for more details.