Detroit Motor Show - Infiniti boldly proclaims that its new Q50 sedan "stretches the boundaries of what a sports saloon can be."
Replacing the G37 (which is also available as a sedan overseas) and with formidable competition out there from the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, the new Japanese sedan is really going to have to shift those boundaries.
Measuring 4782mm in length and 1824mm in width, the Q50 fits between the BMW 3 Series and 5 Series in terms of size.
Its design is interesting to say the least, particularly with that large 'double arch' grille, but overall it's likely to prove a little less controversial than those complicated curves on the new Lexus IS.
The US-market Q50 will give customers the choice between a powerful petrol engine and a more frugal petrol-electric hybrid.
The former option is a 3.7-litre V6, credited with 245kW and 364Nm. The hybrid model mates a 3.5 V6 petrol motor to a small lithium-ion battery for a total system output of 268kW.
The European market (and presumably SA too) will have additional engine options, with Infiniti's 175kW/550Nm 3-litre turbodiesel springing to mind a no-brainer in this regard. Full details will be announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
Both engines are mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox, and though standard models will be rear-wheel driven, there will be an all-wheel drive option.
A revised fully-independent suspension set-up underpins the driver enjoyment factor, as does a world-first Direct Adaptive Steering system, which allows for independent control of the vehicle's tyre angle and steering inputs. This is said to make the steering more responsive. The system has four settings, allowing the driver to change both the steering effort and the steering gear ratio.
Other innovations include a more advanced Active Lane Control system and what Infiniti calls a fully-customisable digital environment. The system works with the vehicle's advanced i-Keys to recognise the vehicle settings (driving position, heating and cooling, audio, navigation and telematics) for up to four different drivers.
Another nifty system is the Infiniti InTouch system, designed to effortlessly synchronise car and driver. Here the most frequently used applications (such as navigation) are directed to the upper screen while other content will be seen on the lower display screen.
The new Q50 goes on sale in the US around midyear and while it has been confirmed for South African introduction, no timeline has been given as yet. -IOL Motoring Staff