By: IOL Motoring Staff
Detroit, Motor Show - This, says Infiniti's vice-president for product strategy Francois Bancon, is more than a sexy show car.
“The Q60 Concept,” he said during the car's presentation at the North American International Auto Show, “goes beyond a flight-of-fancy design exercise.
“Come next year, there will be an Infiniti sports coupé with influences from the Q60.” If it looks anything like this then perhaps the Audi A5 and BMW 4 Series have reason to worry.
Long (at 4690mm overall), wide (at 1865mm) and low at only 1370mm high, the Q60 is crisp and sharp-edged in the European “piega” tradition, with dramatic horizontals and big 21” rims filling the wheel-arches to accentuate its road-hugging stance.
But, as with all 'performance' concepts, the important stuff is under the long, swoopy bonnet, starting with a next-generation, direct-injection biturbo three-litre V6 - first seen in the Q80 Inspiration concept at last year's Paris motor show - which Infiniti says is the first of a new family of smaller, more efficient prime movers, due to begin reaching showrooms in the next two years.
It also has what an enhanced form of what Infiniti calls direct adaptive steering, first seen on the Q50. More than just 'steer-by-wire', it controls the movement of the front wheels independently, adjusting their toe-in, steering angle and speed of movement individually hundreds of times a second to help the car go where the steering wheel is pointing it.
Far from making the steering feel remote, Bancon insists the system actually sharpens feedback to the driver.
Then there's the car's Intuition key system, with up to four keys, each of which identifies a particular driver and adjusts the driving position, climate control, audio, navigation and telematics as it unlocks the car.
The cabin is finished in hand-stitched leather with carbon-fibre trim elements, with a two-tone black and white instrument panel. The seats are trimmed in a range of assorted leathers, from saddle leather to thick cushion quilting, deep supportive side bolsters.
And, in a market segment that usually regards the rear seats as little more than a parcel shelf , the Q60 has individual bucket seats for the rear passengers.