By IOL Motoring Staff
Detroit Motor Show - That big trapezoidal grille is distinctively Infiniti; the rest is all new - a low-slung, slightly slab-sided coupé with quirky styling that channels more than a hint of GT-R and 370Z.
But the Infiniti Q60 also comes with serious street cred, courtesy of a three-litre, biturbo petrol V6 that's good for a claimed 298kW at 6400 revs and 475Nm from 1600-5200rpm - although those putputs are likely to be detuned to around the 280kW/400Nm mark for the South African market.
It also boasts rear-biased all-wheel drive, drive mode selector, second-generation adaptive steering and dynamic digital suspension.
It has a seven-speed automatic transmission with adaptive shift control that uses a lateral acceleration sensor to detect hills and corners, and continually resets the shift pattern to suit.
The 'intelligent' all-wheel drive defaults to 50:50 torque distribution but, once you are out on the open road, it will revert to 100 percent rear-wheel drive.
There is also a base version with a two-litre turbo-petrol four rated for 155kW at 55-00 revs and 350Nm at 1500rpm driving the rear wheels only, conventional steering and suspension that does not think for itself.
Direct adaptive steering, says the maker, transmits driver input to the wheels faster than a mechanical system (1000 times a second) so it needs fewer steering corrections and enhances feel. It is also tuneable for weight, ratio and response via the drive mode selector.
Choose your mode (weight and ratio) from Standard, Sport and Sport+, then select your level of response (feel and feedback) from Default, Dynamic and Dynamic+. Choose Sport+ and Dynamic+, and theQ60 will steer like a kart, but it'll be hard work around town.
The dynamic digital suspension lets you choose between Standard (built for comfort, not for speed) Sport and Sport+, where the emphasis is on road-holding and a level ride. Whatever the setting, the dampers constantly re-adjust themselves for optimum performance.
The cabin is trimmed in upmarket materials with the obligatory contrast stitching throughout, and the standard-issue InTuition central control system allows you to set up the interior climate, seating position, audio-visual settings and navigation just the way you like it.
Gizmotronics include an around view monitor, adaptive cruise control, forward emergency braking (it brakes for pedestrians as well!) lane-keeping assistance, blind spot intervention and reversing collision intervention.
Infiniti SA is planning to release the Q60 in South Africa during the first quarter of 2017.