Super-powered coupe for those who stand out from the crowd
Super-powered coupe for those who stand out from the crowd
First impressions after driving the Q60 Sport Coupe in the UK strongly support that view, judging by the number of admiring looks this coupe has received compared with any of its main rivals.
The impression is further enhanced by the 400bhp generated by the twin-turbo six-cylinder 3.0-liter engine. The Q60 is Infiniti’s best ever looking and most powerful car.
There is a hint of prejudice against Infiniti in the European press, and that applies to all Japanese premium cars trying to break the European monopoly in that segment.
The suggestion that European cars are born superior to Japanese or American cars is baseless. Yet unfortunately it is embedded in most European motoring reporting.
The admiring looks at the excellent exterior design of the Q60 S Coupe by other drivers on British roads exceed what any German coupe in the same class would get. European exterior design of rivals in that segment has not changed much in the past few years and this year’s models pretty much resemble last year’s and the year before’s.
Infiniti cars are also scarce on UK roads and many drivers have not seen an Infiniti car before. But the Q60 S Coupe is not about good looks alone. The V6 engine and 7-speed automatic gearbox present a new formula in that class and should be tested before being judged.
German brands should feel a little uncomfortable with the Q60 package, with the exception, perhaps, of the BMW 4 Series. The Q60 is a coupe for those who want to stand out from the crowd.
The Q60 S Coupe sprints to 100km/h in five seconds and to a maximum speed of 155mph. The driver can select one of six driving modes including snow; eco (weak on acceleration); standard (sufficient for normal driving); sport (good on fast roads) and sport + (for the track). From standard to sport + there is no noticeable turbo-lag.
There is also a personal mode in which the driver sets his own parameters. In fact, Infiniti proudly proclaims that there are 336 distinct possibilities for the tuning of the Q60. And that, to a normal person, could be a problem. For a spirited drive, sport mode is enough for most needs.
The V6 Q60 Coupe offers all-wheel drive and adaptive digital suspension — both come as standard with the V6 cars. The exterior design is muscular and imposing with sculpted lines along the profile of the car. All exterior lights are of the LED type with auto-leveling front headlights and daytime running lights.
The Q60 S Coupe has stiffer suspension than the sedan but it delivers a compliant and comfortable ride that stands out in this class. The suspension setting changes with selection of the drive mode and for long journeys the best setting is sport mode.
Future generations of Q60 are likely to get a fresher treatment from the newly appointed chief designer Karim Habib, who moved over from BMW. He would certainly have a great impact on the brand in the future. He may also steer Infiniti toward the right branding for its products, especially for this niche coupe.
Roland Krueger took over as president of Infiniti in 2015 after previous boss Johan de Nysschen left the company the year before to lead Cadillac from New York. One of Infiniti’s strong assets is its design team and that shows in the current Q60 model.
There are many competitors in this segment but no dominant model. BMW 3 Series Coupe used to be the best model other coupes aspire to be but the 4 Series replacement does not have the same hold on the segment. Cadillac ATS coupe and Lexus RC are emerging as strong competitors in the segment, along with Mercedes-Benz’s new C Class coupe which poses the strongest challenge.
The Q60’s greatest feature is its Dynamic Digital Suspension, an adaptive system digitally controlled to deliver a compliant ride that stands out in this segment and puts luxury before sport.
Infiniti has succeeded in making a statement with this coupe. The Q60 is strong on style. It would appeal strongly to a segment of young Arab drivers in the GCC region who put a great value on its sports character and 400bhp power.
Chevrolet goes after Jeep Grand Cherokee with new Blazer
- GM on Thursday unveiled the sculpted Blazer in Atlanta
- At its peak in 1996, Chevrolet sold just over 246,000 Blazers
DETROIT: Because these days you can’t have too many SUVs, General Motors is bringing back the Chevrolet Blazer.
Only this time it’s not a thirsty and boxy truck like its predecessor, one of the original SUVs that was sold from the 1982 through 2005 model years.
SUVs based on car underpinnings, sometimes called crossover vehicles, are what buyers want these days, and the Chevy brand didn’t have a midsize one with two rows of seats to compete with the popular Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano.
So GM on Thursday unveiled the sculpted Blazer in Atlanta, trying to capitalize on a well-known name that has a lot of equity, said Steve Majoros, Chevy’s director of car and crossover marketing. “There’s still a number of people that either have good positive feelings about that product or still have them in their driveways,” he said.
At its peak in 1996, Chevrolet sold just over 246,000 Blazers.
The new Blazer is far from a box. It sits relatively low to the ground and has futuristic creases on the sides and a low-angle windshield to give it a sporty look. Chevy says it will come standard with a 193-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, with an optional 305 horsepower 3.6-liter V6. All models will have stop-start technology that shuts off the engine at red traffic lights, plus nine-speed automatic transmissions that will help gas mileage.
Gas mileage and price weren’t released by GM. Chevy hopes to take a chunk out of Grand Cherokee sales, one of the more popular and profitable vehicles in the Jeep lineup, in the growing midsize SUV segment. Last year Fiat Chrysler sold nearly 159,000 Grand Cherokees.
The Blazer, due in showrooms early next year, comes as American buyers continue their shift from cars to trucks and SUVs. This year trucks and SUVs accounted for about two-thirds US new-vehicle sales, with cars making up the rest.