We’ve been waiting more than a year since the Infiniti Q50 bowed for its two-door platform-mate to show its face. The all-new Q60 Concept, the successor to the sporty G37 Coupe, arrives in Detroit with an aggressive exterior and a welcome surprise under its curvaceous hood. Will the Q60 give Infiniti fans the potent road weapon that can hang with the best from Germany, Japan, and the U.S. that they’ve been waiting for? Most signs point to yes.
Starting with the outer shell, the big news is the Q60 — in concept form, at least — is composed mostly of aluminum with a smattering of carbon fiber and chrome. Switching from steel to a mix of aluminum and carbon fiber is an obvious weight-saving ploy that should result in better straight-line performance, handling, and fuel economy. The Q60’s nose is a blunt, you-looking-at-me? take on the Infiniti design language we’ve seen previewed on previous concepts such as the Emerg Concept and the Q80 Inspiration Concept. The massive grille sits atop two sleek vents that look to house both cold-air intakes and LED foglights. All of the exterior lighting on the Q60 is LED.
The most controversial aspect of the design is the kicked-up C-pillars. They’re unique for sure, as well as an homage to recent Nissan designs. Not bad per se, though they do border on design for design’s sake. The rear end looks to be the Q60’s most pleasing angle. It’s tight, trim, and mean. Detractors will be quick to point out that the wide hips and squashed taillights are similar to recent German offerings, specifically the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe. Still, the integrated duckbill spoiler and the tidy, indented tailpipes are well-wrought. The entire package is a smaller production-intent take on the Q80.
The Q60 Concept is powered by an all-new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6. We first heard about this engine at the Paris show when the sheets were pulled off the Q80 Inspiration Concept. However, when talking with Infiniti they hinted that the 3.0-liter twin-turbo will offer “at least 350 horsepower,” which we’re interpreting to mean somewhere in the 375-hp ballpark, a very competitive power output that would leapfrog the Infiniti coupe to the top of the sporty, luxury coupe pile. No word on torque. No word on an Eau Rouge version, either.
The single aspect of the Q60 Concept that gives us pause is the inclusion of Infiniti’s poorly received steer-by-wire system. We’ve sampled several Q50s outfitted with this technology and have yet to find a single car we’ve preferred to one with conventional mechanical steering. The upside of the technology is unknown but (according to Infiniti) high. Perhaps the Q60 will finally get it right?
Taken as a whole, a lighter and more powerful coupe is exactly what the brand needs. The 3,700-pound, 330-hp G37 Coupe was no slouch in the performance department, so a trimmer, more potent version will be welcomed by fans of the brand and could win over some new converts. Watch this space. And those funky C-pillars.