What is it?
Put simply, this is the entry point for the Infiniti Q60 range – the two-door coupé version of the Q50 saloon. Instead of a 400bhp twin-turbo V6 under the bonnet, you get a more modest 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that also benefits from a bit of forced induction.
‘A bit’ is the right turn of phrase here; air isn’t so much forced into the cylinders as lightly persuaded. The result is a modest 208bhp, enough to propel nearly 1800kg of Infiniti to 62mph in a reasonable 7.3sec.
The pricier V6 may get four-wheel drive as standard, but you have to be content with rear-wheel drive in the 2.0T. What you can have is Infiniti’s drive-by-wire Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS) system. This is standard on Sport models and an £800 option on other variants. This has had its software tweaked in an attempt to improve feel and feedback over the same system in the Q50.
What’s it like?
Although there are no doubt a few of you wondering why there’s no fleet-friendly diesel option, there are a number of advantages to having a petrol powerplant. The first is refinement; the Q60 may sound pleasingly rorty when worked hard, but it fires up and cruises with virtually no vibration and a subdued noise.
For general schlepping, you don’t need to push the engine too hard to get the required level of thrust. If you want to go faster, then you need to explore the upper reaches of the rev range, something that brings us to our first problem: the gearbox.
The seven-speed torque converter automatic is smooth in normal use but can be slow and clumsy when you flatten the throttle, pausing before it shuffles down a couple of ratios to get the engine spinning into the powerband. If you’re looking to pull off a finely timed overtaking manoeuvre, we’d advise manually selecting the cog you want.
Given the unspectacular power-to-weight ratio, it’s a surprise to feel the traction control stepping in regularly. Switch it off (or as off as you can) and you’ll soon find that the rear of the Q60 can be persuaded to follow a very different line from the front, especially on winter tyres and in damp conditions.
Still, gathering the rear of the car up is easy enough and if the angle gets too wild, the stability control steps in to tidy things up. The electronic steering’s quick action even in Comfort mode certainly helps.
That doesn’t mean there’s now feedback; the steering still feels numb, with very little difference between the seven modes, just a little more gloopy in weight as you move up the sporting scale. On our test car, there was also a disconcerting clonk when the steering was pushed up against the lock stops.
Even in Premium Tech trim (as opposed to Sport), the ride is surprisingly fidgety over what looks like smooth roads. Adaptive suspension is available but doesn’t seem to make a great deal of difference.
Inside, there’s no doubting the richness of the materials used. Everything feels pleasingly soft and of high quality until you get to the lowest reaches of the cabin. Spoiling things slightly are some of the Nissan parts-bin switches and readouts.
The infotainment system features two touchscreens, mounted one on top of the other. While it has plenty of app-based connectivity options, it’s often sluggish to respond to commands and looks rather old-school. At least you get good old-fashioned buttons for the heater controls. As for the rear, leg room is good, but head room is tight even for shorter individuals.
Should I buy one?If you’re smitten with the looks, the Q60 is certainly worth considering. Apart from the somewhat jittery ride and numb steering, it’s a decent enough steer that’s quick and refined enough for the majority of situations.
The trouble is that the BMW 4 Series is a more engaging driver’s car, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is a better cruiser when fitted with air suspension and both have more appealing interiors. Factor in the lack of a low-emissions version and we fear the Q60 might be a rare sight on British roads.
2016 Infiniti Q60 2.0T Premium Tech
Location Switzerland; On sale Now; Price £37,690 Engine 4 cyls, 1991cc, turbo, petrol; Power 208bhp at 5500rpm Torque 258Ib ft at 1250-3500rpm; Gearbox 7-spd automatic; Kerb weight 1761kg; Top speed 146mph; 0-62mph 7.3sec; Economy 41.5mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 156g/km, 28%; Rivals Mercedes-Benz C 200 Coupé, BMW 420i.
What is it?