Finally one of Japan’s luxury automakers dares to compete directly with Germany’s sports coupes.
Somewhere during our week with the Infiniti Q60 Redsport 400, in between freeway pulls and corners that coax a flashing traction control light, we realized that the immense 400 horsepower wall of grunt the twin-turbo V6 engine made was just a few ponies shy of the BMW M4’s 425 horsepower. With a bit of suspension tuning, weight reduction, and tires that stick like they give a damn, the Q60 could become a track monster on par with the Bimmer. Infiniti apparently agrees, according to what Drive has found out.
Speaking with Infiniti Australia product planning manager Bernard Michel, Drive learned that Nissan’s luxury automaker is in the final stages of preparing a track-ready Q60. Such a vehicle was already shown off to us at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show under the Project Black S concept moniker and carried a 100 horsepower premium over the Q60 Redsport 400. That model is apparently now slated for production thanks to Roland Krueger, CEO of Infiniti who used to work at BMW and therefore has sporting aspirations in his blood. "Roland Krueger who is the Infiniti CEO, he comes from BMW, so performance-based cars, and he has an objective, he wants to see these sorts of projects come to life," said Michel.
A production version of the Project Black S would do more than leapfrog past the electrification that the M Division and AMG have in mind by offering a hybrid sports car to rival the C63 and M4, it would place Infiniti on the map as a luxury brand that cares about the driver. "He's pushing this agenda and he wants to have a fast flagship for the company. His endeavor is to continue to build this brand. Things like the Project Black S ... that builds another whole new element to the brand in terms of performance credentials.” This is a plan anyone could get behind because when was the last time more horsepower was a bad thing?
With the F1-derived powertrain sipping fuel slowly in the city and becoming a monster with a large rear wing at the track, this specialized Q60 could have what it takes to pummel the competition into submission. The main issue? It may cost upwards of $150,000, putting it into the same territory as the M4 GTS. Michel claims the green light has already been shown, so it’s only a matter of time before we see it on the road.