Nissan takes aim at the BMW 3 Series and Cadillac ATS with its new sports sedan to replace the G37.
The entry-level luxury segment is a highly-competitive one, but Infiniti's G series has been on the market in its current form since 2006. That makes it seriously long in the tooth at this point, but Nissan's luxury division is aiming to rectify that with the all-new model seen here. The first to bear the brand's new nomenclature, the 2014 Infiniti Q50 is making its debut today at the Detroit Auto Show. We brought you initial images yesterday as they leaked out ahead of the car's debut, but now we've got better images, and details to go with them.
If the Q50's design looks familiar, that's probably because it was hewn from the past three Infiniti concepts, most notably the Essence show car. The styling is punctuated by Infiniti's "double-arch" grille, flanked by LED headlights, from which a dynamic character line runs down the flanks and to the tail. The shape also incorporates an arched roofline and crescent-shaped C-pillar, with an optional glass sunroof. The result is a rather slippery drag coefficient of just 0.26, making it as aerodynamically efficient as a Mercedes S-Class and just one tick rougher than a Toyota Prius.
Underneath the sheetmetal you'll find two versions of Nissan's acclaimed VQ engine. The conventional model is powered by the same 3.7-liter V6 as the outgoing G37 with 328 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque, while the new hybrid version adopts the the gasoline-electric powertrain setup from the larger M Hybrid that combines a 3.5-liter V6 with an electric assist for 354 horsepower. Both are mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and can be had in either rear- or all-wheel drive. Further engine options will be introduced in other markets as well later in the year. The mechanical setup is assisted by all manner of electronics to help the driver.
Direct Adaptive Steering electronically adjusts the angle of each wheel and Active Lane Control that uses a camera to ensure that the car stays on the straight and narrow. Electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist are also part of the package. Don't think that Infiniti has left the car's handling up to the electronic nannies, though. Through its partnership with Red Bull Racing, it had Sebastian Vettel lend a hand in tuning the chassis. With Lexus also unveiling a new IS, Cadillac surprising everyone with the ATS and the Germans still holding the lion's share of the market, Infiniti is going to need all the help it can get.