Beyonce on wheels

Bewitching looks aside, the Q60 is unlikely to raise the pulse when attempting to break out of a leisurely gait.
Bewitching looks aside, the Q60 is unlikely to raise the pulse when attempting to break out of a leisurely gait.PHOTO: KONG YONGYAO
Most interior surfaces are lavishly wrapped in double-stitched leather, but the dual-touchscreen infotainment system is chaotic.
Most interior surfaces are lavishly wrapped in double-stitched leather, but the dual-touchscreen infotainment system is chaotic.PHOTO: KONG YONGYAO

Silken metal is pulled tight around a luscious waist to cascade back into muscular haunches in the Infiniti Q60

The brain of a petrolhead is wired to recognise a sports coupe's proportions. Within milliseconds, the sight of an Infiniti Q60 will light up all the right neurons in his head.

Make no mistake, the Q60 is a stunning piece of automotive sculpture, its thrusting face machined into being from a combination of geometric shapes to resonate power and grace.

Infiniti calls the design language "Powerful Elegance". I would call it "Beyonce". With silken metal pulled tight around a luscious waist cascading back into muscular haunches, the Q60 practically drips sex appeal.

Inside, there is less space than in a BMW 4-series. Its chaotic, laggy and inconsistently skinned dual- touchscreen infotainment system is the sort of thing that would deeply offend Steve Jobs.

However, most other surfaces are lavishly wrapped in double- stitched leather and solidly lined with sumptuous metal.

  • SPECS / INFINITI Q60 COUPE 2.0T

  • Price: $190,800 with COE

    Engine: 1,991cc 16-valve inline-4 turbocharged

    Transmission: Seven-speed automatic with paddle shift

    Power: 208bhp at 5,500rpm

    Torque: 350Nm at 1,250-3,500rpm

    0-100kmh: 7.4 seconds

    Top speed: 235kmh

    Fuel consumption: 7.5 litres/100km

    Agent: Wearnes Automotive

Acceleration is delivered with a suitably hirsute, deep-throated growl.

Hint of turbo-lag at low revs aside, the Q60's powertrain is certainly muscular enough to motivate the car with vigour without feeling particularly strained.

At approximately the price of a Mercedes-Benz C180 coupe, you will get - because of a technical partnership between Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz - literally the powertrain from a C250.

With 208bhp available, that is a lot of ponies for your pennies. You will feel the difference in thrust, yet the car is not as quick as its power output suggests. This may have something to do with its somewhat alarming kerb weight of 1,692kg.

Still, the engine entertains well enough on the kind of undemanding roads we have in Singapore. But if you to wish to dance, underneath the visual theatre is not a car that zips about with particular joy.

Certainly, the foundations are sound enough. The Infiniti pivots faithfully, while its passive dampers (adjustable suspension is available higher up the range), tuned stiffly for athletic duty, gather the car up rapidly after a bump or aggressive manoeuvre without losing its composure. There are also admirable levels of grip.

Hence it is regrettable that true engagement eludes the Q60. The steering is too numb and the car's centre of gravity too distant from your hip, denying you that special sensation of being one with the machine.

Combined with its heft, the Q60 possesses a remote, languid demeanour that means it is good to drive in the way a Lexus GS is. Which brings us to fitness for purpose and there are few segments where that purpose varies as greatly.

If you desire a sports car to raise the pulse, the Q60 offers less reward than its peers when attempting to break out of a leisurely gait.

Think of a luxury coupe as a comfortable vessel with some sporty overtures and the Q60 fares better, with many of its flaws arguably falling within the allowances we give those who bewitch us with their looks.

Consider it as a sculpture for your neighbours' envious eyes and the Infiniti becomes excellent. Singapore is, after all, a country with no mountains, no canyons and has only one Old Upper Thomson Road that leads absolutely nowhere.

On a little island with a 90kmh speed limit, feel absolutely free to judge this book by its cover.

•The writer contributes to Torque, a motoring monthly published by SPH Magazines.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2017, with the headline 'Beyonce on wheels'. Print Edition | Subscribe