Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400: Practical sizzler

The Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 is fitted with a 3-litre biturbo V6 packing 400hp.
The Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 is fitted with a 3-litre biturbo V6 packing 400hp.ST PHOTOS: KUA CHEE SIONG
The Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 is fitted with a 3-litre biturbo V6 packing 400hp.
The Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 is fitted with a 3-litre biturbo V6 packing 400hp.ST PHOTOS: KUA CHEE SIONG

Infiniti's Q60 Red Sport 400 is a hot-looking coupe with the space and user-friendliness of a sedan

Exactly a year ago, we ran a review of the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 here. This here is the Q60 Red Sport 400 - the coupe version.

But before we go into the specifics, let's start with a short re-introduction of what a Red Sport 400 is. It is essentially a performance variant of the Q model.

Instead of a 2-litre 208hp engine in the Q60, the Red Sport it is fitted with a 3-litre biturbo V6 packing 400hp (hence the name).

Against its four-door sibling, the coupe's output remains unchanged at 400hp and 475Nm. However, torque arrives a pinch earlier - 1,600rpm instead of 1,750rpm.

And maximum power arrives later at 6,400pm instead of 4,000rpm, to give the two-door car a sportier feel with a wider rev band.

Whether this makes any material difference to driveability or not is debatable. But the test car does seem to elicit wheelspin rather eagerly - something the sedan variant would oblige only in Sport+ mode and with a heavy right foot.

On-road progress is a little livelier, especially in city traffic. But pedal-to-metal acceleration has been pared down, with the coupe hitting the century mark in 5.4 seconds instead of 5.1 previously.

  • SPECS / INFINITI Q60 RED SPORT400

  • Price: $260,800 with COE

    Engine: 2,997cc 24-valve twin-turbo V6

    Transmission: Seven-speed automatic with paddle shift

    Power: 400hp at 6,400rpm

    Torque: 475Nm at 1,600-5,200rpm

    0-100kmh: 5.4 seconds

    Top speed: 250kmh (electronically limited)

    Fuel consumption: 9.2 litres/100km

    Agent: Wearnes Automotive

Infiniti says this is because the coupe is 8kg heavier, as a result of reinforcement in the large frameless doors. Peak power arriving later, as well as wider gear ratios, contribute to the longer sprint timing.

Hence on the wider gear ratios, the coupe consumes 9.2 litres of fuel for every 100km, compared with 9.6 for the sedan.

That won't make any difference here, though. Under Singapore's newly introduced Vehicular Emissions Scheme, the steroidal Q60 falls under C2 banding. That is, it is liable for a $20,000 tax surcharge.

There is one pertinent change which is worth highlighting, though. Infiniti says the car's drive-by-wire steering has been tweaked to give it a more natural feel.

At the helm, the Q60 certainly feels different. There is no more lag between steering input and steering response. In fact, Infiniti might have dialled it a bit too tightly. The car might even qualify as being a tad twitchy now. But twitchy is preferable to laggy.

The best part of the car is the amount of space it offers. Its rear row is roomy, and ingress and egress are easier than in most two-door cars. The boot is also cavernous (for a two-door car) - great news for golfers.

The car's wheelbase is longer than a Toyota Camry's (2,850mm vs 2,775mm).

So, if you want a hot-looking coupe which is also practical, look no further. But driving enthusiasts will still find the car somewhat lacking in fun quotient, despite having all the ingredients of a fun car.

Infiniti ought to be mindful of its naming convention too. The Q nomenclature is still fairly new, having replaced the G prefix not too long ago.

So, having a Q60 introduced so quickly after the Q50 can be confusing. It might have been better to call the two-door Q50 Coupe. Then again, that would add to what is already a mouthful of a name.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 20, 2018, with the headline 'Practical sizzler'. Print Edition | Subscribe