Preview: 2014 Infiniti Q50  car previews luxury cars infiniti auto shows 2013 toronto 2013 detroit 2013 autoshows
2014 Infiniti Q50 . Click image to enlarge

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Infiniti Officially Debuts Q50 Sedan

Manufacturer’s Website
Infiniti Canada

Preview by Paul Williams, photos by Paul Williams and courtesy Infiniti Canada

Photo Gallery:
2014 Infiniti Q50

Back in 2009 Infiniti presented its Essence concept car at the Geneva Auto Show, where it generated enthusiastic interest (although the custom-fitted Louis Vuitton luggage, while très chic, was a bit distracting). The Essence was then dispatched to car shows around the world, making it to Canada in 2010.

This was a car that hinted at a new design direction for Infiniti, a brand that has long coveted an identity to match its ambitions in the luxury sector. In the Essence, Infiniti appeared to find a very engaging new look, but the question remained, “Would anything from that car make it into production?”

Enter the Q50, Infiniti’s newest sedan, a replacement for the highly successful G37. It’s not quite as swoopy as the Essence, it’s got four doors rather than two (so far), and it doesn’t appear to include the fancy luggage. But it wears very appealing sheet metal that looks sportier, more luxurious and more youthful than past and current Infiniti sedans.

Making its Canadian debut at the 2013 Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, the Q50 features obvious “Essence” cues in its grille, aerodynamic body and coupe profile. According to Infiniti Canada, “The look sets the design, performance and technology direction for new generation Infiniti vehicles and [the Infiniti] brand.”

Preview: 2014 Infiniti Q50  car previews luxury cars infiniti auto shows 2013 toronto 2013 detroit 2013 autoshows
2014 Infiniti Q50 . Click image to enlarge

It got a lot of positive attention from journalists attending the Toronto show’s media preview, as did the diaphanous nymphs from Cirque du Soleil who floated around the car during its introduction. You can’t go wrong with cars and nymphs, I guess.

The Q50 comes at the right time. In my opinion, the best-looking vehicle that Infiniti now has to offer is its G37 Coupe, which is admittedly aging like a fine wine. The G and M sedans, however, now lack the athleticism expected of true sports sedans that the Q50′s styling direction should bring. They look heavier and more conservative in comparison.

“Strength and agility,” is what senior vice president and chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura was after, and the Q50 looks the part (although the grille – and it’s a fine grille, indeed – bears something of a resemblance to the new Lexus “spindle” grille, as does Q50′s front fascia).

Preview: 2014 Infiniti Q50  car previews luxury cars infiniti auto shows 2013 toronto 2013 detroit 2013 autoshows
2014 Infiniti Q50 . Click image to enlarge

The “Q” designation, by the way, will identify all new Infiniti sedans henceforth, while “QX” will identify the company’s future SUVs.

The North American Q50 will initially be V6-powered, offering a choice between a 3.7L DOHC making 328 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque, or a 3.5L Hybrid rated at 296 hp and 255 lb-ft with a 50-kW electric motor boosting net power to 354 hp. Other engines are planned for global markets, including a four-cylinder diesel. We, too, may see a small four-cylinder turbo in a couple of years.

Both V6 powertrains feature a seven-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with manual shift mode and available magnesium paddle shifters. Rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are likewise available with both powertrains. The V6, by the way, is an example of Infiniti’s ubiquitous and well-regarded VQ series.

The Q50 platform is an evolution of the current “G” platform; although the G37 and Q50 share the same wheelbase, the Q50 adds length and width, while reducing height. The slippery body generates a claimed 0.26 coefficient of drag, which should contribute to fuel economy and quietness on the highway.




About Paul Williams

Paul Williams is an Ottawa-based freelance automotive writer and senior writer for Autos. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).