NEW FOR 2015:

– Q50 Hybrid RWD discontinued
– Sport trim level becomes an option package – equipment carried over unchanged

Infiniti’s Q50 Hybrid is an interesting proposition in the world of entry-level luxury sedans. Where most players in this field emphasize their frugality and low cost of ownership, the Q50 Hybrid is pitched as the range-topping performance model that just so happens to consume the least amount of fuel.

For 2015, Infiniti has discontinued the rear-wheel-drive configuration, leaving the Q50 Hybrid AWD as the lone model. The Q50 Hybrid Sport AWD also vanishes from the ordering list, though the model lives on in the form of the Sport and Deluxe Technology Package.

Though the Hybrid is the priciest model in the Q50 range, it still offers excellent value for money. A comparably equipped mid-grade Lexus ES 300h costs roughly the same amount of money, despite lacking the Infiniti’s power or all-wheel drive.

Speaking of power, the Q50 Hybrid uses a 3.5-litre V6 (downsized from the standard Q50’s 3.7 litres), which is joined to a 67-hp, 214 lb-ft electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack by a pair of clutches. A smooth-shifting seven-speed automatic takes the place of most hybrids’ CVTs. Total output to all four wheels is 360 hp. All that power makes the Q50 Hybrid a very rapid machine, and a swift and silent companion in town and on highways.

Standard equipment for the Q50 Hybrid AWD includes 17-inch alloy wheels, drive-mode selector with five modes, hill-start assist, Direct Adaptive Steering (steer by wire), sport-tuned suspension, full LED headlamps, fog lights, solar glass, power moonroof, proximity key with push-button start, power heated exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals, speed-sensitive wipers, chrome exhaust, Scratch Shield paint, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air vents, illuminated vanity mirrors, overhead sunglass storage, aluminum interior trim, leather upholstery, eight-way power adjustable front seats with power lumbar support, heated front seats, leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, aluminum scuff plate, 14-speaker Bose sound system, AM/FM/CD/satellite radio, MP3 player, Infiniti InTouch display audio system 8.0-inch upper and 7.0-inch lower displays, dual USB ports, navigation, hybrid display, Bluetooth, active noise cancellation, reverse camera, trip computer, electroluminescent instruments, auto-dimming rear-view mirror with garage door opener, power tilt and telescoping steering column, cruise control, and pedestrian audible warning noise.

The Sport and Deluxe Technology Package adds 19-inch alloy wheels, larger brakes, Sport front fascia, automatic high beams, auto-dimming exterior mirrors with reverse tilt-down, rain-sensing wipers, advanced climate control with Plasmacluster ion filter, Maple wood trim, sport seats with adjustable bolsters, memory function, aluminum pedals and foot rest, Around View parking camera with front and rear parking sensors, magnesium paddles for manual-mode shifting, adaptive headlights, radar-based distance control alert, blind-spot monitoring system and blind-spot intervention, backup collision intervention, pre-crash seat-belt, full-speed radar cruise control, predictive forward collision warning, forward emergency braking, lane departure warning and prevention systems, and Eco Pedal.

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