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2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Quick Spin Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, Infiniti, Test Drives

In a challenge to take on the competition, Infiniti gets into the fray head-on with the latest Q50 luxury sports sedan in its top-level Red Sport 400 trim featuring a few subtle changes to demand more respect.

>> Get the best price on the Infiniti Q50 from a network of local dealers now. <<

I have always admired the Infiniti G35 and G37, which transitioned into the Q50 sedan and Q60 coupe. Welcoming a redesigned platform from its 2015 model year, the Q50 has methodically evolved over the past few years borrowing some of the performance-inspiration found in vehicles like the Nissan GT-R – a not-so-distant cousin of the Q50. Embarking on what the newest 2018 Q50 Red Sport 400 offers in its 400-horsepower 350 lb-ft of torque glory, Infiniti has inspired a vehicle that legitimately is on the verge of being their performance halo.

See Also: 2016 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Review & Test Drive

With my first encounter of the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 as a 2016 model year I was already taken by its smooth and robust power delivery gushing what feels like just over 400 horsepower to the rear wheels. A couple of years ago, during my time with the Q50 Red Sport 400, I found myself in awe of how well-mannered the vehicle was and how easy it’s VR-series V6 twin-turbo engine was to wind up. It was almost as if the chassis of the Q50 wasn’t enough to handle all that the Red Sport 400’s twin-turbo V6 had to offer. With its roots deeply embedded in the Nissan GT-R supercar, the Q50 Red Sport 400 is undoubtedly a mild-mannered thrill machine wrapped in the best of Infiniti’s brand significant styling and luxury.

For the 2018 model year, Infiniti freshened up a few bits of its top-trimmed Q50 with some inspiration that looks to come from a vehicle that never made it to the production line, the Q50 Eau Rouge. With the new carbon fiber trim pieces up front, a carbon fiber spoiler, and a new contrasting lower rear diffuser, the latest Q50 looks more of the part of a 400-horsepower luxury sports sedan. Moreover, the appeal of the added exterior bits helps to separate the Q50 Red Sport 400 from the other trim levels, which don’t get near the respect deserving of what I feel is an enthusiast-derived vehicle to run against the likings of BMW’s 340i with the M Sport package and the Mercedes-AMG’s C43 Sedan. Even in such a class, the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 has a slight upper hand, which mostly lies within its powertrain that pumps out 400 horsepower to get the 3,870 pounder up to 60 in just 4.5 seconds.

The Infiniti Q50 is ultimately a well-rounded vehicle in the luxury landscape and backs up its credentials with decent sales numbers in a world where SUVs and crossovers are dominating the garages of suburbia. Without leaving much to be desired with a decently-appointed interior and a plethora of active and passive safety features, the Infiniti Q50 attempts to give mainstream luxury seekers some real substance in usable performance on American roads. If there is anything that Infiniti is missing in the Q50 formula is the availability of ventilated seats. Such a feature is something that appears to be an oversight on the part of Infiniti – something that I look for in such a luxury segment.

Apart from the lack of a ventilated seat option, the drive-by-wire steering system in the Q50, dubbed the Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS) system, continues to be a love or hate item in the hands of enthusiasts. While the system nearly mimics the best of force-feedback steering setups for your most advanced gaming system, I still find it to be somewhat counterintuitive for those who want ‘some’ feedback from the road to tell the driver what the front wheels are doing. Fundamentally, the DAS system is work-in-progress and could one day be a welcomed part of the what is a decently balanced chassis of the Q50 with robust power from its twin turbo V6 and stopping power from its red-painted brake calipers.

There isn’t much hate in the Q50, so I say, sign me up for the new Q50 Red Sport 400 and its smoothly-delivered 400 horses. At an as-tested and a nearly loaded price tag of $$60,720, it’s an attractive buy worth the price of admission.

The new 2018 Infiniti Q50 at its base trim level with a 208-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine starts at a price of $34,200.

>> Get the best price on the Infiniti Q50 from a network of local dealers now. <<

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base Q50 Red Sport 400 RWD $51,000 / As-Tested Q50 Red Sport 400 $60,720
  • >> Get the best price on the Infiniti Q50 from a network of local dealers now. <<
  • Engine: 3.0-liter DOHC Twin-Turbo Direct-Injected V6 400 horsepower @6,400 rpm / 350 ft-lbs. torque @ 1,600 rpm
  • Transmission: 7-speed automatic w/steering wheel shift paddles
  • Wheelbase: 112.2 in.
  • Total length: 189.1 in.
  • Total width: 71.8 in.
  • Total height: 56.8 in.
  • Turning circle: 36.7 ft.
  • Fuel tank: 20.0 gallons
  • Headroom: front/rear-39.5/36.8 in.
  • Legroom: front/rear-44.5/35.1 in.
  • Cargo volume: 13.2 cu.ft.
  • Curb weight: 3,853 lbs.
  • 0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 20 mpg city / 26 mpg highway

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