New for 2014, the Infiniti Q50S 3.7 features a bold new design and innovative technology, including new safety features like emergency braking assist. Its V6 engine, however, carries over from the earlier model with few changes. Loaded with distance control assist, a blind-spot warning system, back-up collision intervention, predictive forward collision warning, and intelligent cruise control, the 2014 Infiniti Q50S is designed to appeal to sports sedan buyers hungry for the newest and most advanced features.
As on most luxury cars these days, driving the Q50S begins with the press of a button. The V6 engine starts and enough screens light up to make you think you’re in Minority Report. Our tech package- equipped hagane blue test car featured not only a back-up camera but also Infiniti’s AroundView, a monitor that fuses images from all around the car to give you a kind of omniscient 3rd person point of view display of your surroundings. Both useful and disconcerting, AroundView does make it easier to parallel park, but it can also make you feel like you’re driving a video-game. Now, if they would just offer it on a car small enough to actually fit the parking spots in my neighborhood. Luckily for those of us still interested in that quaint and old-fashioned activity known as driving, however, the Q50S is more than a rolling gadget showroom. Developed with input from Infiniti’s new “Director of Performance,” F1 champion Sebastian Vittel, the Q50S clings to the road with a sure-footed and precise feel.
Once underway, the Q50S is reassuringly solid and composed, with a more refined ride comfort/ handling balance than previous FM-Platform cars. Large, polished magnesium shift paddles feel high-quality, and the transmission shifts reasonably quickly, matching revs on downshifts. Though no more powerful than last year’s G37, the Q50S feels fast enough, a sensation its 5.2 second 0-60 run confirms. Find a suitable road and the Q50s corners with little body-roll. With the drive mode selector set to “sport,” the steering is firm without being overly heavy. The Q50S uses Infiniti’s direct adaptive steering– a steer-by-wire system capable of varying both the level of assist and the steering ratio itself. It seems like a spooky idea but works well. Thankfully, there’s a failsafe that turns the system into a normal, solid steering rack should it detect a glitch or if the engine is off. Drivers of previous Infiniti G-series models or the Nissan 370z will be pleased to learn that in the new Q50s 3.7, Nissan’s engineers have finally managed to tame the VQ37 V6’s buzzy engine note. The Q50S is rated at 20 MPG city/ 29 MPG highway. We averaged 18.3 in mostly urban driving with a fair amount of traffic. Most daily commuters probably will do better, and while this result isn’t near the top of the class, the Q50 has improved its gas mileage over that of the G37. It’s worth noting that a 360 horsepower hybrid version is also available, which promises to be more fuel efficient and slightly faster.