This large, V8-powered luxury sedan comes packed with gadgets but still provides a glimmer of driving involvement thanks to its sport-tuned suspension and tight steering. The Infiniti Q70, though its design is a few years old now, continues to look fresh and at-least-different. Love or hate the Infiniti’s swooping overhangs and bulging wheel arches, they are unlike anything to be found on an Audi or BMW lot. The Q70s shape is maybe the polar opposite of Cadillac’s angular forms.
The arched theme continues in the interior, where the driver is greeted with an instrument binnacle that looks like a pair of thoughtful eyebrows.
Our platinum graphite test car came with the $5,060 sport package, which included comfortable and supportive “sport” seats, 20-inch wheels, 4-piston front and 2-piston rear brakes and magnesium shift paddles, along with a firmer suspension. The $3,050 technology package added blind spot and lane departure warning with lane departure prevention, distance control assist and forward collision warning. It also added a feature called the “eco-pedal,” something we’ve noted on recent Infiniti models. In order to save fuel, it artificially increases the resistance of the gas pedal. This seems like one of the laziest things a car-maker could possibly do to boost fuel economy. In practice, it’s frustrating, and we can’t see many owners leaving the “eco pedal” engaged for long drives.
The Q70′s 420-horsepower V8 is as strong as the spec-sheet would suggest, delivering 417 lb-ft of torque through the 7-speed automatic transmission. Manual gear-selection is available through the stick or through the magnesium paddle shifters. The same pieces featured on the new Q50, they have a high-quality, reassuringly mechanical feel.
Though the sport suspension is plenty stiff and the meaty 20-inch summer tires grip the road well, there’s no hiding the size of the Q70. This is a large sedan. A fast large sedan, but still a large sedan. The way its weight shifts in transitional maneuvers makes the Infiniti feel tenacious if not light on its feet. That, coupled with the slightly artificial steering, and the experience of hustling the Q70 through a hairpinning road comes becomes that of piloting a massive, far-away robot.