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The Infiniti Q50’s pricetag is a lot lower than the model it replaces, the G37. (Petrina Gentile for The Globe and Mail)
The Infiniti Q50’s pricetag is a lot lower than the model it replaces, the G37. (Petrina Gentile for The Globe and Mail)

2014 Infiniti Q50 3.7 and Hybrid

Infiniti looks to jump-start the Q Add to ...

Infiniti is shifting gears in an attempt to overtake its German rivals.

For 2014, the brand gets a major overhaul, starting with new names, all part of the game plan to synchronize the brand globally. A new set of alphanumeric nameplates will replace the old nomenclatures on all Infiniti vehicles. Infiniti cars will have a “Q” prefix with numbers while its crossovers and sport utes will carry a “QX” designation. The first Infiniti vehicle to wear the global Q-based label is the Q50, which replaces Infiniti’s top-selling G37 sports sedan.

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So, why not use the G label? After all, Infiniti has built a huge cult following for the G37. The answer is simple. Run through the alphabet and all the other letters were already trademarked by other manufacturers (Audi A-Class, Mercedes-Benz B-Class, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, etc.). Q was the remaining moniker. And the numbers that follow the Q, for example the 50 in Q50, don’t correspond to the engine like the G37 and its 3.7-litre V-6 engine. The 50 refers to the vehicle size and price in the model range. The mid-level Q50 leaves room for a smaller sedan to enter the lineup later to take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class. Above the Q50 will be the Q60 which replaces the G coupe and convertible; while the Q70 replaces the Infiniti M sedan. On the CUV/SUV front, the QX50 replaces the EX, the QX60 replaces the JX, the QX70 replaces the FX, and the QX80 replaces the QX. Confused yet? Give it time and it’ll all make sense.

One benefit of the Q50 is a big price drop. The 2014 Infiniti Q50 starts at $37,500 for the base Q50 3.7 RWD model – $6,450 less than the outgoing G37 sedan with its $43,950 price tag. Available in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive with a choice of a 3.7-litre V-6 engine or a gas-electric hybrid, the Q50 3.7 AWD trim starts at $43,400 and maxes out with the Q50S 3.7 AWD with a premium, navigation, and tech package for $51,750. The base Q50 Hybrid RWD costs $47,000 and tops out with the most expensive trim, a Q50S Hybrid AWD with all the bells and whistles, for $56,450.

The Q50 retains the G37’s dynamic ride and handling. It’s agile and nimble. And the Q50 hybrid is in a class by itself. The system is so impressive you’ll swear you were driving its gas-powered sibling. Off-the-line acceleration is quick and stable. Behind the wheel, it’s sporty and spirited – unlike many other hybrids on the road. Plus, you’re getting the added benefit of fuel savings.

Visually, the new Q50 is a looker with crisp, clean lines and an athletic stance. At the front end, distinctive LED headlights and fog lights surround Infiniti’s new double arch grille, which looks strikingly similar to the mesh pattern found on a Lexus. Seventeen-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with run-flat tires are standard, but you can add 19-inch aluminum-alloy sport wheels with run-flats for a more muscular look.

The Q50’s low, wide proportions translate into a roomy cabin that’s classy, upscale, and filled with innovative technology. Infiniti’s InTouch communications system takes centre stage with two large touch-screen displays. From the dual screens you can access almost anything. Other impressive technology includes electric Infiniti Adaptive Steering, which allows independent control of the Q50’s tire angle and steering inputs. It transmits the driver’s intentions to the wheels faster than a mechanical system, quickly communicating road surface feedback to the driver while filtering out irritating or dirty noise steering vibrations. Four combinations of steering settings are offered depending on your preference and the road conditions.

The 2014 Infiniti Q50 sedan marks a bold new direction for the Infiniti brand. It goes on sale this month.

Tech Specs

2014 Infiniti Q50 3.7

Type: four-door luxury sedan

Price: $37,500-$51,750

Engine: 3.7-litre DOHC V-6

Horsepower/torque: 328 hp/269 lb-ft

Transmission: seven-speed automatic

Drive: Front engine/rear-wheel drive or Intelligent All-Wheel Drive

Fuel economy (litres/100 km): RWD 10.6 city/6.7 highway; AWD 11.1 city/7.3 highway; premium gas

Alternatives: Audi A4, Lexus IS, Volvo S60, Cadillac ATS, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3-Series

*****

2014 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid

Type: four-door luxury hybrid sedan

Price: $47,000-$56,450

Engine: 3.5-litre DOHC V-6 and compact lithium-ion battery design with a one-motor/two-clutch motor control

Horsepower/torque: V-6 rated at 302 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, advanced 50 kW electric motor rated at 67 hp and 214 lb-ft of torque, Hybrid system net power: 360 hp

Transmission: seven-speed automatic

Drive: Front engine/rear-wheel drive or Intelligent All-Wheel Drive

Fuel economy (litres/100 km): RWD 7.0 city/5.6 highway; AWD 7.5 city/6.3 highway; premium gas

Send your automotive questions to globedrive@globeandmail.com

Follow on Twitter: @PetrinaGentile

Globe rating for the 2014 Infiniti Q50

Our ratings guide
9

Ride

Agile and nimble handling.

8

Looks

Attractive design with taut, muscular lines, but I’m not a big fan of the grille – it looks too much like a Lexus.

9

Interior

Spacious, upscale interior with comfortable and roomy front and rear seats. Filled with cool tech gadgets and all the comforts of home.

8

Safety

Well equipped with four-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution and Brake Assist.

7

Green

Fuel efficient hybrid reduces gas consumption and our dependency on oil.

8.5

Overall

(out of 10 / Not an average)

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