|2014 Infiniti Q50. Click to enlarge.|
Infiniti unveiled the all-new 2014 Infiniti Q50 luxury sports sedan at the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The Q50 will be available at US launch with a choice of a 3.7-liter V6 or new Q50 Hybrid featuring Infiniti’s Direct Response Hybrid System with Intelligent Dual Clutch Control. Other powertrains will be added as part of global market launch rollout.
Two new performance technologies make their debuts in the Q50: Infiniti Direct Adaptive Steering technology and Active Lane Control.
The new steering system allows advanced control of the Q50’s tire angle and steering inputs, transmitting the driver’s intentions to the wheels faster than a mechanical system. Four different steering settings are offered, allowing customization by driver preference or road conditions. The Active Lane Control uses a camera-based lane marker detection system to further enhance on-center driving capability.
The new body design also offers enhanced airflow over both the upper and lower body portions, resulting in a coefficient of drag of just 0.26. The Q50 also features zero front and rear lift.
Powertrains. The Q50’s 3.7-liter aluminum-alloy DOHC 24-valve V6 is rated at 328 hp (245 kW) (est.) and 269 lb-ft of torque (365 N·m ) (est.) and features Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) and Variable Valve Event & Lift (VVEL).
The available hybrid powertrain features the Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid system with Intelligent Dual Clutch Control. It combines a 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy V6 and compact laminated lithium-ion battery design with an innovative one-motor/two-clutch motor control. (Earlier post.)
The hybrid system’s V6 is rated at 296 horsepower (221 kW) (est.) and 255 lb-ft of torque (346 N·m ) (est.), while the 50 kW electric motor is rated at 67 horsepower (est.) and 199 lb-ft ()270 N·m of torque (est.). The hybrid system net power is 354 horsepower (264 kW) (est.).
True to the Infiniti DNA, our hybrid powertrains put performance first, without compromising fuel efficiency. It takes full advantage of the electric motor’s instant torque for exceptional acceleration and, in combination with the 3.5-liter V6, provides a sporty driving feel under all driving conditions. We have targeted the best balance of performance and fuel economy and hit it dead center.—Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen
Both Q50 powertrains are matched with a 7-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with manual shift mode and available steering column-mounted magnesium paddle shifters. The Q50 is available in rear-wheel drive and Intelligent All-Wheel Drive with both powertrains.
Precise handling is provided by the 4-wheel independent multi-link suspension. The front is a single pivot double-wishbone design, while the revised rear design utilizes a multi-link design with coil springs and Dual Flow Path shock absorbers, with increased camber stiffness and improved ride comfort. The suspension features extensive use of lightweight aluminum components, along with front and rear stabilizer bars. A sport-tuned suspension is available with Sport models. Also supporting the enhanced handling is an improvement in front body stiffness (versus the previous generation).
Direct Adaptive Steering. Direct Adaptive Steering technology allows independent control of the Q50’s tire angle and steering inputs. This new technology provides the flexibility for the driver to change both steering effort and the steering gear ratio. A backup mechanical steering system is provided with models utilizing the new Direct Adaptive Steering technology.
Active Lane Control uses a camera-based straight-line stability system to further enhance on-center driving capability and improve vehicle stability. The system is included as part of the Lane Departure Prevention system, not only adjusting for unintended lane drift, but also making finer adjustments for minor road surface changes or crosswinds (as detected by the camera-based, lane marker detection system).
The system goes beyond the traditional Lane Departure Prevention system, taking it a step further by not only reading the road ahead (the camera is located above the rearview mirror) for unintended lane drift but also by making small steering input angle adjustments if the Q50 undergoes minor direction changes due to road surface changes or crosswinds (as detected by the lane marker detection system). By reducing the need for steering input for the driver, the driver’s effort may be reduced.