Given the popularity of SUVs, there is no doubt that Americans love tall vehicles even though they abandoned fedora and bonnets year ago.
Nonetheless, the classical elegance of the long, low-slung profile of 2020 Infiniti Q50, which has been equipped with a more powerful engine, is a reminder of what’s seems to be disappearing in a world dominated by utilitarian, two-box vehicles. The Q50 impressive exterior serves as reminder that automotive design when it is done with care, can lead to the creation of something memorable.
The Infiniti Q50, with a sweeping hood and long, curving roof line that carries through to the car’s tail creates a silhouette that captures the sense of speed and design that describes that seems to bring the sheet metal and glass to life even when it is sitting still.
(Infiniti teases coupe-like QX55 crossover.)
Needless, to say the 2020 Q50 makes a good impression sitting at a curb. But the front face of Q50 is also tastefully done with a minimum of face and the lighting scheme, both in the front and in the rears, is flows naturally from the car’s fundamental design. The wheel arches and door openings follow the same pattern, blending into overall design without creating any jarring transitions that might add unwanted clutter.
The care used on the exterior also carries over to the interior. Infiniti’s designers have opted for a simple layout in the cockpit that ensures the essential controls are in easy reach of the driver. The center stack, often a point of clutter, also has been kept simple and the interior from the seat surfaces to the headliner and the pieces of the inner doors are finished with first rate materials that make the point the Q50 is a luxury car with a sophisticated appeal.
The 2020 Q50 models also receive a new generation of the Infiniti “InTouch” entertainment system with HD dual-display LCD/VGA 8-inch upper and 7-inch lower touch screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also now part of the system. Bluetooth, voice recognition and a wi-fi hotspot also are available.
On the practical side, the cabin was quite spacious and roomy both for the driver and for the front and rear seat passengers. In addition, the trunk was more than adequate for luggage required for business trip or short vacation and a routine load of packages from the grocery store.
The Q50 also is equipped with advanced driver assistance features such as blind detection, forward collision warning, backup collision alert and the helpful surround-view camera system are also available. An accurate on-board navigation system, hill-start assist and cruise control with steering wheel switches also were available on the Q50 Red Sport 400 AWD that I had a chance to test.
The technology on the 2020 Q50 is very well integrated and easy to understand and to use, helping make the car more approachable.
(Infiniti outlines its plans to go electric.)
Infiniti, however, hasn’t ignored the basics and the car’s elegant exterior is supported by genuine muscle.
The Red Sport model that I had a chance to drive was equipped with a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo engine that could produce 400 horsepower and 350 foot-pounds of torque and a nicely programmed 7-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive on demand. The 2020 Q50 also comes with drive-mode selection and the exterior design minimized the “lift” when the car builds up speed, which it is quite capable of doing.
Driving the 2020 Q50 Red Sport was great fun. The all-wheel-drive system gave the care sure footing on kinds of surfaces even if they were wet and the dynamic digital suspension gave a great, over-the-road feel through corners and around curves. The car always stayed flat.
In addition, the model I drove was equipped with sport brakes on the 19-inch wheels, giving the car plenty of stopping power. I particularly like the steering on country roads I had a chance to use for testing because it was very responsive, and you could get a genuine feel for the road as the surfaces changed.
With 400 horsepower, the Q50 made passing and overtaking other traffic effortless. The power came on instantly and the shifts were almost imperceptible and very timely under the circumstances. The powertrain was certainly very impressive and brought added another dimension to the car’s sporty profile.
The price tag on the model I drove was $60,475, including the $1,025 destination charge.
(Infiniti QX30 is one of the many familiar nameplates going away during the 2020 model-year.)
Certainly the 2020 Q50 is pricey for most buyers. But it really doesn’t seem too much to pay for such an elegant blend of style and power.
One response to “First Drive: Infiniti Q50 Red Sport AWD”
I currently own 1 of these cars! It’s a 2014 Q50 awd 3.7. It’s absolutely amazing! I’ve had it since 2019 June I got it for my bd! I’m still finding ways supe it up. 5 % tint all the way around! Wing on the back! Wheels all the way around exhaust is next! Then I’ll be done! FOR NOW LOL!