There are many (and alarming) signals that emphasize that I am inexorably aging. For example getting excited for controversially exciting things, forgetting what I ate for lunch yesterday, or shuddering at the thought of having to upgrade my Smartphone software, and so on. At work I am also going through that stage where an involuntary arrogance (I promise that) leads me to always expect more from supercars and less and less from more human proposals, but that invariably end up taking home most of my praise. The passion for this work has remained intact, it makes me wake up at dawn with my legs trembling for the road I’m going to find out at the wheel of a car full of secrets to discover, with the responsibility of having on my shoulders the fact of carrying out an objective analysis for some and a subjective one for others.
Personally I think there are no half measures, a car has to convey emotions and be able to conquer and emotions are not only made of big wings and powerful engines – of course, these are the best ones, but were a lot and someone is looking for something slightly different for everyday’s use. A car can be good doing its job properly, being able to get us from A to B in the best way possible and not making us regret we woke up before the alarm begins to sing, imagine if you have also bought that new. There are proposals that they know to be less formal than usual, but that aim to meet a slice of the most difficult customers than those who need a weapon ready to be whipped between a corner and the other – yep, cause you have only one way for doing that well. The Infini- ti Q50S AWD Hybrid is not a new kitchen blender model, but the sedan on which Nissan’s luxury branch concentrates its energies in terms of technology and everyday usability.
Found that there are also interesting models in the Hybrid Team, with the 3 fastest hypercars in the world as ambassadors, this technology is increasingly being used on cars that we drive every day, trying to decrease fuel consumption and at the same time air pollution. In practice, feeling friends of the snow Groundhog, we will also be friends of our wallet, without having to give up our innermost desire, to throw our frustration on some secondary road driving like bandits. Also in this case hybrid technology can give its contribution – not keeping the combustion engine switched off, but emphasizing the overall performance.
I will tell you the truth, I’m still trying to figure out what color was the example I tested, it was black basically, but under the sun it was almost deep purple, but without chanting “Smoke on the water”. A choice, that of such a peculiar color, which makes you immediately tuned into what you can expect, ie a medium-large sedan away from conventions, but that wants at all costs to get into the large German dominatrix club.
The Q50S in question is equipped with four-wheel drive in combination with a combustion engine, a 3.5cc V6-cylinder and a rechargeable power unit feeding itself while driving downhill and braking, for a total power of 364 horsepower. Here comes the difficult part, since after checking that the exterior look is sharp and edgy at the same time (front), soft and harmonious (at the rear), the cabin looks like the command bridge of the USS Enterprise, but without all the officers giving you support to operate the take-off maneuvers. There are several buttons scattered here and there, a knob to manage the display and even a second display.
The instruction manual would compete with a Latin dictionary I have at home and then I decide to discover little by little what I can in the weeks of tests, hoping not to program for self-destruction. What I want to understand in first place is how this big engine behaves mated to a saloon suitable for those who need to grind a lot of km in full comfort. The gearbox is an automatic 7-speed and above the ability to change gears with the classic lever, there are two beautiful paddle behind the steering wheel, of the right size and material – not forcing me to miss a beat, even when I realize that there is power in abundance. Here I am surprised, again for an unusual car like this. I did not like the Aventador SV and I find myself praising a hybrid Infiniti? Yes, you read right. Along the first kilometers, downhill, I’m traveling in total silence, in electric mode, then I accentuate the pressure on the accelerator pedal and a spark gives life to the V6 – you feel it when it comes into play, who was walking in the street notices that too and is startled, almost fearing to be hit by this unusual sedan.
You only see a few of them around, and those few pass almost unnoticed, but after living together for several days, you can’t but look at it with respect and a touch of melancholy.
You wonder what’s so special and to prepare my best answers I have not chilled for a moment. Four-wheel drive always bites and understeer peeps only when you call into que-stion the great reserves of torque, but what surprises me most is the type of connection with the asphalt. The steering is in fact assisted with a “drive by wire” system wanted by a certain Seb Vettel which has made its contribution here while still at the Red Bull Team, and going to select balancing and calibration of the suspension and steering from the interface placed in the middle of the dashboard you will find the mode you want. Needless to say, with more than 350hp I was only caring about using the more sportier trim of them all even if this led me to be cruel towards ecology, going to exploit every possible strip of tarmac to throw those almost two tons from one corner to the other.
The road becomes steeper, goes up and seems to point straight to the clouds – its not a “road to paradise”, but a classic escape from town boredom, represented by a French mountain snake very dear to us. Now I think I know by heart every curve and also thanks to a traffic reduced to zero the situation allows me to go down hard. The Q50S pulls like a banshee, getting at 2500/3000 rpm seems to be fired from a slingshot and thrown forward, brakes are powerful and do not get tired, even though I repeatedly press longer than necessary, especially when I forgot that I still have 3 seats and an ample luggage compartment behind me. The steering is precise, direct and different from any other car of the same segment, you have to be confident with it or you could do like me and close too much the angles through small radius bends, but then once you get the trick is done.
It has an angry look, like a rabid dog from the future meshed up with a distant Chinese descent, or Japanese as in this specific case: find me a sedan that has a front worked so well and I will offer you a pizza. At the back, two big tailpipes make it clear that you will also be a business man strutting around, but if necessary it will take a moment to take off his tie and step heavily on the gas. And then you have it all, an endless connectivity with any kind of devilry, phone connection, satellite navigation, a screen from which to control the parameters of the car and maneuvering cameras to make life easier during parking. By engaging the reverse gear, a “beep” attempt to warn people that are walking a few centimeters from the trunk that a big Japanese four doors is backtracking – but do not trust too much the common sense of mankind.
I then decrease the pace, taking advantage of a downhill section until the center display tells me the charge of the battery reached its maximum reserve. Here comes into play the pleasure of hybrid propulsion: a swing of lower consumption in the busy and boring cities and more power and response when the young man that lives inside us decides to take place at the wheel. The Infiniti seems to know how to do everything right, despite some solutions are a bit ‘unusual and I’m referring to the pedal parking brake and the double central display, too confusing and still unnecessary. It’s also nice to appreciate the soft plastics and well-assembled panels, with a nice set of alloy wheels and a brake system always up to the task. It is photogenic, although it was not at all easy to convey its unique color and its lines, especially the voluptuous front – after all we are still talking about a very close relative of the Q50 Eau Rou-ge (if you do not know what I’m talking about, start to cross your fingers with me, hoping that someday they will be put it into production).
Coming back home every night, despite not having the classic line of a supercar (not even a sports car though), it makes you want to plan another trip, avoiding motorways, where however you are able to reach 250 per hour without the slightest effort. You want to keep surprising yourself by that gradual acceleration always able to put in troubles a good half of any track day paddock. And it costs about as much as its opponents, the fearsome Germans so good in everything, except for keeping the price, same problem for this Q50S. Technological, powerful and addictive – I would add complicated if you give me the chance to put a fourth adjective for a car that offers a lot, in a period where the average customer wants more (basically useless things). I was surprised, entertained but above all surprised, more than the many other cars that first of all predict how good they are thanks to their striking look of a perfect sports car.
The Q50S arrives on tiptoe, with its electric mode on and then turn on the 3.5 V6 offering you everything you were looking for, but that you never thought to find here. In its own way, it does everything good.
INFINITI Q50S AWD HYBRID(2016-)
Layout: front-engined, all-wheel-drive
Engine: 6cylinder 3.498cc + 50 kw electric unit
Transmission: 7-speed manual gearbox
Power: 364hp @ 6800 rpm
Weight: 1834 kg
Top Speed: 250 kph
Price: from 59.500 €