For Sale By:Dealer
Disability Equipped: No
Interior Color: Tan
Cab Type: Other
Drivetrain: Rear Wheel Drive
Sarasota, Florida, United States
Nissan launched Infiniti back in 1989 as a US brand, but more recently, Nissan's luxury marque has started focusing on more of a global presence. With a new global headquarters set up in Hong Kong and former Audi bigwig Johan de Nysschen at the helm, Wards Auto is reporting that the automaker's next goal is to create a "de-Americanized" lineup of vehicles.
This plan essentially consists of smaller cars and smaller-displacement engines to make Infiniti more attractive for buyers in Europe and Asia - two regions that tend to skew more toward smaller vehicles and smaller powerplants. To this point, Infiniti has been focused on vehicles better-suited to the US market - in fact, its smallest engine is a 3.7-liter V6 with 330 horsepower, and it doesn't offer a single diesel.
The first step in this transformation will be part of the Daimler-Nissan engine deal that will see a four-cylinder diesel eventually used in the 2014 Q50, but the report also reconfirms the importance of the soon-to-arrive Q30 production model (a concept of which was revealed last week in Frankfurt), along with the idea of a QX30 based on the Nissan Qashqai. There's also the latest projection of a full-electric Infiniti model that Wards says will debut sometime around 2015. Of course, Infiniti isn't giving up on large cars entirely - the reports indicates that Infiniti is planning a fullsize flagship model - possibly named Q80 - to compete against German sedans like the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
The pricing and configurator for the 2014 Infiniti Q50 were revealed a couple months ago, and now InfinitiQ50.org has uncovered leaked order guides for Infiniti's all-new luxury sedan as well as the renamed Q60 Coupe and Convertible.
From the looks of things, if you'd like a rear-wheel drive Q50, you may have to have to special order it. All three Q50 RWD models say "Sold Order Only" on the model, mix and MSRP page. As for the Q60 models, the only differences for the 2014 model year - aside for the new name, of course - are related to exterior coloring. A new Venetian Ruby hue is being added to the palette.
Sometimes, new technology doesn't make things better. Take the march of power steering technology as an example. Electrically assisted systems are in vogue at the moment for their ability to increase fuel efficiency, but tuning them to offer good feedback remains something of a dark art. Some automakers get it, but most don't. The previous hydraulically assisted setups just seem to be inherently more communicative when driven with enthusiasm. And it looks like Infiniti might be learning this lesson the hard way.
In talking with Keith St. Clair, the luxury brand's head of product planning, Car and Driver has learned that the Q50S is probably going to ditch its standard electrically assisted steering in favor of a hydraulic system derived from the old G37, a model soon to be renamed the Q40. The system should make the sedan more engaging behind the wheel, but it still won't help those who tick the option box for Infiniti's controversial Direct Adaptive Steering drive-by-wire system.
According to St. Clair, Infiniti's engineers have heard the complaints of critics and previous G37 owners about the Q50S model's electric steering system, and wanted to see what they could do. They didn't have to go far to figure it out - all it required was taking the steering rack off of a G37 and putting it onto the Q50S. After a little tweaking, "the car is a blast to drive," St. Clair reports. Now, the company is said to be fast-tracking the switch, and it could be ready for the 2016 model year.