Infiniti Q50S getting G37's hydraulic steering for 2016Sun, 31 Aug 2014 18:30:00 EST
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.
To be clear, this change is likely going to be for the Q50S only. Electric assistance and Infiniti's DAS steer-by-wire aren't going anywhere, but the S model is supposed to be a little sportier than the rest of the Q50 range. Therefore, the switch to something enthusiasts prefer in a model expressly designed for them would appear to make good sense.
By Chris Bruce
See also: Infiniti ESQ is a Chinese Nissan Juke Nismo, Infiniti moves to trademark Eau Rouge, Infiniti extends long-wheelbase Q50 L for the Chinese market.