“2019 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Red Sport 400 AWD”
Styling Refreshed and Technologies Added
The enhancements to the popular Q50 sport sedan continue in 2019 with a revised model lineup, updated package content and the addition of standard Forward Emergency Braking and Predictive Forward Collision Warning across the model range. These changes follow extensive updates for 2018 that included revised styling and model nomenclature.
For 2019, the Q50 model lineup has been streamlined with the elimination of the 3.5-liter hybrid powertrain, as well as the Q50 2.0t LUXE. The 2019 Q50 will be available exclusively with the 3.0-liter V6 (300 horsepower or 400 horsepower) or 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder engines.
The 2019 Q50 lineup includes: Two 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder models: Q50 2.0t Pure and Q50 2.0t Pure AWD; Four 300-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo models: Q50 3.0t Luxe, Q50 3.0t Luxe AWD, Q50 3.0t Sport and Q50 3.0t Sport AWD; Two powerful 400-horsepower models, the Q50 Red Sport 400 and Q50 Red Sport 400 AWD
The Q50 Red Sport 400 model adds a newly available quilted Gallery White semi-aniline, leather-appointed interior color with red contrast stitching, as well as the addition of black painted mirror caps. In addition, the list of available packages for the 3.0t SPORT has been reduced since much of the previous package content is now included as standard equipment.
When Infiniti’s powers that be opted to change the model nomenclature for all Infiniti car models from “G” and “M” for cars, they replaced them with “Q” . Crossover and SUVs became QX models. The Q50 designation is followed by the power source indication: 2.0t represents a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder.; 3.0t is for the 3.0-liter twin turbo, 300 horsepower V6; (there’s also a 3-liter twin-turbo V6 that puts out 400 horses). The 300 horse V6 is available in Luxe or Sport trim in both RWD and AWD. The 400 horsepower V6 is designated as the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 in both RWD and AWD configurations. The 2019 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 AWD will be the subject of this review.
The Q50 lineup happens to be Infiniti’s top selling vehicle. My test 2019 Infiniti was a Q50 3.0t Red Sport 400 AWD. its base price was set at $53,250 which bumped up to $60,435 after adding for the options and the destination charges. Options included: the Sensory Package,; Infiniti Radiant Illuminated kick plates;, Exclusive Paint; Cargo Package; Infiniti Welcome Lighting; Carbon Fiber Package and Destination charges. The exterior was finished in a brilliant Dynamic Sunstone Red metallic; while the interior was executed in quilted Gallery White semi-analine leather with contrasting Red stitching.
Propelling my AWD test vehicle was the longitudinally front mounted 400 horsepower 3.0t V6 engine, which also produced 350 lb.-ft. of torque. 2019 Q50 models connect Infiniti’s refined 7-speed automatic transmission with Sport mode, Downshift Rev Matching and available solid magnesium paddle shifters to all powertrains.
The Infiniti Drive Mode Selector offering Snow, Eco, Standard, Sport and Personal settings is also standard on all models as part of the Infiniti InTuition System, an advanced customizable digital environment system allowing drivers to create unique settings for engine, suspension and steering (when equipped with Infiniti Direct Adaptive Steering) settings.
Other available advanced drivetrain technologies include Infiniti’s steering mode selections, accessed through the Drive Mode Selector on the center console, which allows the level of steering responsiveness to be selected from six available options: Personal, Standard, Snow, Eco, Sport, and Sport+. It is available on all 3.0- liter V6-equipped models as part of the ProACTIVE Package.
There is now a greater differentiation between model grading, the enhanced exterior design continues to display sleek, racy proportions along with the Q50’s iconic athletic stance. The Infiniti “zero lift “ philosophy for efficient aerodynamics has resulted in a more pronounced air foil at the front bumper’s base for the Q50 in general, with the Q50 3.0t Sport and Q50 Red Sport 400 grades showcasing a more angular front bumper along with wider, lower air intakes, while adding greater visual prominence. Last year’s design highlights included: standard sport front and rear fascias for 3.0t Sport and Red Sport 400 models; revised front grille, headlights and taillights; Black Mirror caps; Infiniti signature double-arch front grille, dynamic arch silhouette and crescent-cut “C”-pillar; distinctive LED headlights, fog lights and Daytime Running Lights, LED rear combination lamps; available Adaptive Front lighting System with high beam assist technology; Standard power sliding and tilting tinted glass sunroof with one-touch open/close and sliding sunshade (except Q50 2.0t PURE); Heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, available auto dimming outside mirrors with reverse synchronization mirror angle; body-color outside door handles with chrome accents; dual chrome exhaust finishers (custom on Red Sport 400); Advanced aerodynamic design with 0.26 coefficient of drag (select models) and zero front and rear lift concept.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
Entering the interior, the Q50 cabin’s artistic level was also enhanced, providing a more comfortable and a more high-tech connected space. The new grade structure has enabled Infiniti designers to differentiate each model with its own unique interior flavor.
Significant interior enhancements include unique stitching on premium and soft-touch materials surrounding the instrument panel and a sport-oriented leather shift knob. Seating features Infiniti’s spinal support seats that ensure a comfortable and supportive ride. The steering wheel features molded positions for the driver’s thumbs and Infiniti InTouch Services designed to bring the car and driver in synch.
Driver assistance technologies include: available Direct Adaptive Steering, Active Lane Control, Intelligent Cruise Control, Distance Control Assist, Backup Collision Intervention, Blind Spot Warning and Intervention, Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, Forward Emergency Braking, and Predictive Forward Collision Warning.
The sensory pleasure of driving is heightened with the new Infiniti 3.0t Red Sport 400. Defining the proper category in which to place it is another issue – is it a Sport sedan, a luxury sedan, or a blend of the two. I place it in the latter category as it is both sporty and luxurious, not to mention being on the same level as several German competitors as well as some Asian brands.
Whether accelerating over one’s scenic, twisty back roads or negotiating truck traffic laden freeways, the Red Sport 400 excels in all scenarios. The ride quality is comfortable, yet taut and stable even in demanding conditions. Handling characteristics are athletic and instantly responsive.
Place this Infiniti luxury hot rod sedan in the Sport+ mode and prepare for an e-ticket –like ride that’s sure to satisfy one’s motor senses. There’s a lot of really tough competition on the playing field with the Red Sport 400, but it’s definitely capable of holding its own and it lives up to the sporting heritage of the Prince R380 – one of the first purpose-built Japanese race cars and winner of the 1966 Japanese Grand Prix.
OUR FINAL TAKE
The 2018 Infiniti 3.0t Red Sport 400 AWD is an excellent example of elegant Japanese design, state-of-the-art engineering, advanced technology and craftsmanship that delivers a complete suite of safety and connectivity features, along with stellar performance qualities. In essence, it is clearly a desirable luxury sport sedan.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Red Sport 400 AWD
Base Price: $53,250.
Price as Tested: $60,435.
Engine Type and Size: 3.0-liter, DOHC, 24-valve Twin Turbo V6 with Gasoline Direct Fuel Injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 400 @ 6,400 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 350 @ 1,600-5,200 rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic with Sport mode and Downshift Rev Matching.
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / Rear-Wheel Drive.
Suspension: Electronically controlled Digital Dynamic Suspension
Front –Independent double wishbone with stabilizer bar.
Rear – Multi-link independent with stabilizer bar.
Brakes: Power-assisted four wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, EBD and BA.
Tires: Bridgestone Potenza 245/40 R19x8.5” front / 265/35 R19x9” rear mounted on 5-“Trident”-spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 112.2 inches
Length Overall: 189.6 inches
Width: 71.8 inches
Height: 56.8 inches
Curb Weight: 3,993 lbs.
Turning Circle: 36.7 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 20.0 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 19 mpg city / 26 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.26
0 – 60 mph: Not tested
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.
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