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No, it’s not a sequel to “Bloodsport”. We’re referring to the Infiniti Q50, which is a sequel to the old G37. And the Red Sport 400 model is the Jean Claude Van Damme of Q50s. For 2017, the Red Sport is now fitted with an all-new 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6. The new power plant breathes new life into the Q50. LA Car’s Mark Dorman reports on the new version, while Harvey Schwartz provides us with the visuals.
Story by Mark Dorman
Pictures by Harvey Schwartz
Whether or not you are familiar with the Infiniti brand, there is no doubt you have seen a Q50 driving around Southern California in the past three years. The Q50 was released as a replacement for the G37 Sedan in late 2013 (as a 2014 model). The car came equipped with the 3.7 liter engine found in the outgoing G37. The Q50 definitely took Infiniti to a new level of both Style and Quality. While the car did exceeding well, the engine was past its prime in the current market. Enter the 2017 Q50 Red Sport. Equipped with an all-new 3.0 liter twin turbo V6, the new power plant breathes new life into the Q50. The Red Sport gets a beefed up 400 horsepower version.
While the outside of the Q50 is still the same as when the vehicle was release, it has aged well over the past couple year. The styling is still very modern and the interior is up to date with well laid out controls and quality finishes. The Red Sport still features the sport package of the previous years with a more aggressive front bumper and larger brakes (which are definitely needed for the added power).
Power, mind-blowing power. The 400 horsepower, 350 pound-feet feels severally underrated. We have seen from independent tests that the motor makes 375 wheel horsepower and 350 wheel torque. That means the motor is actually making around 440 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. This helps us understand how fast the Red Sport is. Hitting 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, the Red Sport keeps up with the likes of the Mercedes C450 AMG and the BMW 335i. The 7-speed automatic transmission is well matched to the motor. Shifts are fairly prompt in manual mode and in standard mode it is very smooth. Downshifts on right on point but often a downshift isn’t needed given the amount of torque produced in lower RPMs.
On the handling front, the Q50 Red Sport is quite capable for its size. The new adaptive suspension allows the Q50 Red Sport (and all sport models) to use a more aggressive setup in sport mode but keep things smooth a comfortable in standard mode. The Red Sport handles curves in very balanced manner. Due to its size, the Q50 will still wallow a little, but it remains poised and settled. The brakes are quite well-suited for the power of the Q50. The large sport brakes are very effective at slowing down the Q50 from speed as well as managing all heat from prolonged aggressive driving.
The overall driving experience of the Q50 Red Sport speaks volumes to the progression of the Japanese luxury brand. The Q50 manages to balance luxury and sport very well. The ride is fairly quiet allowing in some engine noise but isolating the occupants from unpleasant road noise, but not so much as to lose the sport feeling.
A luxury sport sedan putting Infiniti on par with the German rivals they’ve been chasing for so long. Where it falls a little short a little on the handling side because of its size, it makes up for it in power and poise. Even as the top-of-the-line model Q50, it’s much more reasonably than a lot of its competitors.
Name of vehicle:
2017 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400
EPA fuel economy rating:
20/26 mpg (city/highway)
LA Car observed: 21.2 mpg combined
Engine and Drivetrain:
Engine: 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo (2997cc), Turbocharged 24-valve engine, aluminum-alloy block and heads with water-cooled air charging system, two turbo speed sensors and dual water pumps
400 @ 6400 rpm
350 pound-feet @5200 rpm
Electronically controlled 7-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) and Drive Sport (DS) mode. Driver-adaptive learning algorithm senses driving style and adjusts automatic shifting accordingly. Manual shift mode offers sequentially selectable manual gearshifts and Downshift Rev Matching (DRM)
Type: Vehicle-speed-sensitive power steering. 14.7 : 1 Sport-tuned steering gear (Standard on S, optional on Base Model).
Dynamic Digital Suspension (electronically controlled four-wheel independent)
4-piston opposed front (red) calipers with 14.0 x 1.3-inch ventilated discs
2-piston opposed rear (red) calipers with 13.8 x 0.8-inch ventilated discs
4-wheel, 4-channel ABS
Wheels and Tires:
Staggered fitment aluminum- alloy wheel.
Front 19 x 9.0 inch, Rear 19 x 9.5 inch
245/40R19 FR, 265/35R19 RR Summer performance run-flat tires
EPA size classification*:
* Passenger car classes are designated by the EPA based on interior volume index or seating capacity, except the ones classified as special vehicle. A two-seater is classified as a car with no more than two designated seating positions.