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The Q60 Red Sport packs a sweet engine and a tight chassis, but the lack of driver connection stops it from being a truly great performance car.

09 Mar 2018



Infiniti, Nissan's luxury arm, has taken great strides in the luxury car market. However, it also wants to prove that it can make performance cars as well, hence the introduction of the Red Sport series of cars. The latest is this one, the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400.

Visual sensation

Visually, the Q60 Red Sport is a treat. We especially like the aggressively wide front end that sits low to the ground, accentuating the car's sporty nature. The sleek coupe silhouette tapers off to a sculpted rear end that's frankly quite beautiful.

The Q60 Red Sport certainly has head-turning looks

The interior also feels quite top-notch, with its sleek design and high-quality materials. There's generous use of soft touch leather that elevates the level of comfort in the cabin. The seats are plush yet surprisingly secure and supportive. Even the rear two seats are usable for the skinnier adults among us.

The only issue we have with the cabin is that it's slightly cluttered and complicated. There are too many buttons, and the two-screen set up still confuses us.

Freak on a leash

Let's get one thing immediately straight about the Q60 Red Sport - the 3.0-litre V6 engine is a gem of a powerplant. It's rev-happy, offers tons of power anywhere in the rev range, and it's responsive in a way that makes you smile. It also makes a decent noise that's restrained and gentlemanly as you climb the rev range.

The cabin is a plush and comfortable place to be in

Be warned, though. The Q60 is quite playful and cheeky. With so much power being sent straight to the rear wheels, the car breaks traction quite easily. Too easily, we reckon. The Traction Control (TC) is incredibly generous, allowing a lot more slip than should be allowed. 

While driving on damp roads, half-throttling through any corner will induce a little wheelspin. Anything more than 50 percent throttle and the tail will absolutely break away. And it's not just in corners either. Even in a straight line (with damp roads, admittedly), put your foot hard down and the car will begin to fishtail before the TC kicks in (or you stomp hard on the brakes in fear). It's exciting, but also kind of scary.

Unfortunately, things start to fall off slightly from this point. The chassis is taut and balanced, but you never feel particularly connected to it.

We largely put this down to the drive-by-wire system. Throttle response isn't direct, with a noticeable lag between when you step/lift off and the engine reacting to your throttle input. The brakes are snatchy at the top and lack modulation. The adaptive steering also feels a little too artificial, compounded by the lack of steering feel.

The twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 engine is a gem of a powerplant, pushing out 400bhp and 470Nm of torque

Due to this lack of connection between driver and car, you never feel fully in control. It's like having rabid dog on leash - you never know when it's going to snap away and leave you looking like a fool.

Argggghh! 

It's frustrating, the Q60 Red Sport. The car feels alive, but you don't feel alive along with it. The sense of disconnection between man and machine is particularly frustrating, because most of the time you'll be too worried and scared to really push the car to its limits. And that's just such a waste, because it feels like there's a lot to offer. You just can't (or don't dare to) reach it, at least not on public roads.

And perhaps the most frustrating part of it all is that we want this car to be good. It certainly has the ingredients for it, but it just falls short  - nearly there, but not good enough. 

It looks fantastic and has lots of power, but the lack of driver engagement stops the Q60 Red Sport from being a truly great performance car

The Q60 is a complicated amalgamation of parts, both good and bad. Certain elements of the car are top notch - styling, the engine, the chassis. And yet there are certain elements - the lack of driving feel, mostly - that keep the car from becoming a really good driver's car. It's thrilling, but in a way that's slightly messy and unruly.

Ultimately, the Q60 Red Sport is a car that that could have been really good, but it just isn't. 
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Car Information

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Price

: $268,800

Engine Type

:

V6 Twin-turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

2997cc

Horsepower

:

298kW (400 bhp) / 6400 rpm

Torque

:

470 Nm / 5200 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) with manual override

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

5.4sec

Top Speed

:

250km/h

Fuel consumption

:

10.8 km/L

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