Infiniti Q50

Chic, modish and trendy

"The refined Q50 is a benchmark setter, balances luxury and sport well"

"Many high-tech electronic and safety features," said Issam

"Nicely detailed interior"

"The Q50 looks like a proper evolution of the Infiniti G series"

Infiniti's new naming strategy, simply put, labels all sedans and coupes with the letter Q, akin to the first Infiniti Q45 back in 1990, and all SUVs with the letters QX. The 2014 Infiniti Q50 has nothing else in common with that first Q45. Indeed, this new "Q" replaces the G-Series sport sedan in the lineup.

My colleague from KSA flew to Dubai a couple of months ago for the regional drive of the new Infiniti Q50. Now the time had come to dissect that vehicle over a long weekend in Beirut. I collected the car from RYMCO, official distributor of Infiniti in Lebanon, and here comes a remarkable journey on board the new Q50. Does Infiniti finally have the car that is going to put the brand on the map? Could this be the one? Let's find out.

Exterior
Infiniti Q50 brings distinctive design. It looks muscular with an athletic appearance that brings a blend of dynamic exterior styling and Infiniti's signature 'double wave' interior to create design which creates an emotional engagement. Just like a well-tailored suit hides the bad while enhancing the good, the Q's curving body panels add a premium look to the athletic proportions of the compact rear-wheel-drive sporty four-door. Obviously, it is more attractive than any preceding G sedan.

Interior
With luxurious, softly textured leather trim and an engineered look to the polished metal highlights, few could argue with the premium quality feel. I personally liked the twin screens of the center stack and the styling and functionality of the console and instrument binnacle. It looks sharp and it works well, particularly the flush look and 'In Touch' smartphone functionality (with app-style icons) and connectivity features of the lower screen. This telematics system integrates hands-free phone, moving map navigation, entertainment and smartphone apps in a way that is safe and easy-to-use while driving.

The stitched leather seats are generously padded and very comfortable front and rear and the long rear door provides superb vision from the rear seats. Front seats are heated and electrically adjustable as is the steering wheel.

Drivetrain
The Infiniti Q50 range introduces the brand's first hybrid powertrain to the Middle East alongside the refined 326 horsepower 3.7 liter V6 engine. Infiniti Q50 Hybrid mates a 3.5 liter V6 petrol engine with Infiniti's Direct Response Hybrid System delivering net 350 horsepower and 536Nm of combined torque with Intelligent Dual Clutch Control, making it capable of reaching 100km/h from a standing start in 5.1 seconds.

All models come equipped with a refined 7 speed automatic transmission with available solid magnesium paddle shifters. The Infiniti Drive Mode Selector with Eco, Standard, Sport and Custom settings is also standard on all models, part of the advanced customizable digital environment system that allows drivers to create unique settings for engine, transmission, handling and steering controls.

The all new 2014 Infiniti Q50 is available in Premium and Sport grades, the latter featuring sport styling, brakes and suspension tuning. Infiniti Q50's advanced range of safety features are available as part of the 'Technology Pack' available across all derivatives.

Driving Impressions
During my journey on board of the new Q50, I realized that nothing is to compare with the opinion of my colleague. I had to ride in this vehicle to better understand what's possible when it comes to engineering a quiet strong suspension setup. It's a benchmark setter in my opinion, and I had to search somewhere on Beirut's roads the roughest patches of pavement to frequently admire the Q50's ability to soak up pavement scandal with extraordinary refinement and tranquility. Power delivery is superbly direct and smooth, making it an easy plenty of horses to manage with delicacy.

Verdict
Infiniti's new Q50 premium saloon is a considerable vehicle. The Q50 is good enough to sell well and to attract a lot of new potential buyers into Infiniti showrooms. If you've been looking at the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Lexus IS, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, have a look at the Q50 because it will give you that blush eyes look and it's going to be love at first drive!

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