The Q50 sedan is Infiniti’s top seller in the United States, and the saying goes that you don’t mess with success. Of course, a car needs to evolve as the marketplace does, but Infiniti was smart in its approach to refreshing the Q50 — stylistically, the car remains the same. It’s the inside that counts.
Here, “inside” really refers to a whole slew of new powertrain options. Buyers will be able to choose from a 208-horsepower four-cylinder, a brand new six-cylinder with two turbos and outputs of 300 hp or 400 hp, and a 360-hp hybrid that relies on the old six-cylinder engine. No matter what engine you choose, your sole transmission option is a seven-speed automatic. All trim levels come standard with rear-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is an available option.
The greatest number of aesthetic changes takes place when you select the new range-topping trim, the Q50 Red Sport 400. This performance-oriented variant includes fancy new alloy wheels, different exhaust tips and summer tires. Otherwise, the Q50’s appearance is very nearly the same as the car it replaces — again, it’s smart not to meddle with your best seller.
The interior soldiers on with the same dual-screen infotainment layout as before. Both screens are touch-sensitive and work with your standard smartphone-style gestures. The top screen is 8 inches, and the lower screen is just a touch smaller at 7 inches.
For all but the four-cylinder models, Infiniti will roll out a new version of its steer-by-wire system, which replaces traditional steering linkage in favor of a decidedly digital setup. The automaker relied on ample customer feedback in the system’s second iteration, which promises more feedback and an experience that’s just a bit closer to traditional steering systems.
The Sport trim, which lies just under the Red Sport 400, also receives a new adaptive suspension setup that constantly adjusts to changing road conditions. It also has a mode switch, in the event you like your dampers as stiff as humanly possible, no matter how many potholes lie ahead.
The Q50 will go on sale in “selected markets” (Infiniti did not clarify beyond that) some time in 2016. The automaker did not divulge any pricing information at this time.