Does Game of Thrones cult hero Kit Harington inspire you to encounter life rapidly while absorbing the beauty of the environment as you breeze by in the 3rd generation 2017 INFINITI Q60 sports coupe? Do you feel like “The Tyger” from William Blake’s primal poem of 1794 that is as gallant as Lord Snow himself? Or maybe you need a little recap if you missed the fearless craftsman behind the wheel of the all-new Q60 and its 3-liter V6 twin-turbo engine while reciting Blake’s infamous words. “In what distant deeps or skies. Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand, dare seize the fire?”
Pretty impressive and clever pairing of the three icons for an introduction to consumers looking to define themselves by way of a next level, premium sports coupe. Beginning with the award winning G35 of 2002 and then the G37, the latest rendition has evolved with its predecessors DNA while adding more performance, technology and innovation. During my time in San Diego for the Global Media Launch of the INFINITI Q60 I was able to reiterate the driving impressions from Tyger while experiencing first-hand the performance nature as well as the enjoyable cockpit accouterments of the Japanese sports car. My 400-horsepower Red Sport 400 model was prodigiously powerful and profusely dynamic in every respect from the digital suspension to the second generation adaptive steering. I probably couldn’t have recapped the virtuous encounter with the Q60 any better than Kit’s poignant summation.
“What inspires me personally in my life, is a beautiful piece of writing. Something which is specific, delicate and beautiful,” says Kit Harington. “Blake’s The Tyger is an inspiring reflection of such writing and also captures the high performance empowerment of the Q60 – they are both an exploration of aesthetic beauty, primal ferocity, ambition and seduction.”
In relation to the auto industry as a whole the coupe segment is rather small but has been growing. So each representation from your brand of choice must be both meaningful and impactful to attract attention from aficionados of two-door autos. For this reason the Q60 is also a global vehicle since sales are growing abroad. Inspired by the Q80 of two years ago that showcased at the Paris Auto Show the Q60’s silhouette is commanding with strong character lines that commingle at the grand front fascia known as the double arch grille which has became more performance oriented. INFINITI describes this artistry as lean muscularity, something I can relate to since fitness is a key attribute of my lifestyle. Specific chrome trim accentuates key attributes of the body such as the window frames which convert into crescent cuts in the C-pillar. Its LED obtuse triangle headlights are pretty sinister as well and employ light guide technology to evenly brighten the road ahead.
INFINITI offers the coupe with three engines and identifies as either a Base model, Premium, Silver Sport or Red Sport. In total the Q60 is available in eight grade levels. Setting your Q60 apart from the rest is simple with nine exterior hues and nine interior trims to choose from including the energizing Monaco Red Semi-Aniline Leather and Silver Optic Fiber combination. Pricing starts at $38,950 for a 2.0t with the 208-horsepower 2-liter I4 Turbo engine and increases to $46,300 for a 3.0t Premium AWD with the 300-horsepower 3-liter V6 Twin Turbo. Yes, all-wheel-drive sports cars are the way to go, especially if you live in regions with inclement weather like myself here in Maryland. The Red Sport 400 is also powered by a 3-liter V6 Twin Turbo but the stakes are raised to 400-horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,600-5,200 rpm. It starts at $51,300 for a RWD and $53,300 for AWD. And similar to Porsche, various packages and à la carte offerings will increase your Q60 bottom line whether it’s the $3,200 Premium Plus Package (3.0t) the $2,250 Driver Assistance Package or the $1,600 19″ rims. Trust me you will surely be tempted to upgrade. According to the pricing sheet received from INFINITI there are ten factory-installed options and another five from the port-installed accessories list to decipher between.
Specific advancements allow owners to choose from two suspensions including the Dynamic Digital Suspension which monitors body roll, pitch and bounce rate as the dampers adjust to ensure the Q60 stays balanced. In addition, the second-generation Direct Adaptive Steering provides digital inputs and lessens the correctional workload from the driver. As quick as it is I preferred the standard rack-and-pinion, electronically assisted power steering because if felt more natural.
On the road the drive was impeccable and the vehicle was pretty planted even when the suspension was set in Normal mode. With the Drive Mode Selector there are a whopping 376 vehicle configurations. Mechanically the Q60 is on point with strong brakes, swift acceleration, great sounding engine and stellar cornering. The seats are bolstered but not uncomfortable and the true metal pedals are race inspiring. Tradeoffs include the use of some cheaper materials especially the headliner, tight rear seating (as expected with this segment), small sunroof (again, this is expected) and a BOSE premium sound that is not as impressive as some of their other auto systems. But InTouch infotainment simplifies life with an array of apps for driver convenience and memorizes your habits from seating position to navigation settings. Like a smartphone users must become acquainted with the dual touchscreen’s (8” and 7”) operations and functions. Plus, I am happy to see that INFINITI left a true knob for volume control.
So, whether you channel your inner Kit Harington or create an identity to suite the scenario when gallivanting from home to work, work to the game or city to city for vacation, the Q60 will continuously inspire your drive. It’s a fascinating Japanese sports coupe with some minor adjustments needed for total satisfaction.