No dig­i­tal, not log­i­cal

Herald Sun - Motoring - - SHORT CUT - Joshua Dowling

1isn’t The fancy “dig­i­tal steer­ing” fool­proof

In­finiti says the Q50’s “world first” drive-by-wire steer­ing is quicker, smoother and feels more nat­u­ral. It also tried to steer me across two lanes into on­com­ing traf­fic in the first few hun­dred me­tres. Alarmed, I went back and demon­strated the prob­lem to a rep­re­sen­ta­tive. Once again, it tried to take me across two lanes at 60km/h, against the cam­ber of the road! Nissan says this is nor­mal — af­ter the ve­hi­cle has been trans­ported on a truck, when the bat­tery runs flat or if the en­gine stalls. It says the steer­ing cor­rects it­self af­ter about 5km. But how about a warn­ing? Not every­one who gets be­hind the wheel will have had a demo by a sales­per­son. Fright­en­ing.

2is The sole tech that it lacks a daily ne­ces­sity

The top of the range Q50 has radar cruise con­trol with au­to­matic stop-start in city traf­fic, 360-de­gree cam­era and low-speed mo­tion de­tec­tors front and rear. Its. LED head­lights turn with the steer­ing and have au­to­matic high-beam. There are Bose au­dio, 10-way ad­justable driver’s seat and six driv­ing modes. But it doesn’t have a dig­i­tal speedo — and the ana­log nee­dle is way off. At an in­di­cated 60km/h, the Q50 is do­ing 55km/h and at 100km/h it’s do­ing 93km/h. All speedos have an er­ror — but most oth­ers are closer to the mark than this.

3The Epic: the twin-turbo V6

3.0-litre comes in two grades (224kW and, as tested, 298kW) and, matched to a seven-speed auto, it’s a mis­sile. It slots be­tween the Ford Fal­con XR6 Turbo and Mercedes C63 for ex­hil­a­ra­tion. In­finiti doesn’t quote a 0-100km/h time but we clocked 5.0-sec­ond runs on satel­lite tim­ing gear. The sus­pen­sion is taut but not too firm (de­spite run-flat tyres) and the steer­ing is ac­cu­rate and sharp (when work­ing prop­erly).

4 Price needs to be sharper

At $87,790 drive-away, the 3.0TT Red Sport (red de­notes the ex­tra power, not the colour of the car) is a bar­gain com­pared to a Ger­man per­for­mance sedan. How­ever, In­finiti is still an un­known brand here and re­sale will be hor­ren­dous, ac­cord­ing to whole­salers we spoke to. So wait for it to be dis­counted to $75K drive-away new (my guess) or wait for it to ap­pear on the near new mar­ket for about $60K. Then you have a bar­gain.

5 I want one — but I can’t cop the de­sign

Once I got over the spooky steer­ing, the lack of a dig­i­tal speedo and try-hard styling, I be­gan to love the Red Sport. The more I drove it, the greater the temp­ta­tion to buy one. Maybe the next gen­er­a­tion, due in a few years, will look bet­ter.

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