ENDLESS LOOP OF DRIVING JOY
FULL-ON POWER WITH ECONOMY IN INFINITI Q60 RED
ONE should always read the small print, the experts say.
Sage advice, and it also applies to Infiniti's Q60 sports coupes.
There's one with a 155kW 2.0litre turbo and another, called the Red Sport, which has the same looks but packs 3.0litres of twin-turbo V6 under its shapely snoot.
The small print is on the bootlid: the letter 'S' in red enamelling. The $88,900 premium sports coupe is a quite different animal from the 2.0litre, which is more of a quick tourer than the red hot chilli S.
With 298kW and 475Nm readily available – all those Newton metres apply from as low as 1600rpm – the Red Sport is a seriously fast car. It is right up there with the Teuton trio, but at about $20,000 less.
It drives the rear wheels through a seven-speed selfshifter and comes with steering-mounted paddles if you decide to pick the change points yourself.
It's a very well appointed sportster, with standard equipment such as autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian protection, surround camera system with moving object detection, active lane control and blind spot monitoring 19inch alloys with 245/40 run-flat tyres, huge red calipered brakes, a 13-speaker Bose audio system, leather seating, carbonfibre trim and adjustable Dynamic Digital Suspension.
There's also adaptive steering, an electric sunroof, eightway adjustable heated sports seats, a dual-screen infotainment system, satnav with live traffic updates, DAB digital radio, keyless entry with pushbutton start, automatic LED headlights, and daytime-running lights and fog lights.
Less impressive was the parking brake, a foot-operated thing that doesn't belong in a sports car of any kind.
However, fit, finish and detail were impeccable. So, what's it like on the road? We got tarmac rally ace Rob Buys to give it a whirl and here's his account of the Red Mist.
“Pitched on bumpy 'b' roads, the Infiniti Q 60 Red Sport is like a hungry leashed animal observing a field of playful rabbits.
“So informative is the feel of this beast you dare not to kick a large portion of right foot to the floor because everything already feels perfectly comfortable and doing so may ruin the last sandwich devoured at high tea.
“Selecting Sport or Sport Plus driving modes opens up the extra two organ pipes.
“A feverish rush of audible menace awaits a tappy right toe, then warp factor as the sevenspeed box struggles slightly to keep up with the 298 Killer Wasps under the bonnet.
“A whopping 475Nm can keep the tail light into third gear and it is a big swallow to keep that sandwich down now as palms get sweaty.
“The ride is very firm and full of feedback unlike many sporty tourers these days.
“Despite the power and torque available, the Q60 Red Sport is surprisingly fuel-efficient at a steady average speed and the Infiniti flagship sport model turned in a very impressive 7.4litres/100km.
Verdict: Delightful, and a serious contender in the premium sports car sector.
Infiniti's fiery high performance Q60 Red Sport.