Coupe de gra

Coupes are un­com­mon on our roads but im­pres­sions, es­pe­cially so with the Q60.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - News - By JAY WONG

NFINITI re­cently or­gan­ised a drive from Kuala Lumpur to Pe­nang. And the ve­hi­cle of choice was the third-gen­er­a­tion Q60. Fully-im­ported and costing RM308,800, two Q60 pre­mium sport coupes draped in Dy­namic Sun­stone Red and Graphite Shadow were pre­pared for the jour­ney north.

Vis­ually, there’s a lot go­ing for the Q60 with its in­tri­cate curves and that very dis­tinct and sharp crease along the shoul­der line to con­nect the front end of the car to the rear.

Be­ing the sportier and more com­pact ver­sion of the Q50 lux­ury sedan, it cer­tainly looks the part with its long hood and short “mus­cu­lar” rear haunches.

While there’s that aura of sporti­ness from its com­pact di­men­sions and 19-inch wheels, the body­work seems to pro­vide some play of light and shad­ows to emas­cu­late the Q60 with enough fem­i­nin­ity to bring about some el­e­gance and so­phis­ti­ca­tion.

Al­though a glance from the out­side-in might seem a lit­tle cramped, it re­ally isn’t the case af­ter di­al­ing in those pre­ferred set­tings on the pow­ered front semi-ani­line leather seats with good amounts of bol­ster­ing and a gen­er­ous amount of shoul­der room.

The con­trols are housed in an an­gled cen­tre con­sole that fea­ture an 8.0-inch (up­per) and 7.0-inch (lower) stacked touch­screen dis­plays.

While the cen­tre con­sole’s de­sign aids reach, it has un­for­tu­nately left the leather-wrapped gear knob pushed a lit­tle too rear-ward.

With it be­ing a sports coupe that’s mar­keted as a 2+2 seater, the

Icon­fines of the rear seats are usu­ally next to use­less, but in this case, it’ll ac­tu­ally fit two with a sur­pris­ing amount of leg-room. The lack of head­room back there is due to the aero­dy­namic roof line.

The boot isn’t im­pres­sive as in most coupes, but the plus point is that Q60’s tail­gate opens high.

With the brakes en­gaged, push­ing the “Start” but­ton brings the 2.0-litre (1,991cc) tur­bocharged Mercedes-Benz M270 en­gine with 211hp and 350Nm of torque to life.

In Nor­mal mode, the ‘Ger­man’ en­gine wants to be ‘uber’ smooth when tak­ing off from stand­still and the sus­pen­sion has a note of sup­ple­ness to its bor­der­line-harsh dis­po­si­tion.

Switch­ing over to Sport mode and it’s ‘bye-bye’ sup­ple­ness and ‘hello’ re­spon­sive en­gine and weighted, re­ac­tive steer­ing wheel only it won’t feel weighted till the car thinks it’s speed­ing up.

That said, new own­ers need to take heed when floor­ing it out of a T-junc­tion from stand­still, which will sud­denly make the steer­ing wheel feel re­luc­tant to re­turn back to its straight-line po­si­tion.

With a 0-100kph time of 7.3 se­conds, the Q60 un­doubt­edly feels sporty in the hands, but un­for­tu­nately with the lack of pad­dle shifters, the ex­pe­ri­ence just wasn’t able to come to full-cirle.

This rel­e­gates the driver to some old-fash­ioned gear-knob ‘tap­ping’ to cy­cle through the seven-speed au­to­matic when in Man­ual mode, but with the gear knob’s cur­rent po­si­tion. The left arm felt wedged be­tween the gear-knob and the seat’s side-bol­ster.

With two hands on the wheel and cruis­ing along on the high­way, the cabin was well in­su­lated, but plant the right foot down and the 13-speaker Bose Per­for­mance Se­ries Au­dio sys­tem starts to em­u­late the en­gine with its speak­ers.

Un­for­tu­nately, the Q60’s cor­ner-hug­ging abil­i­ties weren’t ex­pe­ri­enced, but the ex­tended time spent on the high­way did al­low us to ap­pre­ci­ate the firm­ness of the sus­pen­sion, which kept us sta­ble and from wal­low­ing over un­even road sur­faces.

The Q60’s straight­line sta­bil­ity is un­doubt­edly con­fi­dence in­spir­ing with the driver feel­ing very much in con­trol and and know­ing that there’s a set of strong bit­ing brakes to help keep them out of trou­ble.

Even with the sus­pen­sion that’s seem­ingly bor­der­line harsh, we ex­pected the stiff 255/40 run-flat tyres to be com­mu­nica­tive than the cur­rent ‘mud­dled’ state.

Still in Sport mode, the steer­ing is quick to re­pond, but still lacked t

s ( t s t i t s s r c s s i

The 8.0-inch (up­per) and 7.0-inch (lower) stacked touch­screen dis­plays adds to the so­phis­ti­ca­tion.

2.0-litre tur­bocharged and will­ing to churn out 211hp and 350Nm. jay@thes­tar.com.my

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