Different Something a little
Sitting in the driver’s seat of the black Infiniti Q70, I don’t really have time to take in the neat interior. My eyes are constantly being drawn to the flowing curves out beyond the windscreen ahead of me.
Perhaps it’s a special Japanese trick to keep my eyes on the road, but either way it works, as it’s hard to look away from those 911esque wing tops.
On the outside, the Q70 swerves current convention, going for rounded edges, rather than the flat panels and strong creases the luxury saloon industry design language is following at the moment.
The front is aggressive and nicely styled with the aforementioned wings rising up above the bonnet.
At the rear, however, it’s fairly plain and reminds me of pretty much every other Japanese four-door saloon. It’s as if all the design focus was on the front and the interior, with nothing left for the rear. Take off the badges and you’d be hard-pressed to know what it was. The rear lets down the lovely nose, but it’s certainly different, and so I suppose that’s refreshing in this worldwide market of samesame saloons.
Inside, you know you are in a Japanese car, but that’s no bad thing. The dash is split by a forward sloping step, separating the screen and dash top from the rest of the controls. It’s a break from the vertical set up of everything else, yet remains usable, so that’s a definite plus point.
The monitor features ‘Around View’, with Moving Object Detection and Front and Rear Sonar System. This gives you a simulated 360-degree view from above, showing you clearly the objects detected around your car.
The view is amazingly clear and really handy in tight spots. The system will even alert you to moving objects around you. All very clever.
The leather seats feature 10-way power adjustment, including two-way lumbar support. The back is roomy and comfortable for two and beyond that there’s a decent sized boot, as you’d expect in this segment.
Power comes from a 5.6-litre DOHC engine with Infiniti’s Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) to optimise the opening of both the intake and exhaust valves.
The engine produces 402 hp and 550 Nm of torque, so it tends to have the power available when you need it, but surprisingly doesn’t punch you in the back in doing so. It seems to have been tuned for endless progression, as opposed to outright, neck-snapping power.
This is connected to a seven-speed automatic with Adaptive Shift Control (ASC), driving the rear wheels. There’s also a manual shift mode offering sequentially selectable manual gearshifts and downshift rev matching.
Out on the road the Q70 fits like your favourite coat. You find yourself forgetting about the driving itself and enjoying the jour-
ney. Surely that’s the sign of a good luxury saloon. This isn’t a driver’s car and doesn’t pretend to be. There’s little feedback from the steering, but that translates into an easy-todrive car. It’s all about smooth and relaxed progress in the Q70, and a chance to enjoy the luxurious interior.
The Infiniti Drive Mode Selector does spice things up a bit allowing you to select from Standard, Eco or Sport driving modes, which adjust throttle sensitivity and transmission mapping.
With such a big engine and a non-aggressive set up, this makes it perfect for long-distance journeys and kilometre-destroying progress. Basically, you don’t need sports car response from something that’s built to cruise.
The Infiniti Q70 isn’t the first thing that pops into my head when thinking of a luxury saloon, but having driven it, it certainly should. With the big German brands dominating this segment, the Japanese need to shout a little louder to be heard. If they do that, and people get behind the wheel, they’ll soon realise there’s more to luxury motoring than just the big three.
The Q70 is different, clever and feels good to drive, and in a market of people all buying the same cars, this one makes you look twice. It doesn’t feel as ‘engineered’ as some of its rivals, but it is certainly finished with the same attention to detail.
Sometimes it’s good to be different.
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