2016 Infiniti Q50 sports sedan debuts new engines, next-gen adaptive steering
Infiniti has unveiled the 2016 Q50 ahead of the Detroit Auto Show. The significant refresh for the model will bring five powertrain options, a next-generation steering system, and a new digital suspension tuning system.
Debuting on the 2016 Infiniti Q50 is the second-generation Direct Adaptive Steering system. Standard on 2016 Q50s, this system utilizes the 3.0L V6 or hybrid powertrains and is made to give a more fly-by-wire feel that adapts to the driver's needs. Most of the improvements made, Infiniti says, were to create a more conventional feel to the steering feedback.
The amount of steering assistance and feedback the system offers can be customized by the driver to suit personal preference. Steering is also actively adjusted to suit the vehicle's speed and driving conditions. Direct Adaptive Steering works hand-in-hand with the newly-updated Dynamic Digital Suspension option, which changes suspension tuning to suit driving conditions or driver preference.
The DDS system changes suspension dampers and shock absorbers to tighten or loosen responses. This allows a softer, more comfortable ride when desired and a stiffer, more sport-tuned ride in spirited driving. The system has been upgraded with more response options and electronic programming upgrades to give more adjustments triggered by various vehicle inputs.
The other significant changes to the 2016 Infiniti Q50 come in the drivetrain. Five options are available, starting with a 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo with two output options. The standard version has an output of 300 horsepower (224 kW) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque. The higher-output option raises those numbers to 400 horses (298 kW) and 350 lb-ft (475 Nm) of torque. Both engines offer peak torque at 1,600 rpm and through to 5,200 rpm, a very broad output range. According to Infiniti, fuel efficiency is improved despite these higher outputs.
The more efficient twin-turbo system, turbine speed sensor, and optimized turbo design contribute to these performance metrics. Valve timing control and an electric motor on the valve timing system give more precise reactions, also boosting efficiency. Finally, the high-pressure direct injection gasoline (DIG) system, appearing for the first time on the Q50, also improves fuel economy. Infiniti does not have fuel economy numbers for the new V6 options, but believes they will be a near 7 percent improvement over the previous model year.
Three other powertrain options are also being offered on the 2016 Q50. These include a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that outputs 208 horsepower (155 kW) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) and a 2.2-liter turbodiesel will be available, offering 168 hp (125 kW) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm). A hybrid powertrain combining a 3.5-liter V6, lithium-ion battery, and electric motor is also an option. This system outputs 360 hp (261 kW, 50 of which are from the motor).
All of these engine options are matched to a seven-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode and steering-mounted magnesium paddle shifting.
The 2016 Infiniti Q50 will enter showrooms in 2016.