Infiniti’s luxury sport coupe soldiers on.
The incredibly shrinking car market means there are fewer sedans and coupes for the choosing, including among the premium and luxury brands. Indeed, the Lincoln marque is comprised entirely of utility vehicles, with the last sedan sold in 2020.
Not every luxury brand has done away with cars, including Infiniti. Nissan’s premier moniker still offers a pair of compact models in the Q50 sedan and Q60 coupe, along with four utility vehicles. An Infiniti Q60S Red Sport 400 model was a recent visitor, a 2+2 sport coupe we initially drove in 2017 upon its debut. Ours came with all-wheel drive; it is also the top trim and most powerful variant of this handsome coupe.
2021 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 Review
The 2021 Infiniti Q60 is available in Pure, Luxe, and Red Sport 400 trims, the latter represented by its “hotness,” and not by its color. The Q60 comes with standard rear-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive, a $2,000 upgrade. This model costs from $42,675 to $61,125, including a $1,025 destination charge. All trims come with a twin-turbocharged V6 engine. The previously available “turbo-four” was dropped after 2019.
For 2021, Infiniti Q60 features new colors, more available safety features, and expanded convenience options.
The Q60 is not only the performance leader of the Infiniti family, but it is also the styling king. The nearest model with strong sporty styling characteristics is the QX55 crossover, which is new for 2022.
A gaping grille dominants the front end, but it is more proportional to the nose than it is in the QX55. Teardrop headlamps with LED accent lights, a narrow lower air intake honed-in by fog lamps, and a curvaceous hood with uplifted edges gives this coupe a muscular look.
The Q60’s profile features cooling ducts just behind the front wheels and ahead of the doors. Character lines, sculpting, and a rising beltline that ends in a brand-recognizable kink as it meets the falling roofline rounds out the look. From the rear, a trunk-lip spoiler, tear-drop-shaped taillamps, and diffuser trim with two exhaust ports complete this coupe’s handsome persona.
The Q60 comes with an active grille shutter, automatic headlights, front LED fog lights, power-controlled and heated side mirrors, and courtesy lights. The Red Sport 400 trim adds a special exhaust tip design.
On the Pure and Luxe trims, Infiniti features 19-inch front and 20-inch rear aluminum-alloy wheels. The Red Sport 400 comes with 20-inch wheels set within staggered summer tires or uniform all-season tires.
If the Q60 was a two-seater, we’d be very pleased with its first-row seating alone. Alas, it is a four-seater, but that rear seat is extremely cramped and mostly an afterthought for buyers. Add in a minuscule trunk measuring just 8.7 cubic feet and everything behind the first row is merely an afterthought.
Back to the front seats: they’re very supportive, modestly bolstered, and extremely comfortable. There is a lot of maneuvering space for the driver and front passenger, which is why this vehicle is best for the single driver with a significant other.
Traditional analog displays mark the Q60’s instrument panel with a digital driver’s information readout between the two. A curved hood cover tops the panel. A layered dashboard imparts sportiness and a smidgen of elegance. We’re impressed with the strong forward sight-lines in this vehicle.
The red interior (perhaps that’s where the “red” in the Red Sport 400 comes to play) is attractive with the seats and door inlays appropriately attired. Available rich leather materials, chrome touchpoints, metal pedals, and carbon fiber trim supply lift for the interior.
Infiniti wraps the Pure trims with imitation leather seating surfaces along with soft-touch materials elsewhere. Make your move to the Luxe trim and that’s where semi-aniline leather-appointed seats make an appearance.
All trims come with an 8-way power driver’s seats with thigh bolsters and manually adjustable lumbar support. An 8-way power front passenger seat comes standard. A heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and a HomeLink receiver come with the Luxe and Red Sport 400 trims.
The top-trim model also features an upgraded dual-zone climate control system, the aluminum-accented pedals, a power tilt-and-telescopic steering column, and the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
One of the most significant changes Infiniti made to the 2021 Q60 included upgrading the standard driver-assist safety technology. Every trim comes with automatic collision notification with emergency call and rain-sensing wipers. Move up to the Luxe trim and an entire suite of safety features comes standard. These include blind-spot warning, an around-view monitor with moving object detection, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and distance control assist.
An available PROActive Package with the range-topping Red Sport 400 adds a few more items of note. Specifically, this one includes direct adaptive steering, lane departure prevention with active lane control, and adaptive lighting with high-beam assist.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not crash-tested the Q60, so we don’t have scores to share. The same can be said for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as it hasn’t rated the Q60 either. Consequently, we’re not about to estimate how this coupe would perform in an accident.
The 2021 Q60 comes with a 6-speaker audio system with HD Radio and a CD player. Infiniti also includes a Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, two US inputs, and satellite radio.
One of our favorite things about this Infiniti are its dual touch-screens. An 8-inch upper screen and a 7-inch lower screen manage vehicle and infotainment functions separately. Instead of one huge screen overwhelming the interior, the division makes it easier to control and read these features.
Make your move to the Luxe trim and a 13-speaker Bose audio system takes over. Features such as navigation, satellite traffic, satellite travel link are included with the Red Sport 400 or bundled in an Essential Package upgrade with the Luxe.
A 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine powers the Q60. What Infiniti does to the engine is how they’re set apart, depending on the trim.
The Pure and Luxe trims come with 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. These are fairly tame numbers, but they equal the performance output of various competing models sized 20 percent larger.
In Red Sport 400 guise, the engine delivers 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, thanks to more air forced into the turbos. In both cases power routes to the rear or all four wheels utilizing a 7-speed automatic transmission with sport mode and downshift rev-matching. Steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters are included – we miss the previous column-mounted shifters.
We’ve only spent considerable time with a Q60 outfitted with the enhanced engine, therefore our comments reference this version alone. Suffice to say, we think individuals with performance aspirations in mind will gravitate to the available 400 horsepower, but it also comes with a steeper price tag: you’ll pay around $60,000 to acquire one.
The Q60 Red Sport is potent and fast. Pull away from a dead stop or pass on the highway and this luxury coupe serves notice that its ready for game.
The coupe’s size works to its advantage. Its heavier and mainstream competitors include the Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and the Ford Mustang. It doesn’t have the weight and girth disadvantage of this trio, although its top-end performance doesn’t match what this group deploys. What it does have working for itself is available all-wheel drive, something only the Challenger can claim with its base V6 model.
The all-wheel drive factor makes the Q60 a better vehicle on twisty roads, with the front wheels kicking in from time to time, distributing grip accordingly. But without all-wheel drive, this coupe does just fine, although its 57-front to 43-rear weight distribution isn’t the ideal 50-50 proposition offered by some of its competitors.
Infiniti employs a drive-by-wire system known as Direct Adaptive Steering to advance computer inputs from the steering wheel directly to the wheels to control steering. We give it a thumb’s up when set to performance, but it is only so-so when operated in tamer mode. The adaptive suspension system added to the Red Sport 400 does its job, enhancing the front and rear double-wishbone suspension accordingly. Overall, the Q60 delivers a decent ride, noteworthy handing, and average braking.
In the luxury sphere, there aren’t many competitors left. However, the main German makes are represented, with the Audi A5, BMW 4-Series, and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class doing battle. We’d also add the Lexus IS to the mix.
If we were a general shopper looking for the best bang for the buck, the Luxe trim would probably do it. Here, you get many of the features of the Red Sport 400, minus the performance edge.
But we can’t help wondering just who the typical luxury sport coupe shopper is. We think it is the individual who is attracted to optimum performance with the enhanced drivability enjoyment that goes with it. In this case it would be the Red Sport 400 model as it’s the one best cross-shopped against the performance German brands.
Our only disappointment with the Q60 is the unavailability of a manual gearbox. But its absence lies chiefly with consumers who overwhelmingly choose an automatic with scant interest in three-pedal-foot action.
See Also — Stretched Luxury: 2017 Infiniti Q70L
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