In order to beat the German luxury haulers, other automakers try to craft models that look alike instead of developing models that can stand out in their own ways. One such model is the 2018 Infiniti Q50 which is a copycat of the BMW 3 Series. Like the BMW 3 Series, the Q50 sedan is also designed to look sporty and classy. However, despite it being a copycat, it is a serious one and has in fact managed to sway many customers over as evidenced by its increasing sales. Under the hood, the model packs some serious power with its performance-oriented trim churning out as much as 400 hp which is a lot of power for a luxury sedan. The 2018 version of the Q50 has been refined to enhance its position in the market. For the 2018 model year, the Q50 will see a new nomenclature for its trims; what was called “Base” is now christened “Pure” and what was known as “Premium” is now “Luxe”. The Sport and the Red Sport 400 remain unchanged.
2018 Infiniti Q50 Exterior
We have to wait for a little longer to see a new generation of the Q50 as the automaker choose to update the current version. The exterior comes with a few major changes, the first one being a slightly revised grille that sits slightly lower. The airdam, on the other hand, is slightly taller and wider. The headlights and the engine hood are unchanged. Horizontal; running lights are slightly angled and mounted slightly higher.
I can’t spot any differences with the current models on the sides except for the gloss black finish on the window trim that augurs with the side mirrors’ gloss black finish. At the rear, there are also few changes which include updated taillights. The rear insert around exhaust tips have been blackened and small insert which looks like a diffuser has been added in the middle. The automaker has also done away with the small corner reflectors on the current model. Other features carry over unchanged. I believe the automaker is planning to debut a new generation of the sedan for the 2019 or 2020 model year hence the decision not to make extensive changes on the 2018 version of the Q50.
The cabin has not changed much just like the exterior. Among the new changes is the inclusion of quilted stitching on front seat side bolsters. The dash is wrapped by a leather-like material with double contrast stitching. While lower trims have aluminum-looking inserts, higher trims are equipped with wooden veneers for more premium feel. The center console features a new shift knob that is more performance-oriented; the knob also has a leather boot with double stitching and a new chrome surround. The steering wheel is also new; the unit’s design is actually borrowed from the Q60 sports coupe. The unit has a smaller central hub that hosts an airbag as well as a lower spoke that augurs well with the center console and the doors’ aluminum trim. The Red Sport 400 has red contrast stitching on numerous surfaces to set it apart from its siblings.
The model’s infotainment system continues unchanged; the system dubbed InTouch has an 8.0-inch LCD display screen at the top and 7.0-inch touch-screen unit down below. The LCD displays most used apps while the lower screen is used to access other functions and systems. The system provides for customization of one’s preferences with ability to store profiles for different drivers. The vehicle also comes with an innovative system that automatically moves the driver’s seat and the steering wheel for easier access.
For audiophiles, Infiniti offers a 16-speaker Bose audio system which delivers enhanced acoustics as well as surround sound.
Safety is paramount for any luxury hauler and Infiniti does not disappoint, the automaker has packaged all its autonomous driving aids in a package christened ProPILOT. The package features Direct Adaptive Steering, Intelligent Cruise Control, Active Lane Control, Backup Collision Mitigation, Distance Control Assist, Lane Departure Warning & Prevention, Blind Spot Warning & Intervention, Preventive Forward Collision Warning as well as Forward Emergency Braking.
The 2018 Infiniti Q50 is also available with several driving modes; they include Personal, Standard, Eco, Snow, Sport and Sport+. Each mode adjusts suspension, transmission, engine response and steering suitably.
Engine and performance
The model carries over without any drive-train changes. As such, the base models are still powered by the turbocharged 2.0 L, 4-cylinder engine that produces 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Some markets other than the U.S. will also get a 2.2 L, diesel mill good for 168 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The Q50 Sport is powered by a 3.0 L, V-6 good for 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The engine is tuned to deliver 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque on the Red Sport 400 trim. The V-6 is also used on the Q50 Hybrid where it combines with an electric motor to produce 360 hp.
Shifting duty is effected by a 7-speed automatic system that features a manual mode featuring downshift rev matching. The models can be had either in RWD or AWD.
The automaker has however retuned the Dynamic Digital Suspension system by adding adaptive and electronic dampers that work in sync with the current Direct Adaptive Steering System to enhance the ride quality. Both stabilizer bars have been improved for a flatter and more agile ride. The Sport trim comes with a Performance package that adds quicker steering ratio, a firmer suspension and upgraded brakes.
Price and release date
There is a slight price increase to go with the new trim level name changes. The 2.0t trim can now be had in Pure and Luxe trims. The Pure trim has an MSRP of $34,200 while the Luxe costs $36,200 in RWD; AWD is available for an extra $2000. The 3.0t trim is available in only Luxe flavor and costs $38,950 with RWD and $40,950 with AWD.
The 2018 Infiniti Q50 Sport naming is unchanged and is available for $40,650 for RWD models and $46,250 for AWD models. The Hybrid is available in Luxe form and attracts $50,600 and $56,200 for RWD and AWD respectively. The “top dog” of the lineup, the Red Sport 400 attracts $51,000 in RWD and $53,000 in AWD.