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Infiniti Q50: Chicago Auto Show

What Is It?

The Infiniti Q50 is a luxurious sport sedan that debuted for the 2014 model year, and at this year’s Chicago Auto Show, it’s getting three new engine options designed to appeal to shoppers interested in performance, fuel economy or both.

Previously only offered with a gasoline-powered 3.7-liter V6 or a 3.5-liter hybrid V6, the Q50 now touts three new powertrain choices. Base-level models, dubbed Q50 2.0t, will use a 208-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder — an engine that’s shared with Mercedes-Benz and available in that brand’s CLA250 and GLA250. That powertrain will be available with rear- or all-wheel drive.

Above the 2.0t, the gas-powered 3.7-liter V6 is gone — replaced instead by a new 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 in the Q50 3.0t. That engine is available in two different variants: a base-level version with 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and a Red Sport model with 400 hp and 350 lb-ft. Both are only offered with a 7-speed automatic transmission, though you can get either one with rear- or all-wheel drive.

The only powertrain carrying over is the Q50 Hybrid’s 3.5-liter hybrid V6, which offers 360 hp and fuel economy ratings as high as 28 miles per gallon in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.

Infiniti has not announced any other updates to the Q50, though the Red Sport model will offer a few performance-oriented features such as unique 19-inch alloy wheels, a sport suspension and Infiniti’s latest Direct Adaptive Steering system.

How Much?

Although Infiniti hasn’t announced pricing, we suspect the 2.0t model will slot below the sedan’s current base price of around $38,000 with shipping. Meanwhile, 3.0t models will likely be near that figure, while the Red Sport will likely start somewhere in the mid-$40,000 range.

When Can You Get It?

Early 2016

Add It to Your Shopping List Because…

The Infiniti Q50 is already one of our favorite sport sedans, touting impressive equipment and strong value, especially compared to rivals such as the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class. Now the Q50’s powertrains make it an even more viable competitor, with more options and a fuel-efficient base engine for drivers who want the Q50’s design and equipment without its relatively inefficient powertrain.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Acura TLX — Directly rivaling the Q50’s base-level models, the TLX doesn’t offer the same performance as the Infiniti, but it touts affordable pricing, notorious durability and strong gas mileage.

2016 BMW 3 Series — The aging BMW 3 Series is still a strong competitor to the Q50, offering sharp styling and impressive performance. But the 3 Series is more expensive than the Q50, and it’s not as big.

2016 Lexus IS — The IS recently underwent an engine renaissance of its own, adding turbocharged powertrains just like the Q50. The IS is smaller than the Infiniti, but it offers sharper styling and handling.

Used Mercedes C-Class — The recently redesigned Mercedes C-Class is the most impressive car in this segment, offering impressive powertrain choices, a high-end interior and excellent driving characteristics. But prices are steep, so you may need to consider a certified pre-owned model.

Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More

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