What Is It?
The Infiniti Q60 Concept rolls into the 2015 Detroit Auto Show with striking lines and twin-turbo V6 power, providing the clearest glimpse yet of the next-generation Q60 Coupe. It’s high time, too, as the current Q60 Coupe is about ready to head out to pasture. The current model has led a long and interesting life, bolstered by its 330-horsepower V6, elegant styling and well-trimmed, user-friendly cabin, but it dates back to 2009, and a slew of higher-tech rivals have debuted in the interim. The Q60 Concept is here to show us the way forward.
Measuring 1.6 inches wider and standing almost an inch shorter than the current second-generation model, the Q60 Concept’s dynamic proportions are striking. It has a muscular presence that’s been missing since the demise of the first-generation car (known as the G35 Coupe), and the designers have emphasized it with a prominent trapezoidal grille, a sharp, arrow-straight beltline and a distinctive kink where the side windows terminate at the fastback rear roofline. The chrome and matte-black 21-in wheels seem unlikely to make it to production, but they look fantastic on the Q60 Concept, stuffing its wheel wells with what look like liquid-metal spokes. The taillights are beautifully understated, and if you inspect them closely, you’ll see a cool 3-D pattern of LED ridges fanning out from the central bulb cluster.
Under the hood, the Q60 Concept’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 signals Infiniti’s intent to part ways with the current car’s venerable 3.7-liter V6, which also powers the related Q50 sedan and other Infiniti products. This is a good thing because the big 3.7 lacks the refinement and fuel economy that shoppers expect in this hyper-competitive segment. We don’t have any output numbers on the new engine yet, but Infiniti says it employs direct-injection technology. We expect it to be at least competitive with the Mercedes-Benz C400’s similar twin-turbo V6 (329 hp, 354 lb-ft of torque). If Infiniti can nail the fuel economy and refinement angles as well, increasing fuel economy numbers while keeping it smooth from idle to redline, this could be the engine that turns the brand’s fortunes around. For now, the transmission is still the familiar 7-speed automatic, and we would be surprised to see the production Coupe debut with a different setup.
Inside, the Infiniti Q60 Concept looks like it’s ready for the dealership right now. Although the rakishly angled dashboard is coupe-specific, the switchgear and dual infotainment screens on the center stack are clearly lifted from the existing Q50 sedan. We have mixed feelings about this dual-display approach, as plenty of rivals do just fine with one, but it certainly gives the cabin an up-to-date look. The Concept’s interior is likely close to what we’ll see when the third-generation Q60 Coupe debuts.
Overall, it looks like the designers have absolutely done their part with the Q60 Concept. Will the final version drive well enough to make BMW squirm? We’re looking forward to finding out.
Will They Ever Sell It?
Without a doubt. Infiniti refers to its “concept-to-production plans” in the Q60’s press release, so it’s only a matter of time before the Q60 Concept hits the streets. You can expect that to happen in the first half of 2016.