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|MAYNARD'S GARAGE- Q = Infiniti: 2014 Q60 IPL Is About Name Recognition|
|Written by Mark Maynard|
|Thursday, 05 December 2013 06:08|
Photo Credit Creative Syndicate
The Infiniti Performance Line portfolio, adds a modest power increase, a more audible exhaust note, aero body panels and some interior finery.
The Infiniti Q60 IPL fourseater is pure style statement. This rakish coupe pulls up to the party as if it had just stepped off of a yacht, to adapt a line from "You're So Vain," by Carly Simon.
It is a multicultural collection of all things that turn heads. The Infiniti Performance Line portfolio, adds a modest power increase, a more audible exhaust note, aero body panels and some interior finery.
The Q60 IPL test car with six-speed manual starts at $52,105, including the $905 freight charge from Japan. Add $1,900 for a seven-speed automatic with Sport mode, rev-matching downshifts and magnesium paddle shifters.
The Malbec Black metallic test car came with the Monaco Red interior, a no-cost option, which is highly desirable in appearance, touch and aroma. The aero treatment includes front and rear fascias, side sills and rear spoiler. Silk Obi aluminum finish trim is an attractive accent.
Inside, there is a 12-way power adjustable driver's seat, eight-way power passenger seat, aluminum pedals and driver's footrest, and11-speaker Bose "Studio on Wheels" audio system and more perks that satisfy a $52,000 tab.
The performance is muted until the dual exhausts are wailing at high rpms. With mild modifications to exhaust and engine management, the 3.7-liter V-6 generates 348 horsepower and 276 footpounds of torque. That's 18-horsepower more than the non-IPL Q60 and a boost of 6 foot-pounds torque.
The clutch is light and the gears slot easily, so it's no exercise workout to creep along in traffic. Fuel economy seems light at 17 mpg city and 25 highway on the recommended premium, but the Q60 seems heavy at 3,727 pounds.
Except for its name, the car is a continuation from 2013. The basic trim, the Q60 is lithe and cooperative and about $10,000 less than the IPL treatment. If you once knew Infiniti, the luxury brand of Nissan, there is some explaining to be done.
The new Infiniti Motor Co. is now headquartered in Hong Kong and led by President Johan De Nysschen, who came from Audi after steering VW's luxury through a major re-branding. Among the first things de Nysschen did after landing at Infiniti was to alter the naming of the vehicles in the lineup.
There would be no more alpha-numeric names with letters and engine-size designations -- FX50, EX37, M56, etc. All models are now Q (cars) or QX (crossovers and SUVs) with a number to designate vehicle segment.
It was time to get away from engine sizes, said Infiniti spokesman Kyle Bazemore. There is a top-line halo car on the way that will get the Q90 or QX90 nameplate and a small car, the C30, on the horizon.
But why Q? All the other letters from A to S are already taken. And Infiniti owns the trademark for Q, which it began with in 1989 for the launch of the brand and the Q sedan.
After driving the Q60 IPL for a week, I won't forget the name.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 05 December 2013 06:13|