The brand-new Infiniti Q50, which made its world debut at the Detroit Motor Show last January, made its European premiere in Geneva and, according to the manufacturer, it is its “most significant car yet for the European marketplace”.
That’s because the rear-wheel drive sedan is designed to compete in the compact premium class where it will face some stiff opposition. Since most Europeans opt for diesel engines, the Q50 will be available in the Old Continent with a 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel that puts out 168HP (170PS) and 400Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque.
In spite of a pretty respectable 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration time of under 9 seconds, Infiniti announces an average consumption figure of just 4.4 lt/100 km (53.5 mpg US, 64 mpg UK) and less than 115g of CO2 per km.
This engine is the first fruit of Infiniti's collaboration with Mercedes-Benz and will be available with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed auto transmission, both tailored to Infiniti’s own specs.
Clients wishing more oomph can opt for the second version of the Q50 that will be offered in Europe, the 3.5 Hybrid that, thanks to its 359HP (364PS) output sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 5.5 seconds.
The Q50 Hybrid uses the same dual-clutch Direct Response Hybrid and seven-speed auto transmission as the M35h “big brother” but with an extended EV-only range and improved performance and efficiency: its average consumption is 6.2 lt/100 km (38 mpg US, 45 mpg UK) and it emits less than 145 g/km of CO2.
The diesel Q50 will be offered only with rear-wheel drive while the Hybrid will be available with AWD, too. Both models will go on sale from autumn, depending on the market, in standard and Sport versions.
By Andrew Tsaousis