The Infiniti Q50 Sports Sedan has been the multi-purpose sedan leader for Infiniti since its introduction in 2014. Offering a range of trim levels, powertrains, features and amenities with a moderate entry level price, the Q50 had been a favorite of Infiniti drivers from ‘daily driver’ types to road touring and even – if need be – some track time on the weekends.
But, to do that, you will need to be behind the wheel of the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 in order to take advantage of the best and most powerful performer they offer in the line.
The 2018 Q50 Red Sport 400 is mildly refreshed from last year with some new front and rear fascia treatments, giving the Red Sport 400 a more aggressive stance front and rear on the outside. On the inside, the paddle shifters have been moved to the steering wheel for more effective shift performance with new stitched upper instrument panel treatment plus quilting and red stitching on the seats and dark chrome interior trims have been added.
Other than that, it continues with all the stuff that puts it high on my list as a serious sports sedan with track-level creds – if needed. So, let’s take a look at one.
2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 RWD – as tested
The 2018 Infiniti Q50 Sport Sedan loaned to us for a recent week-long test was the top-of-the-line performance Red Sport 400 with rear-wheel drive (MSRP $51,000) in Dynamic Sunstone Red exterior and a Graphite Semi-Aniline Quilted Leather with Kacchu Aluminum accents interior.
The Q50 Red Sport 400 comes as well-equipped for performance as you will find in a sports sedan without going to a full track featured configuration.
The Q50 Red Sport 400 powertrain features the WardsAuto 10 Best Engines winning (2017 and 2018) 3.0L twin turbo engine kicking out 400 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque delivered to the rear wheels through the 7-speed automatic transmission with Sport Mode and Downshift Rev Matching. With solid magnesium paddle shifters and Adaptive Shift Control and effectively utilizing its Sport or Sport+ Drive Mode Selector setting, this power plant starts fast, shifts quickly with 0-60 mph performance under five seconds and rolls out to a top speed (limited) of 155 mph.
With that performance, it is not a fuel sipper, you can expect fuel economy of 20/26 mpg city/highway and 22 mpg combined.
With plenty of power, the Q50 Red Sport 400 runs solidly and handles easily around town or on the highway with its Rack Speed Sensing Electronic Power Steering and Electronically Controlled Digital Dynamic Suspension with independent double wishbone and stabilizer bar front and multi-link independent with stabilizer bar rear.
Braking is sure and certain with Power-Assisted Sport brakes (painted red calipers of course) with 4-piston front and 2 piston rear calipers with vented discs 14.0-inches front and 13.8-inches rear.
Our rear-wheel drive test Red Sport 400 was running on 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels in staggered configuration mounted with Dunlop 245/40R19 front and 265/35R19 rear summer tires.
Convenience and Amenities
No self-respecting sports sedan goes without a Power Tinted Sliding Glass Moon Roof and our Q50 had one.
The Q50 Red Sport 400 driver and passenger seating was sport styled 8-way power and heated semi-aniline leather-appointed with torso and lumbar adjustment. In addition, both driver and passenger seats had manually adjustable thigh extensions which make taller of bigger drivers (and passengers) happy on road trips.
Lighting on our Q50 was exceptional and included auto On/Off LED Headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lights plus LED Fog Lights, front turn signals, rear brake lights and LED turn signal lights integrated in the power heated outside mirrors. We also noted the very bright approach/welcome lighting integrated into the door handles when out at night.
The Q50 Red Sport 400 comes standard with Cruise Control, Push Button Start, Front and Rear Sonar and a six-speaker AM/FM/HD/CD audio system with SiriusXM radio plus XM Travel and XM Traffic, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, streaming audio and Infiniti InTouch Navigation with voice recognition.
All of the technology was supported by the extremely bright and clear touch-capacitive Infiniti InTouch Dual screen color displays (upper 8-inch and lower 7-inch), Infiniti Controller system and a carefully selected group of switches and dials.
Of particular note was the Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection. As you would expect you could view all or selected sides using the controller. But most impressive for us was the special forward camera function with its own switch that gave you the view just in front of the vehicle. It included dynamic guidance lines and wheel position indicators to separately enable the driver to exactly place the vehicle moving forward.
The Q50 featured a rear-view camera, Backup Collision Intervention, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Forward Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Other standard safety features included Anti-lock Braking system with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Vehicle Dynamic Control with Traction Control and Specific Tire Pressure Monitoring.
Packages and Options
Much to our delight the Sport Sensory Package ($2,650) upgraded several elements starting with audio where we thoroughly enjoyed the week with holiday music delivered through the Bose Performance Series 16-speaker audio with Centerpoint Surround Sound. Other features included Advanced Climate Control with Plasmacluster air purifier and enhanced interior ambient lighting.
A Proactive Package ($2,700) added Intelligent Cruise Control, Distance Control Assist, Direct Adaptive Steering, Lane Departure Prevention w/Active Lane Control and Adaptive Front Lighting System w/auto-leveling headlights and High Beam Assist.
The very sharp Dynamic Sunstone Red exterior finish was an extra cost at $800.
For ‘fluff’ as I call it, they also added Infiniti Illuminated Kick Plates ($465), the Infiniti Radiant Grille Emblem ($400) and Carbon Fibre Package ($1,500) that included a carbon fibre decklid spoiler and exterior mirror covers.
With delivery, our test 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 RWD sport sedan priced at $60,510.
Again, the 2018 Infiniti Q50 Sports Sedan comes in several versions with smaller powertrains and fewer performance features – and for less money. But if you want a true sport sedan at all levels, then you need to opt (as we would) for the Q50 Red Sport 400.
You can get more information on the all six (including a hybrid) of the 2018 Infiniti Q50 Sport Sedans (starting at MSRP $34,200 for FWD – AWD $2,000 more) here: https://www.infinitiusa.com/sedan/q50