Lots of cars have so-called Grand Touring, or GT, versions. Typically, they offer more performance than the standard models, but when asked to live up to the true definition of a Grand Touring car — offering exceptional comfort on an extended road trip in a fatigue-free environment — they fall short.
And yet this is exactly what the 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 does, despite the lack of a GT badge affixed to its trunk lid.
Plush leather seating with a multitude of adjustments is the centerpiece of an outstanding driving environment. The “zero gravity” seat tech Infiniti cribbed from NASA ensures all-day comfort. The interior is at once elegant, high-tech and exceptionally clean in its appearance.
That said, we did note a few opportunities for improving the passenger compartment. The power/volume dial for the audio system is placed directly in line with the shift lever. You’ll hit your wrist on it the first time you try to turn the radio on. The center arm rest is positioned just a tad too far to the rear, so your elbow rests upon its front edge. And the piano-black trim on the center console reflects sunlight into the driver’s face in mid-afternoon driving.
On the other hand, every modern driver’s aid known to the industry is offered, including steer-by-wire. Another highlight is Infiniti’s predictive forward collision technology, which actually looks two cars ahead of the Q60 to respond to potential changes in traffic flow and terrain.
Power comes from a twin-turbocharged evolution of Nissan’s venerable VQ series V-6 engine. It is now known as the VR series. Nestled within the V of the block, one turbocharger feeds each bank of cylinders. Close proximity means less plumbing, which practically eliminates turbo lag. In fact, we found it to be non-existent. Output for this version of the 3.0-liter V-6 is 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. The Q60’s other engine offerings include a 208-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four and a 300-horsepower version of the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6.
A smart seven-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode conveyed power to all four wheels in our test car. Rear-drive is offered as well. Adaptive shift control makes the transmission “smart,” in that it can read the road as well as your driving style and adjust gear changes accordingly.
Five drive modes are offered: Eco, Snow, Standard, Sport and Sport+. Sport+ incites the Q60 Red Sport 400 to absolutely slay the road.
Full-throttle acceleration was an eye-opening experience. In a wholly unscientifically timed acceleration run, we got to 60 from a standstill in just under 5 seconds. One really needs to keep an eye on the Infiniti’s speedometer, as the Q60 Red Sport 400 generally travels some 30 mph faster than your senses indicate. Road holding is outstanding, braking is excellent, and the steering provides exceptional response with remarkable feedback.
Any way you examine it, this is a proper driver’s car. Fast, beautiful, comfortable, well finished and sumptuously equipped, the 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport S is a grand tourer in the truest sense of the term.