The Infiniti Q50S Red Sport 400 does the driving for you

Whether you like it or not.

Damien Reid May 16, 2017

For a moment there, when driving the Infiniti Q50S Red Sport 400, I could almost understand what F1 drivers like Daniel Ricciardo go through mid-race when the car does something they didn’t expect.

Probably due to Infiniti’s super successful relationship as a technical partner with four-time F1 world champions, Red Bull Racing, the Infiniti Q50S Red Sport 400 sometimes likes to take matters into its own hands.

Mostly that’s okay. For example, to stop the occasional lane wander using its Direct Adaptive Steering that offers steer-by-wire technology. But there were times during our test when it felt a bit too ‘in-control’ and wanted to do the job for us.

Taking 400bhp and 475Nm of torque from its twin-turbocharged, 3-litre V6 out of your hands, even for a split second, is a bit daunting, but it’s part of an optional Technology Pack which includes intelligent cruise control, lane departure guidance and prevention, blind spot warning and intervention, forward emergency braking and predictive forward collision warning.

It’s a suite of high-tech gadgets which keeps an eye out for the driver to avoid accidents in front, behind and to the side of the vehicle and when it decides that you’re not paying close enough attention, it takes charge.

It’s quick, getting to 100kmh in 4.5 seconds and on to a governed 250kmh top speed. The only visual difference between it and the more pedestrian, 300bhp Q50 is a red badge on the boot lid and the exhaust tips.

The Q50S Red Sport 400 is the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing with its rear-wheel drive and seven-speed auto transmission. It has proper sports-car characteristics but is a sleeper among the sports sedan brigade and could easily be overlooked when shopping for new 400bhp wheels.

For a performance car, its excessive electronic aids stifle driver engagement which prevents it from being a genuine AMG or BMW M competitor and while for 90 per cent of the time it works a treat, there are still a few occasions when you resist the temptation to let it take control. I guess that’s the age we live in now with semi-autonomous vehicles creeping into the mainstream.

infiniti-me.com

Specs

  • Engine: 3.0-litre, twin-turbo V6
  • Power: 400bhp @ 6400rpm
  • Torque: 475Nm @ 1,600rpm
  • Transmission: 7-speed auto
  • 0-100kmh: 4.5 seconds
  • Top speed: 250kmh
  • Price: AED 195,000