Nissan’s (NSANY.PK) luxury division, Infiniti, makes some damn fine luxury automobiles, but in the grand scheme of sales, the brand is often left out of the rat race between the Germans and even Cadillac and Lexus. Infiniti sold 12,494 units last month, less than half that of BMW or Mercedes, and a couple of thousand units less than Audi. Nonetheless, Infiniti makes some really competitive, comfortable, and worthy vehicles.
Take the newly introduced 2015 Q70 sedan. Introduced on Tuesday, the Q70 — derived from Infiniti’s lauded M sedan — takes on the same face and physique as the Q50, and it occupies a spot at the top of Infiniti’s (admittedly small) sedan family. Notably, the Q70 now comes in both long wheelbase and short wheelbase versions, depending on what suits the buyer.
The base car has been elongated by some 7.3 inches in total, the majority of which becomes a very real translation of 5.6 inches of additional legroom in the backseat. However, Infiniti did an exceptional job making sure the car doesn’t look awkwardly long from the outside; the new stature is complemented by the Q70′s looks, resulting in a natural, flowing shape that doesn’t look like the engineers just dropped an additional 7 inches into the middle.
“We know our customers desire more choice and prestige. The long wheelbase Q70 is our offer to them,” said Vincent Gillet, vice president of marketing for Infiniti, in a statement. “The Q70 delivers on all accounts — attention to detail, highly crafted materials, class-leading rear roominess, comfortable ride, and superior levels of interior quietness.”
Under the hood, all has remained familiar and the same. The base engine is the delightful and angsty 3.7 liter V6, which produces 330 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. Above that sits the 5.6 liter V8 and its 420 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are available for both wheelbase sizes, though the Q70 hybrid remains exclusive to the short wheelbase only. All engines are mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission.
Inside — by means of new insulation, stiffer wheels, and sealing — the Q70 is said to be among the quietest vehicles on the road. There’s also a Active Noise Control feature that “monitors cabin noise levels and generates ‘canceling’ sound from four door speakers to reduce noise, so it’s easier to hold conversations in the car or to better enjoy the music,” Infiniti says.
As for the driving experience itself, customers can choose via Infiniti’s Drive Mode Selector, which allows them to select one of four driving modes — Standard, Eco, Sport, or Snow. “The integrated control system will adjust throttle sensitivity and transmission mapping to help optimize performance,” Infiniti said. “To encourage eco-driving behavior, the available Eco Pedal provides feedback directly through the accelerator by giving a slight pushback if driving inefficiently.”
The Infiniti Q70 will be on display at the New York Auto Show this week, alongside the refreshed QX80 SUV.