What’s the difference between a “G” and a “Q”. The brains at Infiniti think they have the answer. It’s status.
Apparently that’s why they took the successful and popular Infiniti G37 and changed its name. It’s now called the Q60.
I guess we need to start with a little history lesson. Once upon a time, when Nissan first brought Infiniti to America, the company’s flagship car was the Q45. It was big and luxurious with bold no-grill front end styling. While the Q45 may not have sold as well as its Lexus competitors, it did help to establish the Infiniti brand as a luxury contender.
The Q line of cars drifted away in 2006. The only Q available today from Infiniti is the QX SUV collection.
Nissan is no stranger to changing names. Remember, it started out in the US as Datsun. It took years to recover after it decided to use it’s corporate name. I don’t think the Q60 will have that same problem. Yes, we loved the G37. But it’s not a letter that is burned into our vocabulary like Datsun was.
So let’s talk about the car. I liked it. The Q60 is the convertible version. If you want a straight hard top coupe, you get the Q50. My test car was the Q60S. I’m assuming the S stands for sport, because my car had a six speed manual transmission along with sport tuned steering and better brakes.
The 3.7-liter V6 engine was great. 325 horsepower is the perfect amount. I don’t need a luxury car to impress me with it’s outrageous acceleration, but I want it to get up and move. The Q60s did that nicely. Of course, having the six-speed transmission with a short throw shifter helped. At one point, I wondered who are they really aiming at with a quick and nimble luxury car with a manual transmission. And then I realized, I was Infiniti’s target market. Some guy in his 50s who can afford a luxury car, but want’s to be sporty as well. He just doesn’t feel the need to get too flashy about it. I liked the throaty growl it made both idling and accelerating. You can expect 16 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.
Since you’re paying a lot extra for the convertible, it’s worth some discussion. It’s a three-piece hard top that goes up and down with the touch of one button. Hardtop convertibles are both complicated and impressive. This one had so many moving surfaces that it looked like automotive cirque du soleil when it was in full motion. It’s a great way to impressive anyone who is standing near the car when it’s time to raise or lower the top. Even more impressive is that you can lower the top just by holding down on the door button. Why would you need to do that? Besides the fact that you get the full effect of the show from outside, here in Arizona I like to vent the car on hot summer days. No better way to do that than to simply put the top down for a moment and let all that superheated air escape (before I have to sit inside and bake).
Convertibles never look as good as hardtops in my book, but this one isn’t bad. It’s doesn’t have the humpback whale look of the Lexus SC. The only downside to the overall styling is that the G37/35 look isn’t new. While it still holds up well, it’s probably time to start looking for the next generation to show up.
Inside, it’s a great luxury car. If I had to be picky, I would say that I’m not impressed with the instrument display. It uses some pretty old school looking orange digital read-outs. That was great six years ago, but many car companies are doing much more and for a car this expensive, it’s time to step up to the next level. My car also had the aluminum trim. While it looked nice, I wonder how well it will survive. Some previous tester had scratched the finish. It reminded me of my stainless steel fridge. Great to look at, but treat it carefully. I’d rather not do that with a car (it does have an optional maple finish). I can tell you the seats were great. The Q60S gets upgraded 12 way power seats that have enough adjustments to fit every body type.
The price for the Q60S starts at $52,750. Throw in a few option packages and you’re quickly heading towards $60,000. So is it worth it? I think so. The car had the right power and the right look. The top worked great and the inside was sufficiently luxurious. Could it be better? Sure, and I’m hoping the next generation will give even more. But for right now the Q60S is a great option for someone who wants to put the top down and cruise with style.
Or maybe Infiniti should start a campaign to call it Qruising so that everyone remembers the new name.