2017 Infiniti Q60 is re-engineered for power and style

Markets Associated Press

Infiniti has re-engineered its Q60 coupe for 2017, giving it more sculpted and sexy styling, three turbocharged engines and more features than ever, including various selectable steering modes.

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The top engine in the rear-wheel drive Q60 is now a twin-turbocharged V-6 that generates as much as 400 horsepower and 350 foot-pounds of torque, which is more than the higher-priced Audi S5 and Lexus RC coupes with six-cylinder engines.

But a new base engine — a 208-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder — helped reduce the new Q60's starting manufacturer's suggested retail price to $39,855, which includes the destination charge.

This base 2017 Q60 includes leatherette-covered seats, push-button start, dual-zone, automatic climate control, eight-way, power-adjustable front seats, two display screens in the dashboard, two USB connection ports and rear-view camera.

The lowest starting MSRP, with destination charge, for a 2017 Q60 with all-wheel drive is $41,855. The lowest starting MSRP for the version with the 400-horsepower twin-turbo V-6 engine is $52,205.

A manual transmission no longer is offered, as all new Q60s have a seven-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting mode.

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Redesigned inside and out for 2017, the Q60 is Infiniti's only coupe and its smallest model in terms of passenger room.

The Q60 carries seats for just four people, and back-seat room is pinched for adults, with 32.4 inches of legroom and 34.5 inches of headroom in the back. Passengers also sit rather low to the pavement.

The big appeal is the Q60's sporty appearance and handling. This two-door model hugs the road, maneuvers easily, accelerates quickly and is eye-catching, especially when painted the $800-optional Dynamic Sunstone Red.

With three trim levels and a half dozen equipment packages, the 2017 Q60 can be outfitted as a luxurious gran tourer or a sport-focused coupe.

In the test-driven Q60 Red Sport 400, the front semi-aniline leather seats were among the most comfortable in a car and kept the driver and passenger securely in place, though head restraints sat quite close to the backs of heads.

Controls were easy to understand and use. Even the arrangement of two display screens atop the center of the Q60 dashboard was well conceived. The top screen could keep a street map visible at full size while the driver adjusted radio stations via the second screen.

And while there's no knob to tune the radio in the Q60, at least the "tune" button on the dashboard is sizable to allow for quick up-and-down station changes.

The lack of gimmickry continues to the gearshift lever, which is in a familiar place in the middle of the center console and easy to use.

That said, the Q60's interior feels a bit small when considering the car's exterior proportions — 15.4 feet long and 6.1 feet across.

The Q60 also can feel a bit heavy. The test-driven model weighed 3,862 pounds, which is more than a Chevrolet Impala full-size sedan. Fortunately, it had the Q60's most powerful engine, which responded quickly to propel the coupe through traffic.

The power came on smoothly for the most part, though the driver can select different drive modes, such as Sport and Sport Plus, to get more strident acceleration. Peak torque of 350 foot-pounds comes on by 1,600 rpm.

The Q60 also has a $1,000 option of Direct Adaptive Steering, which offers a mind-boggling choice of steering ratios.

The ride, even in Standard drive mode, was a bit busy, with road bumps and imperfections perceptible nearly always.

Features for the Q60 this year expand to include a 13-speaker, Bose, premium sound system tailored just for the interior of this car, which makes the car's interior feel like the perfect music studio.

Fuel economy with the twin-turbo V-6, however, is on par with that of some SUVs and is rated at an average of 22 miles per gallon.