“Each mechanical aspect has been tuned in unison to make the Q30 perform as one, delivering a holistic driving experience that is both involving and intuitive. As a result, high performance is deployed consistently.” - Grahame Cornforth, Infiniti chief vehicle engineer
The Q30 active compact delivers a dynamic driving experience unique to Infiniti, following a global vehicle test programme for ride and handling, as well as durability, to fine-tune the car to meet the varied demands of Infiniti’s global markets.
The Q30’s development began at the brand’s technical centre in Japan, before moving to the company’s European technical centre in the United Kingdom for final development and testing. In total, over 750 Infiniti engineers have been involved in the car’s development, with testing taking place in Japan, North America and Europe.
The car has been validated on a variety of roads, from congested, low-speed urban environments, to high-altitude mountain passes in Europe and North America, and derestricted sections of the Autobahn in Germany. Europe’s roads offer the most challenging test of ride and handling; with more testing carried out in Europe than any existing Infiniti model, the Q30 has been engineered to perform in every one of the company’s growing number of global markets.
“The Q30 offers excellent steering, further enhancing the overall ride and handling feel, as well as a tuned suspension and body response that’s uniquely Infiniti. Thanks to this set-up, the car offers a secure and in-control driving sensation, a perfect example being Q30’s ability to confidently steer the right cornering angle and ‘hold the line’ precisely through the corner.” - Grahame Cornforth, Infiniti chief vehicle engineer
The priority for Infiniti engineers was to strike an ideal balance between a comfortable ride and enjoyable handling. The car stays firm on the road thanks to specially tuned shock absorbers, with engineers testing over 50 variations on prototype vehicles before arriving at the optimal setting, while the ride remains smooth throughout. Body stiffness has been enhanced to the benefit of the driver, reducing NVH, so the Q30 experience feels and sounds controlled.
Infiniti engineers have designed the suspension to be both forgiving and comfortable, without sacrificing agility. Bump shock rates and shock absorber rebound rates have been specially tuned, while MacPherson front struts offer tight packaging to best handle Q30’s size and weight. A multilink system at the rear offers precise wheel control in all conditions.
Depending on model, the Q30’s suspension settings offer two different styles of dynamic performance. With their raised stance, the Q30 models are well-suited to the varied and often inconsistent road surfaces found in urban environments, with the suspension set-up biased towards reducing vibration and harshness picked up from the road to reduce fatigue. In addition, a comfortable high speed ride, and highly stable steering and handling, ensure the best possible refinement and emphasise the feeling of the driver being in command at the wheel.
Notwithstanding the Q30’s raised ground clearance and supple suspension, the car offers a lively performance and handling around corners. Uncommon among rivals, every iteration of the Q30 is fitted with rebound springs, counteracting pitch and roll and compensating for the higher ride height. In spite of a suspension tuned for comfort, the rebound springs ensure a flat ride at all times – and a high level of grip by ensuring a larger tyre contact patch under cornering.
The Q30 Sport has been engineered to offer a more intuitive, in-control driving experience, while being comfortable to use on a daily basis. With 15mm lower ride height and a slightly firmer ride than the Q30, the Q30 Sport benefits from even tighter body control and reduced pitch and roll. The Sport’s springs are 7% stiffer than other Q30 models, offering increased levels of damping at low speeds for more precise handling and immediate responses. At high speeds, however, the springs have been carefully tuned to offer the same level of damping as those found on the other Q30 models, ensuring high cruising comfort.
The electronically-controlled power steering has been tuned to deliver smooth, linear inputs and an ‘in-command’ feeling for the driver, with a highly-intuitive speed-sensitive rate of response. Every version of the Q30 is equipped with a quick 14.4:1 steering rack, with just 2.51 turns needed from lock-to-lock.
Lighter inputs make the car more comfortable to drive in congested, low speed, urban environments, reducing stress and driver fatigue, while a gradual increase in resistance according to incremental changes in speed boosts driver confidence and control, and a ‘locked in’, highly stable feeling at high speeds.
While many rival electronic steering systems offer less off-centre steering resistance, before adding tension as more lock is applied, Infiniti has programmed its steering system to offer more progressive, linear responses to driver input. This enables a gradual build-up in resistance and more stable handling at speed, and also gives drivers a greater level of traceability around corners, with no need to make constant adjustments to allow for the variable level of steering resistance they may find elsewhere.
Suspension and steering are tuned for every different grade of Q30, providing a consistent level of ride and handling performance at every point in the model line-up.
Different weights over the front axle – depending on engine and transmission – can have a significant effect on ride and handling, with the effect often accentuated by optional equipment, ride height, and wheel and tyre size. As a counteracting measure, Infiniti has fine-tuned two different suspension settings for Q30 – one for lighter models, and another for heavier versions of the car.
Cars fall into each category based on their engine – 1.5-litre diesel and 1.6-litre gasoline in the lighter suspension calibration, and the heavier 2.0-litre gasoline and 2.2-litre diesel engines getting their own specification. The weight of optional equipment is also factored in.
The effect is near-total uniformity of handling across the range, with those cars with heavier engines not bearing a penalty in front-end handling compared to lighter models in the range, and lighter models benefiting from the same secure, planted handling of a heavier model.
Every Q30 engine has been tuned to offer smooth, responsive power delivery, with Infiniti’s technical engineers working to give customers a sense that the Q30’s accelerative ability is instant and progressive, for a more exciting and assured drive. This ‘in-command’ approach has been achieved by adopting an active ‘surge damper’ in the throttle pedal mechanism, the end result being a more direct response from the engine to pedal inputs, with no delay in action.
This sensation of endless power delivery, at any engine speed, provides a consistent surge or swell in performance, giving drivers the confidence in the Q30’s ability to safely complete an overtaking manoeuvre or join a motorway at higher speeds. By widening the engine speeds at which power and torque are readily available, Infiniti engineers have ensured that the powertrain can deliver the desired level of performance in all conditions.
The Q30 offers a choice of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines to meet the varied demands of customers around the globe, each engineered to offer a wide band of torque for linear, responsive acceleration at all times. This easy access to the engine’s best performance is most evident in the lower half of the rev range, in which the majority of motorists will keep their engines during everyday driving.
The base, Premium and Premium Tech models are available with a 1.6-litre gasoline engine, or a pair of turbodiesel engines (1.5-litre and 2.2-litre).
With mechanical efficiency at its core, and bolstered by CAMTRONIC variable valve lift technology for maximum efficiency, the fast-revving turbocharged 1.6-litre gasoline engine offers two different power and torque outputs. The 121hpengine, producing 200Nm torque allows Q30 to accelerate from 0-to-100kph in 9.4 seconds, with CO2 emissions of 133g/km and fuel economy of 5.7 litres per 100km (l/100km) on the combined cycle (manual transmission only, 17-inch wheels); meanwhile, the higher-powered 154hp 1.6-litre engine – fitted with Infiniti’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission – boasts a torque output of 250Nm and will accelerate to 100kph in 8.9 seconds.
Emissions information will be available after final homologation.
A pair of turbodiesel engines complete the standard engine line-up: a highly-efficient 1.5-litre and a powerful 2.2-litre.
The 1.5-litre turbodiesel – producing 107hp and 260Nm, and reaching 100kph in 12.0 seconds (manual) or 11.9 seconds (DCT) – is the most efficient engine in the Q30 range, offering low running costs for private and business buyers. Redeveloped for Infiniti’s premium requirements and emitting just 103g/km of carbon dioxide, the 1.5-litre is capable of consuming just 3.9l/100km on the combined cycle (17-inch wheels).
The more potent of the diesel engines, the 168hp 2.2-litre, produces 350Nm of torque, allowing 0-to-100kph acceleration of 8.3 seconds in front-wheel drive, and 8.5 seconds in all-wheel drive. The 2.2-litre turbodiesel is unusual for offering not only torque over a flat ‘plateau’ (from 1,400-3,400 rpm), but also maximum power, accessible from 3,400 to 4,000 rpm. Drivers equipping their Q30 with this engine are unlikely to find themselves wanting for acceleration – particularly at a point where many rival diesel engines begin to tail off in their power delivery. The 2.2-litre diesel engine remains an economical choice, achieving 4.7l/100km and 122g/km when equipped with all-wheel drive (combined, 17-inch wheels; front-wheel drive model pending homologation).
In addition to the two diesel engines, Q30 Sport models can come equipped with a 208hp 2.0-litre turbocharged DIG (direct injection gasoline) engine, producing 350Nm torque. When equipped with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the highest-performing engine in the range is capable of powering the Infiniti Q30 from 0-to-100kph in 7.2 seconds or 7.3 seconds respectively. Fitted as standard with Infiniti’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the highly stable all-wheel drive model is capable of 6.4l/100km, and produces 149g/km CO2 (17-inch wheels; front-wheel drive model pending homologation).
Automatic gear shifts are competitively smooth thanks to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, tuned uniquely for the Infiniti Q30 to offer nearly seamless up- and down-shifts in normal driving conditions. This transmission unit also brings benefits in terms of reduced C02 emissions and improved fuel consumption.
The dual-clutch transmission is available with every engine in the Q30 model line-up.
For the dual-clutch transmission, Infiniti powertrain engineers sought to imbue the car with a more responsive character, supporting the development ethos of the engine range – that of giving drivers a greater sense that they are fully in-command of the Q30’s acceleration.
Focusing on throttle openings of between 20-to-50% – the range most commonly used by drivers under normal road conditions – the fine-tuned clutch and torque settings allow for instant reactions from the transmission. As well as enabling an immediate accelerative response at all speeds, the near-uninterrupted application of torque between gear changes – with less drop-off in performance than equivalent rival transmissions – reduces lurching and helps add to overall comfort levels.
The dual-clutch transmission intelligently pre-selects gears for an immediate, smooth shift, anticipating which gear will be needed next, while manual mode with steering wheel-mounted paddles let the driver change gear for themselves. Well-spaced ratios support the promise of immediate acceleration, evenly distributing power in all gears across a wide band of engine speeds.
A six-speed manual transmission is available on 1.5-litre diesel model andthe entry version of the1.6-litre gasoline model.
Stronger stopping power is ensured with unique Infiniti ‘rise-up’ brakes, giving a linear build-up of performance under hard braking, particularly from higher speeds, and a progressive feel overall. Under light braking, pedal feel and braking performance offers a strong initial ‘bite’, and by pushing the pedal more firmly – for an emergency stop – Q30 effectively ‘over-delivers’ braking performance for an immediate stop, making the driver feel even more in control of the car’s deceleration. Not only does this enhanced stopping power contribute to the Q30’s responsiveness on the road but also to driver confidence and safety behind the wheel at any speed.
On both front and rear sets of wheels, a set of 320mm ventilated Brembo discs (295mm on selected models) are joined by a single piston floating caliper for efficient and powerful deceleration power and minimal brake drag. Braking performance is further boosted by standard-fit ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), Brake Assist and EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution), while the parking brake is electronic.
For every alloy wheel size, the car is equipped with all-new Bridgestone Dueler HP Sport summer tyres, developed specifically for application on the Infiniti Q30. The new tyres offer a blend of low rolling resistance, low road noise – in line with the cabin’s promise of comfort and refinement – and a high level of grip to support the linearity and precision of driver inputs.
For Q30 models equipped with the 2.2-litre turbodiesel, and Sport models fitted with the high-powered 2.0-litre turbocharged gasoline engine, Q30 offers a new optional all-wheel drive system. Able to send up to 50% of the engine’s power to the rear wheels through an electro-hydraulically-controlled multi-disc clutch, the permanent all-wheel drive system boasts fully-variable torque distribution for a highly-stable drive. Q30’s all-wheel drive system further improves the ‘in-command’ driving sensation that Q30 customers enjoy at other points in the range.