A range of new and innovative ride and handling technologies deliver on the promise of the Q50’s daring design, and instill confidence in all driving conditions.
INFINITI Q50 models equipped with the new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine, or the hybrid powertrain, are available with the second-generation INFINITI Direct Adaptive Steering. The system has undergone significant re-tuning to enhance steering feel and feedback.
The changes to Direct Adaptive Steering – the world’s first digital steering system – have been made following extensive consultation with existing Q50 customers around the world and over 1 million kilometers (625,000 miles) of testing.
For the new second generation Direct Adaptive Steering, engineers have optimized the control logic to improve feedback from the road. They have fine-tuned parameters so that the default setting better mimics the feeling drivers are used to from conventional systems.
The new system also provides more customization options, fully utilizing the potential that Direct Adaptive Steering offers, giving drivers flexibility to choose the level of steering assistance and feedback according to personal preferences.
Direct Adaptive Steering actively adjusts the steering ratio and effort according to vehicle speed and scene. In slow-moving situations, such as city driving or parking, the system is tuned for ease of maneuverability.
In order to further enhance the steering feel in sporty driving conditions, the steering effort on the second generation Direct Adaptive Steering gradually saturates with high lateral G-force and acceleration in line with the overall vehicle behavior.
Direct Adaptive Steering is able to transmit the driver’s input to the wheels faster than a mechanical system while requiring fewer steering corrections and is able to make 1,000 steering adjustments per second. The new system enhances the steering feel by quickly and intelligently communicating to the driver feedback about road surface and chassis behavior. This gives the driver a secure and confident feeling at the wheel, free from unnecessary steering kickbacks or vibrations. The elimination of unwanted feedback has the further benefit of reducing driver fatigue.
The expanded selection of steering modes within Direct Adaptive Steering is accessed through the Drive Mode Selector (DMS). Located via menus displayed in the center console, Drive Mode Selector allows the steering response to be selected from six available options: ‘Personal’, ‘Standard’, ‘Snow’, ‘Eco’, ‘Sport’, and – new for the 2016 Q50 model – ‘Sport+’ .
The Q50’s Personal steering mode allows for a high degree of fine tuning. Drivers first select one of three core ‘Modes’ (Standard, Sport and Sport+) and then specify their preferred level of ‘Response’ (Default, Dynamic and Dynamic+). For a slower steering response and conventional feel, the driver would select a combination of ‘Standard’ mode and ‘Default’ response. For the highest level of assistance, the driver would choose ‘Sport+’ mode with ‘Dynamic+’ response – making best use of Direct Adaptive Steering technology.
The Sport mode of the Drive Mode Selector enhances the response of Direct Adaptive Steering, elevating the steering effort required while reducing the required steering movement from lock to lock. In the new Sport+ mode, steering effort remains the same as Sport mode, but the response of the steering is further increased, with an even quicker gear ratio for an enhanced performance feel. With both the Sport and Sport+ modes the result is an even greater sense of connection and control when the car is being put through its paces.
The new version of Direct Adaptive Steering works with Active Lane Control to maintain lane positioning against crosswinds and uneven road surfaces. This semi-autonomous capability is a precursor to future steering systems that will form a key building block on the way to achieving fully-autonomous driving.
As standard, Q50 models equipped with the new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine feature INFINITI’s Rack Electronic Power Steering. This all-new system provides a linear and in-control driving experience that can be tuned through the Drive Mode Selector.
When making a steering input or returning the steering wheel following an input, traditional steering systems can create an unnatural feeling through imprecise control of the power assistance, reducing the feeling of linearity. To counter this, INFINITI’s Rack Electronic Power Steering precisely increases the steering effort required as the vehicle’s yaw rate changes, before adjusting to provide more assistance when the wheel returns towards on-center.
2.0-liter models are equipped with a speed-sensitive hydraulic electronic rack-and-pinion power steering system as standard. This increases assistance at low speeds and reduces assistance for enhanced feel and response at higher speeds.
The Q50 features independent multi-link suspension and, for the 2016 model, revised suspension settings now provide an improved balance between confident handling and a comfortable ride. The front suspension is a double-wishbone design, while the revised rear suspension utilizes a multi-link design with coil springs and Dual Flow Path® shock absorbers. Extensive use of aluminum components for the suspension keeps weight down.
The Q50 now benefits from revised front and rear stabilizer bars. The result is heightening resistance to unwanted adjustments in the lateral movement of the suspension, affording a flatter ride and greater agility during cornering. The revised system is also better able to maintain contact between the tires and road.
All new 2016 Q50 Sport models are upgraded with Dynamic Digital Suspension (DDS) for the first time, which offers enhanced ride comfort with class-leading response and agility. The shift from a comfort-biased ride to enhanced dynamic response can be made when the driver places the electronically adjustable shock absorbers in either Sport or Sport+ modes (adjusted via the Drive Mode Selector), providing firmer damping control for more agile handling. While in these modes, the suspension is constantly adjusting to provide ideal performance and a flat ride.
In all modes, Dynamic Digital Suspension (DDS) also constantly adjusts the shock absorber valve within a wide range of damping force to control body motion when cornering. It monitors body roll, pitch and bounce rate to restrain body motion for a comfortable, confident and insulated ride in all conditions, ensuring that bumps and undulating road conditions are absorbed to maintain flat body posture.
The all-new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine from the new and exclusive ‘VR’ powertrain family has been developed to deliver optimal power and torque, alongside greater fuel efficiency. The high-output version of the power unit delivers 400 hp (298 kW) at 6,400 rpm and 475 Nm (350 lb-ft) maximum torque at 1,600-5,200 rpm; while the 300 hp (224 kW) version (at 6,400 rpm) produces 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) torque at 1,600-5,200 rpm.
These outputs have been achieved while ensuring an improvement in fuel efficiency of up to 6.7%,representing a best-in-class power-to-efficiency ratio for the 400 hp power unit.
This power-to-efficiency performance was made possible thanks to a combination of newly-developed powertrain features.
An advanced new twin-turbo system contributes to the smooth and immediate power delivery while promoting gains in efficiency. The combination of a new turbine speed sensor and an optimized turbine blade design realize greater performance with more immediate response. The turbine speed sensor allows a 10% increase in turbine speeds, enabling the turbocharger to revolve at up to 220,000 rpm. With greater capacity for faster revolutions, the twin turbochargers enable the engine to deliver greater power and torque.
Advanced valve timing control incorporating a new electric motor mounted to the valve timing system delivers quicker reactions to driver inputs. As well as improved response, more immediate valve timing also helps the engine operate more efficiently, precisely controlling fuel and air quantities entering the combustion chamber.
A new high pressure direct injection gasoline (DIG) system, introduced for the first time, allows for precise control of fuel injection into the combustion chamber depending on throttle position and current engine speed. DIG contributes significantly to making the new engine the cleanest and most efficient V6 that INFINITI has ever offered.
Complementing the new 3.0-liter V6 is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged unit, producing 208 hp at 5,500 rpm with peak torque of 350 Nm available from 1,500 rpm. This 1,991 cc unit has been engineered to achieve the same goals as the 3.0-liter V6 unit, blending response and performance with efficiency.
Direct injection and a high-efficiency compact turbocharger combine to achieve high levels of torque from low engine speeds for an enhanced driving experience. The high-pressure direct injection system with 200 bar piezoelectric injectors, multi-spark ignition and lean-burn combustion technologies also contributes significantly to efficiency. This is complemented by a variable camshaft design on the intake side, which enables a switchover from a standard cam for higher loads and engine speeds where increased power is required, to a ‘small’ cam for partial engine loads.
In addition, to minimize friction losses on the small cam a maximum valve lift of 3.8 mm has been specified. The main advantage is a reduction of charge exchange losses and a nearly throttle-free operation in a relatively broad range of scenarios for exceptional efficiency.
A lightweight aluminum block and cylinder head with chain-driven dual-overhead camshafts, die-cast aluminum cylinder crankcase and optimized crank assembly promote further weight savings, reduce friction and improve efficiency. For the first time, the Q50 will offer an idle stop-start system (ISS) in combination with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine.
The 2.2-liter direct-injection four cylinder turbo-diesel engine remains available, producing 168hp at 3,200rpm with peak torque of 400 Nm from 1,600rpm.
The Q50’s advanced hybrid powertrain remains unchanged, featuring the Direct Response Hybrid® system with Intelligent Dual Clutch Control. It combines a 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy V6 and a compact laminated lithium-ion battery with an innovative one-motor, two-clutch control. The system’s V6 is rated at 302 hp and 350 Nm of torque, while the advanced 50 kW electric motor is rated at 67 hp and 290 Nm of torque. The hybrid system net power is 360 hp, providing strong acceleration and lean fuel economy.
The hybrid powertrain is designed to put performance first, while bringing significant benefits for fuel efficiency. It takes full advantage of the electric motor’s instant torque for exceptional acceleration and, in combination with the 3.5-liter V6, provides an energetic feel under all driving conditions.
All Q50 powertrains are matched to an advanced seven-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with manual shift mode and steering column-mounted magnesium paddle shifters.
Adaptive Shift Control enhances gear selection by using a lateral acceleration sensor to detect changes in the road, such as hills and turns. Sport mode allows the driver to select a more aggressive shift pattern with automatic up- and down-shifting at higher rpm. The combined effect is for any driver to enjoy quick, smooth shifts and gear choices that are appropriate to both the road and the desired driving style.
The new Q50 can be configured by the customer with one of two driveline options – rear-wheel drive or Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. Both are available with any of the four engines.