2020 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 review: When beauty isn’t enough

What’s cooking, good looking?

Antuan Goodwin / Roadshow

Appearance can only take you far. The 2020 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 is the car version of that adagio – its stunningly gorgeous exterior is writing checks on its performance, and the tech can’t cash in on it.

Like it

  • Extraordinary style that turns heads
  • Lots of power from the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine
  • Well appointed cabin

I do not like

  • One of the worst automatic transmissions we have ever tested
  • Outdated infotainment technology
  • There isn’t much headroom
  • Super small trunk

The Infiniti Q60 is a four-seater sports coupe available with rear or all-wheel drive. All trim levels (Pure, Luxe and Red Sport 400) have a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, but the lower trims only deliver 300 horsepower and 295 Nm of torque. Those are respectable numbers for sure, but my Red Sport 400 tester comes with all-wheel drive and – you guessed it – 400 horsepower, plus 350 lb-ft.

It’s a few years old now, but the Q60 is still a look. Sinuous and sculptural, it turns heads wherever it goes. The LED headlights give the Q60 a distinct luminous signature, and I love the single knot in the C-pillar. My Red Sport 400 has 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels that are hidden near the fenders, creating a narrow silhouette. I think it’s one of the coolest cars out there today.

My first clue that the Q60 might be nothing more than a pretty face comes on my commute from downtown San Francisco to work. I’m just kicking around in Standard riding mode at an average pace of 25-45mph. For whatever reason, this seven-speed automatic transmission can’t handle it, constantly up and down gears like an indecisive child faced with 31 different flavors of ice cream.

Things improve on the back roads, but only marginally. Here, I switch between Sport and Sport Plus modes for better handling and a more aggressive shift pattern. The handling part is great, but it’s completely obscured by the unpredictable transmission mapping. Sometimes the Q60 scales under braking, but other times it waits for my right foot to ask for power. The transmission often shifts gears at the wrong time, especially when I’m just biding my time to get around a turn – I can’t always be on the accelerator, Infiniti. Sometimes I need a little patience during a turn, but all of this leveling up is just testing my patience.

The interior is mostly nice, but the infotainment technology is terrible.

Antuan Goodwin / Roadshow

Thankfully, the Red Sport 400 has shift paddles so you can shift gears on your terms. While the drivetrain still doesn’t change as quickly as I’d like when using paddles, this is much more engaging. There is also a loud engine noise coming into the cabin, enough to turn the radio down and enjoy the din.

The steer-by-wire direct adaptive steering system is absent from my tester, for which I am grateful. I have experienced DAS on other models and it makes me feel disconnected from both the car and the road. The normal electric power steering setup is nothing to write home about, but there is a nice weight and offers a bit more feedback than the dress pants stuff.

The standard driver assistance functions of the Red Sport 400 are a bit light, and include frontal collision warning, emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring and emergency intervention in the event of a collision. More advanced features, including full-speed adaptive cruise control, blind spot intervention and lane keeping assistance, are part of the $ 2,850 ProAssist package, which unfortunately includes the aforementioned steer-by “upgrade”. -wire.

From a technological standpoint, the good news is that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard, as is a Wi-Fi hotspot, at least on this Red Sport 400 trim level. The Infiniti InTouch infotainment system uses two screens: an 8-inch top screen displays only the interface of your smartphone or, if not connected, the navigation map. The bottom screen is smaller than an inch and takes care of other functions. I like the two-screen setup here, as it’s nice not to have to switch back and forth between Apple CarPlay and the native system, but Infiniti’s built-in technology is clunky and definitely shows its age. A tout suite update is required.

In-car charging functions are entrusted to a USB type A and a type C in the center console, while the 12-volt sockets live in the dashboard and in the center console. Wireless charging isn’t available and rear seat passengers lack juice, not that anyone wants to go back there. Although there are two cup holders for rear seat passengers, seating is rather cramped thanks to the sloping roofline. Heck, even my hair brushes the roof in the front.

Cargo space is equally scarce. The trunk has a tiny 9 cubic feet – more than a Miata, sure, but far less than the 15.7 cubic feet of the BMW 4 Series. Heck, even the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe and Lexus RC have more. Interior space is just as stingy, with only a small closet in the center stack big enough for your keys that’s directly behind the gearbox and not very accessible. There is also some space in the door pockets, but most of the pockets in this car are small. The interior materials and the fit and finishes are all excellent. However, the overall interior design is rather dated, despite the addition of carbon fiber trim and contrast stitching.

Unfortunately, this car isn’t much more than a pretty face.

Antuan Goodwin / Roadshow

Nonetheless, the Infiniti Q60 is a beautiful car and one that takes a serious pose on the road. My money would be on the average Luxe setup, as it starts nearly $ 12,000 cheaper than the Red Sport 400 and I can’t justify paying nearly $ 120 per extra horsepower. I also stick to rear-wheel drive as I live in California and don’t have to deal with snowy weather. I would add the Edition 30 package, which commemorates Infiniti’s 30 years of US sales, to get some visual enhancements, as well as full-speed adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, heated seats and steering wheel, parking sensors, and Wi – Fi hotspot. That brings my total price down to $ 50,725 including destination, far below the $ 65,950 price of my Red Sport 400 AWD tester.

If you get really picky about competition, there aren’t that many luxury two-door sports coupes around these days. The BMW 4 Series and Audi S5 both have more technology, better cabs and offer exceptional driving dynamics. As a bonus, both are available as convertibles. Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class can be equipped with AMG with up to 503 horsepower, although it gets very expensive up there. If you’re willing to add two more doors, the options open up big, with the Audi S5 Sportback being an excellent example.

It’s a shame that the 2020 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 doesn’t perform at the same level as its looks. But at least it will still turn heads.