Choose from a 328-horsepower V6 or a 3.5-liter V6 combined with an electric motor for a total of 360 horsepower; both operate with seven-speed automatic transmissions and each can be had in rear- or all-wheel-drive.
After its introduction for the 2014 model year, Infiniti’ rival to the BMW 3-Series picked up plenty of awards and respect, mainly thanks to the slew of techno enhancements that are the first clues that the Q50 sedan is something special. For example, with the available computer-controlled steer-by-wire system, there is no hard coupling between the steering wheel and tires. Not only does this remove noise and vibration, the car can actually keep itself in its own lane should you become distracted. Pretty cool stuff. Visually, the Q50 is set apart by a hunkered-down stance that matches its sport-sedan status. A cabin that elevates tastefulness to a new level reaffirms the car’s luxury cred. The car runs with the same 328-horsepower V6 as the Q40, however a Q50 Hybrid combines a 302-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 with a 50-kilowatt electric motor (rated at 67 horsepower) to produce 360 total system horsepower. The Hybrid uses the same seven-speed automatic transmission as the regular Q50, as opposed to a less-than-sporting continuously variable unit found in most other hybrids on the market. As well you can specify all-wheel-drive for the Hybrid, which is a feature not available in similarly propelled Lexus or Lincoln models. Cutting into the available trunk space is the Hybrid’s 346-volt lithium-ion battery pack located behind the rear seat. Apart from the performance gain, the Hybrid rates an impressive 29 mpg in the city and 36 on the highway. By comparison, the gasoline-only Q50 earns a 20/30 rating. The Q50 arrives properly attired, however the Q50 Premium adds heated front seats, power moonroof and Bose’s 14-speaker “Studio on Wheels” audio system. Note that the Q50 Hybrid starts at the Premium trim level. The Q50S (as in sport), which can be had with either engine and in rear- or all-wheel-drive, adds metal-trim accents, 19-inch wheels, sport-tuned suspension and brakes and a different front bumper. For 2015, there’s a new performance wheel package with 19-inch lightweight RAYS-brand wheels and summer-spec tires.