Infiniti Q70
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Overall

Infiniti’s mid-range M37, M56 and M35h Hybrid beauties will henceforth be known as the Q70, otherwise all stats and content remain unchanged.

Drivetrain

Base 330-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 and optional 420-horsepower 5.6-liter V8; a 3.5-liter V6 works in combination with a 50-kilowatt electric motor to produce a net 360 horsepower; seven-speed automatic transmissions are integral to all powerplants.

Although perhaps not in the on-road performance department, the Infiniti’s mid-sized competitor has never been able to match its rivals from BMW and Lexus. So perhaps that’s why Infiniti is undergoing an identity crisis: the old M series is now collecrtively referred to simply as the Q70. But other than new badges, the sensuous sheetmetal that infuses the car with the sort of character that’s worthy of its luxury-sedan calling remains otherwise unchanged. For more design goodness, check out the Q70′s curvaceous dashboard and matching control panel are in complete harmony with the rest of the interior. And helping to keep the cabin quiet is a system that sends noise-cancelling sound waves through door-mounted stereo speakers. The system is monitored using microphones located in the ceiling. The base Q70 comes with a 330-horse 3.7-liter V6, while a 420-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 is available. Optional on both is all-wheel-drive that sends up to half the engine’s torque to the front wheels when the going gets slick. The duo is complemented by a gasoline-electric Q70 Hybrid with a 3.5-liter V6 that’s assisted by a 67-horsepower motor to produce 360 horsepower. Lithium-ion batteries provide the juice. When fully charged, the rear-drive-only Hybrid can operate at speeds up to 62 mph and travel for up to 1.5 miles before the V6 pitches in. The M Hybrid also achieves 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, compared with 18/26 for the Q70 3.7 and 16/24 for the Q70 5.6. Among the car’s many techno-marvels is a Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians (VSP) that issues a specific noise that alerts anyone nearby that the Hybrid is functioning in electric mode nearby. All powerplants are connected to seven-speed automatic transmissions, but only those employed in the gasoline-only Q70 models come with downshift-rev-matching for added smoothness. A healthy dose of premium content is part of every car, such as a power moonroof, bright xenon headlights, power folding and heated outside mirrors, self-leveling headlamps and rain-sensing wipers. Interior highlights include 10-way power heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, keyless push-button start and a rearview monitor. The Sport Package option includes an active steering system where the rear wheels are steered in phase with the fronts at nearly all speeds.

Base price (incl. destination): $49,600 (3.7); $61,300 (5.6); $55,100 (Hybrid)
Type: Four-door sedan
Base engine (hp): 3.7-liter DOHC V6 (330)
Optional engines (hp): 5.6-liter DOHC V8 (420); 3.5-liter V6 with 50-kilowatt electric motor (360)
Layout: Front-engine, rear- /all-wheel-drive
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
MPG (city/hwy): 18/26 (M37); 27/32 (Hybrid)
Safety: Front airbags; side-impact airbags; side-curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes; stability control; traction control
Weight (lb.): 3,850