Besides the QX60 facelift, Infiniti also previewed the 2016 Q50 sedan to the media prior to the car’s 2016 Detroit show debut. Infiniti’s compact exec rival to the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and Lexus IS gets two new turbocharged engines and a new range topper.

Let’s start with the big hitter. The Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 will be powered by a 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 engine with 400 hp at 6,400 rpm and 475 Nm of torque at 1,600 to 5,200 rpm. This new VR series motor, an in-house development, offers the highest standard horsepower in its class (non-specialty versions, excludes AMG or M cars) and is the most advanced V6 ever offered by the company.

Key engine features include a compact, lightweight aluminium-alloy engine block and cylinder heads, direct injection (DIG), optimised turbine blade design, turbine speed sensor, electronic wastegate actuator, water-cooled engine charging, e-motor valve timing control and an integrated exhaust manifold.

There are two water pumps for more effective heat management, and the optical turbo speed sensor gives a 30% power boost to the turbo system by allowing the blades to spin faster. A new electric motor is fitted to the valve timing system, increasing the speed of the throttle for better response. It also aids efficiency, with closer control of cylinder combustion.

This new V6 engine is 700 cc smaller than Infiniti and Nissan’s previous VQ-series 3.7L unit, and it’s lighter too – The VR’s core structure weighs 194.8 kg, 14.1 kg less than the engine it replaces. The new turbocharger and intercooler system componentry adds just an extra 25.8 kg, for 220.6 kg in total.

Chief among the new weight-saving elements is the adoption of spray bore coating for the engine block and integrated exhaust manifold for cylinder heads. Not only does this make the engine lighter, but it also aids cooling as heat can dissipate more effectively through the aluminum alloy bore wall, a process boosted further by its physical design. The lower weight contributes to greater mechanical efficiency, with lower inertia from lightweight aluminium components.


A milder version of the 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 will also join the Q50 line-up, with 300 hp at 6,400 rpm and 400 Nm of torque at 1,600 to 5,200 rpm. All the above features are present except for the twin water pumps (single unit) and the optical turbo speed sensor. Both engines will be made in Japan from next year.

The US market will also get a third new engine, a 2.0 litre turbo four-cylinder shared with Daimler/Mercedes-Benz. This is the Q50 2.0 Turbo variant that we already have. The current US line-up consists of the 3.7 V6 (RWD and AWD) and the Hybrid.

Other “performance-intensifying enhancements” to the range-topping 2016 Q50 Red Sport 400 include a new Dynamic Digital Suspension, new rack-mounted electronic power steering or an updated version of Infiniti’s unique Direct Adaptive Steering, plus staggered 19-inch alloys.

There won’t be an Eau Rouge, so this Red Sport is as good as it gets for the Q50. It will go up against the BMW 340i (322 hp, 450 Nm) and the 362 hp/518 Nm Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG 4Matic, both with 3.0 litre turbocharged six-pot engines.

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