Test Drive: 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400
Entry Price: $35,550
Price as Tested: $65,705
This week, we’re behind the wheel of the impressive 2018 Infiniti Q50 Sedan, arriving in Red Sport 400 dress with all-wheel-drive (AWD). Similar to the Q60 Red Sport Coupe we tested, I’ll tell all readers up front I wouldn’t mind parking this one in my driveway on a permanent basis.
Yes, it’s that good.
The Q50 four-door sedan offers not only the AWD necessary for access in rough climate areas; it delivers ultra-high performance properties that will take you from zero to 60 in just 4.4 seconds (weather permitting). Overall, the Infiniti Red Sport 400 is window dressed in AWD and sedan styling yet its DNA is that of a super high-performance car. Further, it’s a plausible solution for those that desire real performance yet need AWD properties and four-door convenience.
The “normal” Q50 sedans start at $39,950 and come powered by a 208-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four, which in itself is a very nice Infiniti. The 50 sedan then graduates through several turbo-four and twin-turbo six-cylinder models to arrive at the pinnacle, our Red Sport 400 tester with AWD. Unlike other supposed “twin turbos” that have just one turbo and a turbo assist electric add-on, the Infiniti 400 Red Sport models really are twin-turbos, ie: Two turbochargers feeding air and fuel into the combustion chambers.
And it’s under the hood of our tester where the recipe for excitement awaits your throttle input. There, the “real” twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 develops an advertised 400 horsepower and 350 lb. ft. of torque. The result is an Infiniti Coupe that is really high on acceleration and then backs it all up with performance sport suspension and the aforementioned 4x4 traction necessities. Notable are special brushed aluminum Red Sport 400 exclusive exhaust tips that emit a powerful declaration when the right foot makes a request.
Over the years of testing cars (Starting in 1994) I many times wished Infiniti would push the performance needle further than it did with its G35 and G37 models. They were great cars but lacked the real performance advantage the other high-end Japanese competitors delivered (Honda/Acura and Toyota/Lexus). Granted, it’s been an extended wait, but Infiniti has answered the call and then some with its coupe and sedan Red Sport 400s.
Our tester featured “Intelligent AWD” and a top line Red Sport entry price of $53,000. The rear-wheel-drive only Q50 Red Sport 400 Sedan starts at $51,000, so you’re paying $2,000 for the right to travel with AWD capabilities. Both versions come with a fine shifting adaptive-shift seven-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Drivers will surely appreciate Q50s six selectable drive modes and automatic downshift rev matching.
A sport tuned “Dynamic Digital” electronic-shock coil over suspension is fully independent making Q50 Red Sport 400 ready for any roadway. I especially like the winding back roads, although those straightaway full throttle bursts are impressive when the twin-turbos are talking. As for fuel mileage, the Q50 in AWD form delivers 19 city and 26 highway while the rear drive model will do you one better at 20 city and 27 highway.
Infiniti Q50 designers utilized the best of both worlds to arrive at an elegant, athletic motif that will impress even the most finicky consumer. A power moonroof is standard as are special Dunlop Sport run flat 19-inch all season tires on aluminum spoke wheels.
Options include a $2,650 Sensory Package that features a Bose Performance Series 16-speaker sound system with enhanced Bose Centerpoint surround sound. You also receive a two-memory driver comfort system that activates the power tilt and telescopic, power seat, mirror and steering column settings. Also included are enhanced interior ambient lighting and auto dim outside mirrors.
Next was a $2,700 Proactive Package with intelligent smart cruise, direct adaptive steering, lane departure with active lane control, distance control adaptive front lighting with auto leveling headlamps, high beam assist and more. If you have to choose between the 16-speaker Bose and this Proactive Safety Package, opt for the safety as the standard six-speaker Sirius XM Satellite stereo is decent.
Our tester also featured a $1,500 Carbon Fiber trim package that adds special mirror covers and a small rear deck spoiler. (It’s not necessary). Final options include Infiniti illuminated kick plates for $465 and an illuminated front Infiniti grill emblem for $400. This brought the final retail to $61,710 with $995 delivery included.
Standard safety includes the high-tech items like blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic, backup collision intervention, around view monitor with moving object detection, forward collision warning, forward emergency braking, all the airbags, traction controls and performance ABS disc brakes with Red Sport 400 red calipers. There’s lots more your Infiniti dealer is waiting to explain when you visit.
Important numbers include a wheelbase of 112.2-inches, 4,023-lb.curb weight, 38.1-ft. turn radius, 13.5-cu. ft. of cargo space, and a 20-gallon fuel tank.
In ending, the 2018 Q50 Infiniti Red Sport 400 Sedan is the co-surprise of the year along with sibling Q60 coupe. Both deliver outstanding performance and cloak passengers in that special opulence Infiniti is known for.
If you’re shopping in this exclusive luxury performance class, the 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 is an outstanding choice. Make sure and check for dealer leftover incentives as the 2019 model is identical.
Likes: Real twin-turbo, comfort, performance, Infiniti luxury.
Dislikes: Touch-screen info learning curve, costly and unnecessary trim options, not much else.
Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and GateHouse Media. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840.