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2017 Infiniti Q30

2017 Infiniti Q30 first drive

11/17/2015

WHAT IS IT?

Look beyond the gorgeous exterior of the Infiniti Q30 and you’ll find something even more intriguing: this is, almost, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback you can’t buy in America. Except you can buy it in America, starting next summer. It just won’t have a Mercedes-Benz badge.

How is that? The Infiniti Q30 is the first whole-cloth vehicle to come to Infiniti from the Renault-Nissan alliance with Daimler, and it’s based on the A-Class architecture.

There are actually several significant differences between the Infiniti Q30 and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, but the core competency of that architecture (also used in the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and GLA-Class) shines through. The subframes, suspension geometry, engine, and transmission are all directly from the Mercedes A-Class architecture. Each has been re-tuned for the Q30’s specific mission, however, resulting in a car with a palpably different—but still brilliant—character.

2016 Infiniti QX50 first drive

10/01/2015

What is it?

In short, this is Infiniti’s response to poor sales performance in the small-crossover segment. With Acura and Lexus blowing Infiniti out of the water, Nissan’s luxury brand had to change something. The 2016 QX50 is a notable improvement over its predecessor, but will it be enough to kick start the sales machine?

Infiniti claimed that potential customers overlooked the last QX50 due to a lack of rear leg room, so it stretched the wheelbase by 3.2 inches. This move definitely resulted in more space -- 4.5 additional inches in the back seat which will now comfortably seat a 6-footer -- with knee room to spare. The heavily bolstered front seats are a little on the small side and the rest of the interior is nicely dressed, if a little dated. In fact, for the most part, the interior has remained just about the same as it was when the QX50 was called an EX35. The stretched wheelbase also intrudes into the storage area a little bit, but the cargo area still boasts 18.6 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up. Putting down the rear seats to get more space is easy with the QX50's automatic folding rear seats.

2015 Infiniti QX60 review notes

The car remains the same

08/28/2015

ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: Hopping into this QX60, I was reminded of the long-term JX35 that left our fleet … gee, must have been two years ago.

This is significant for two reasons:

1. Except for the name change, which I’m still struggling with, the QX60 has apparently been stuck in a time warp. This is basically the same vehicle as that long-termer. Same powertrain with the same output, same suite of features. Heck, sticker price is within a hundred bucks or so.

2. I’ve somehow managed to remember a three-row SUV from ages ago, which means it was probably somehow distinctive, either shockingly bad or memorably good at its job.

Well -- spoiler alert -- the JX35/QX60 is not shockingly bad. It was a great people-hauler then and it remains one now.

The sculpted D-pillar tricks you into thinking this is a more flamboyantly styled crossover than it actually is; in reality, it’s trim but more or less inoffensive. I think it looks better in darker colors.

2015 Infiniti QX80

2015 Infiniti QX80 AWD review notes

Cheap gas, you say?

07/29/2015

DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: Mass still sells, whether it’s in bigfoot houses on teeny urban lots or traditional SUVs plying suburban shopping mall parking lots. Especially in this less-than-$3-per-gallon economy, full-size luxury SUVs have been cash cows for automakers, and Infiniti’s enormous QX80, while not the newest design on the block, is up 20 percent in sales this year despite prices ranging from $65K to our tester’s completely bonkers $90K sticker.

Crazy? Or is it? Granted, the luxury package added an instant $10K to our loaded QX80, but man, it’s positively gorgeous inside. From a quilted leather throne that feels about 9 feet high, the driver surveys what appears to be a full 4x8 sheet of matte ash punctuated with leather and brushed metal. The passenger seat, over in its zip code, gets a similar view, while the second-row seats are heated, individual buckets with a massive center console and rear-seat entertainment screens.

Don’t confuse mass with space, though -- while occupants have tons of leg- and shoulder room, cargo capacity, even with the third row folded, is nowhere near as usable as that in a more-pedestrian minivan or crossover. The liftover in back -- the distance from the ground to the load floor -- will have anyone under 6 feet looking for a stepladder, and the underfloor cargo compartment won’t hold anything larger than a box of Whitman’s chocolates.

2014 Infiniti QX80 review notes

08/22/2014

EDITOR WES RAYNAL: I remember the big Infiniti QX56 we had in the long-term fleet. That one was a monstrosity and so is this 2014 Infiniti QX80, which is the vehicle formerly known as the QX56. Its giant size is both positive and negative. Positive because I like big trucks (love the Chevy Suburban for example), negative because it’s so freaking big…

Underneath is the Nissan Patrol, a big full-frame SUV we don’t get here. The exterior is all Infiniti. The styling is among the more blinged-out vehicles there is, and the interior is good looking with nice materials. As I’ve said before, I like Nissan’s center stack/screen. It’s intuitive and easy to use, and the stereo is rocking. I used this great big beast to haul people around over the weekend and everyone who got in it commented almost immediately about how nice the interior is. I even threw some teenagers in the way back and received no legroom complaints.

2014 Infiniti Q70 3.7 review notes

08/06/2014

DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: The conversation went like this, as I stared at my assignment on the car board:

Me: “Uh, Jon, which one’s the Q70? Is that the one that was the G?”

Road test editor Jon Wong: “No, that’s the Q50. The 70 was the M.”

Motorsports editor Mac Morrision: “Wait, I thought the G was now the Q60.”

JW: “The Q60 is the G coupe. The Q50 is the G sedan.”

Me: “So what does it look like so I can find it in the parking garage?”

JW: “A big Q50.”

Me: “Which one is the Q50 again?”

Eventually I just took the key fob, went downstairs and pushed “lock” until I found the car honking. Wong was right -- it does look like a big G37…er, Q50.

First drive

Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge prototype

07/23/2014

What is it?

The Q50 Eau Rouge is Infiniti’s rapid four-door retort to the Audi RS6, BMW M5, Jaguar XF-R and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. First unveiled as a so-called concept at the Detroit motor show back in January, the four-wheel-drive performance sedan runs a modified engine from no less a car than the mighty Nissan GT-R. The Eau Rouge is the brainchild of former Infiniti president Johan de Nysschen, now running Cadillac.

The Eau Rouge was originally a styling model to test public reaction to plans to take Infiniti into the performance arena. It was developed with Red Bull Racing; Infiniti sponsors the Austrian F1 team and the Q50 Eau Rouge is now being considered for low-volume production. Ongoing feasibility studies aim to place it in North American showrooms in limited volumes by 2016.

An old-timer that still scoots.

2014 Infiniti Q60 Journey Coupe review notes

04/24/2014 SENIOR MOTORSPORTS EDITOR MAC MORRISON: This pains me, it really does: Infiniti's Q60 Coupe reminds me of having a 12-year-old dog that's in reasonably good shape, but simultaneously can't help but remind you constantly that it's old, its best days behind it. Eleven years ago -- amazing how quickly the time passed -- the original G35 coupe (and sedan) were among my favorite cars on the market. Strong, growly engines, stick shifts, and chassis that liked to be driven hard -- in straight lines, through corners and, yes, sideways all day.But despite the adoption of the Q prefix and an upgraded VQ engine and other mechanical upgrades along the way, this car feels amazingly similar to what I remember from more than a decade ago. That's not a bad thing on one hand, as I just expressed my enthusiasm for those models at that time. On the other hand, competitors have passed it by in terms of refinement, styling a
The 2014 Infiniti Q60S is one of the few luxury coupes that still offers a manual. This one, however, did not.

2014 Infiniti Q60S drive review

03/18/2014 What is it?The 2014 Infiniti Q60S is latest coupe from the brand, sporting the company's new “Q” naming structure. This Q60S was formerly the G37 coupe. As such, the Q60S still sports Nissan's 3.7-liter V6 engine making 330 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. That power goes through a seven-speed automatic, and is thrown rearward in this particular model. All-wheel drive and hopped-up IPL versions are also available. IPL, for the uninitiated, is Infiniti's answer to Mercedes' AMG or Audi's S line.The Q60S get a high-strength steel unibody and an aluminum hood, leading to a curb weight of 3,633 pounds. That mass is sprung with a double wishbone suspension in front, with a stabilizer bar, and an independent multi-link rear. We currently have a set of 19-inch winter Blizzak tires on the car.Inside, the Q60S coddles its guests with heated leather seats, a tasteful amount of reddish wo
The 2014 Infiniti QX70 5.0 certainly isn't the most practical car in its segment.

2014 Infiniti QX70 5.0 review notes

01/14/2014 ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: The Infiniti FX, now the QX70, isn't the most utilitarian car on the market, or in its segment, but it has to be the most fun.The 5.0-liter V8 pulls this car off the line using all four wheels, and first gear goes by in a wink, so have your hand ready on that right paddle shifter. It makes a helluva sound, too, like a muscle car. And those paddle shifters, they're on the column. So if you have a preference, make sure that jibes with what you want.I kept the suspension in sport mode my entire time with the car. It keeps tight and planted, but still soaks up most of the big bumps. The steering wheel is weighted perfectly for this car and provides a nearly direct connection to the wheels.The interior all seems up to par. The front leather seats provide a decent amount of support, and I appreciated the under-knee adjustment to take a little pressure off the legs. The self-retracting seats are a great option as well. The Infiniti radio set

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The image the company sent to future owners who have made deposits is a lightly photoshopped sketch that Britain's Autocar magazine published in March of this year.

TVR makes progress on new Cosworth V8, teases owners with Autocar's sketch

12/29/2015

TVR, the boutique British automaker run aground in 2006 after purchase by a Russian oligarch, is back with plenty of deposits on an undisclosed coupe and a teaser image photoshopped from an Autocar magazine sketch. The fledgeling car company is at work on a new coupe powered by a Cosworth V8 with an expected output of 450 to 500 hp, though it won't be until 2018 that customers will be able to take delivery of the cars. The factory has to be built first, even though the first year's allocation is already sold out.

TVR Chairman Les Edgar gave the future owners of the new coupe a progress report, stating that the company is running at least one engineering mule that has been operating on roads, and that they've recently fired up one of the Cosworth V8s.

Watch F1 cars rip up a mountain in Japan

12/29/2015

Two ex-Formula One cars plus one mountain road equals an epic video shot in Japan by Motor Head Magazine.

It's not too often you see open-wheel cars on public roads -- the Stallone vehicle "Driven" notwithstanding -- but something about it makes the cars look even better than when they're on the racetrack. After the F1 cars have a go, they're followed by some drifters who are nearly as impressive.

The camerawork is also great, so check out more of Motor Head's stuff here.

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