The Infiniti Q sedan, featuring the venerable Nissan V-series engines, has been a staple of the brand since 2003. As lovers of audio will agree, nothing beats a good soundtrack while driving. And that can be provided by the audio system or the engine sounds. Or preferably both.
The 2021 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 AWD had the optional Infiniti sport exhaust system. I was blown away to hear the best exhaust note this side of an F1 car under a highway overpass produced by the Infiniti. While some say the Infiniti can be long in the tooth compared to its German sports sedan competitors, the proven technology and good pricing of the Red Sport make it a worthy consideration on the sports-sedan shopping list.
Responsive Performance Served Two Ways
Manufacturers are moving away from naturally aspirated motors and are turning to turbochargers to reduce weight for better fuel economy. As long as you stay out of the boost, there are fuel savings to be had.
But let’s face it, stomping on the gas in the Red Sport is a riot, with an audacious soundtrack to match. The normal Q50 flaunts a 300-horsepower version of the VR series engine. The high-output Red Sport version delivers 400 horsepower at 6,400 rpm, the most standard horsepower for any non-specialty Nissan or Infiniti model. Torque is rated at 350 lb-ft at 1,600-5,200 rpm.
The VR engine adopts a series of innovative technologies to deliver an engaging driving experience, including a direct-injection gasoline fueling system. The high-pressure, direct-injection gasoline system allows for more precise injection of fuel into the combustion chamber, delivering the exact amount required for smooth engine acceleration, depending on throttle position and engine speed. According to Infiniti engineers, this system makes the VR V6 the cleanest and most fuel-efficient engine of its type that Infiniti has ever offered.
One special turbocharger technology on the Infiniti is an optical sensor that keeps an eye on the turbos but allows them to spool up to 240,000 rpm, which is a record on a production V6 engine. An optimized turbine blade design helps the engine generate greater overall performance, with faster turbine revolution speeds allowing for an immediate response from the twin-turbo system.
Looking the Part
The Infiniti Q50 features the brand’s signature double-arch grille, with a three-dimensional textured mesh-pattern and a chrome surround. A smooth character line rises from the grille to create a highly fluid profile. The interior of the Red Sport is further differentiated with semi-aniline quilted leather-appointed seats, red stitching throughout the cabin and quilted side inserts on the seats. The cabin also has unique dark chrome accents throughout, and a graphite headliner gives the impression of a cocooned interior. The Q50 also features signature LED headlamps coupled with slim combination LED rear lamps derived from the Q60 sports coupe.
The engine growls and shrieks up to its redline with the optional sport exhaust system. We bet full-on aftermarket exhaust systems will be even more manic and fun!
Interior audio is provided by Bose. The company’s Performance Series sound system was designed a few years ago but still sounds great for an OEM system. It was one of the first systems to use Bose’s advanced staging technology — the signal processing algorithm designed especially for this system to help deliver solid imaging for both the driver and passenger. The CenterPoint 2.0 software by Bose enables listeners to have a surround-sound experience from any stereo source. It has been specifically engineered and equalized to meet the unique demands of reproducing surround sound in the Q50. We could always use more bass, but the Bose system does not need to be thrown out for a great sound. A specialty retailer can show you how to integrate a few better components into the Bose platform for absolutely stunning sound.
SiriusXM radio and HD Radio are standard. Having two infotainment screens stacked on top of each other makes choosing SiriusXM stations a breeze. Their logos are brought up as graphics on the screen above the presets.
The Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 is definitely worth a look if you are in the market for a sports sedan. The bang-for-the-buck compared to its German rivals might seal the deal. And that exhaust sound!