I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen a single Infiniti Q50 out in the ‘wild’ this year. The reason why? The Infiniti brand is nowhere in the UK. In 2014, the marque sold just 746 cars in this country, which seems jolly insignificant when you consider over the same period Audi shifted 158,987.
The Nissan GT-R-engined Q50 Eau Rouge concept could have put the forgotten 3-series rival on the map, if it hadn’t been cancelled a few months ago. However, there is now a Q50 that might just make petrolheads sit up and take notice.
It’s not being billed as some sort of monstrous BMW M3/Mercedes C63 beater, and in fact, it doesn’t even have any sort of special name or badging - it’s just a new range-topping Q50 introduced with the car’s mid-life update. But on paper, it looks rather promising: it’s powered by a 3.0-litre, twin-turbo ‘VR30’ V6, good for 400bhp and 350lb ft of torque, just 25bhp shy of the current M3’s output.
It gets better, as the Q50’s suspension has been overhauled, and the V6 models come with electronically-controlled adjustable dampers. Oh, and it gets a proper steering rack, and not the ill-advised, ‘remote’ Direct Adaptive Steering found in other Q50s.
There’s no word on price or performance figures yet (we’d expect a sub-5sec 0-62mph time), but I’ve always liked the idea of left-field BMW M3 alternatives. It’ll no doubt fall a little short of the thrills offered by the products of M Division, AMG and quattro GmbH, but it should be an interesting and usefully quick car.