Infiniti Q50 first with drive-by-wire steering, two touchscreens; replaces G sedan

At the 2013 Detroit Motor Show, Infiniti has unveiled its new Q50 sedan. The Q50 replaces the G sedan and is aimed directly at the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and the new Lexus IS.

The new Infiniti Q50 mixes elements from previous Infinitis, and the G sedan it replaces, with styling cues taken from the Essence concept car. In America the car will be powered by either a 245kW (328hp) 3.7-litre V6 or hybrid drivetrain; both can be specified in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. We’re not sure which petrol engine the hybrid will run with, but the system will feature two clutches.

In a world first, the new Q50 will feature a steer-by-wire system that electronically translates the driver’s inputs via the steering wheel to mechanism that turns the front wheels, in doing so Infiniti has removed any direct mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the car’s front wheels. Infiniti says that it will offer driver’s a choice of four selectable steering modes to suit particular driving styles and driving conditions.

In the cabin the Q50 will debut the company’s InTouch entertainment and nav system, which features two large touchscreen displays aligned vertically across the centre of the dash. From what we can tell, the top screen (which is recessed) is used primarily to display nav, climate control and entertainment info, while the lower (potentially capacitive) screen is used for controlling various system, data entry and configuration.

In the USA and Canada, the new Q50 will go on sale around the middle of 2013.

Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]