Two Flavors of Twin-Turbo V-6 Due in Refreshed Infiniti Q50

The more powerful version of the engine hits 400 hp at 6,400 rpm and 350 lb.-ft. (475 Nm) of torque at from 1,600-5,200 rpm.

December 15, 2015

3 Min Read
Q50 to offer three turbocharged engines in 2016
Q50 to offer three turbocharged engines in 2016.

Infiniti promises its refreshed Q50 midsize sedan will pack a punch with its new 400-hp twin-turbo, direct-injected V-6.

But if that is too much power for you, the Nissan luxury division also will offer a 300-hp version.

Calling the 3.0L, part of the new VR engine family, the “most advanced V-6 engine that the brand has ever offered,” Infiniti says it balances drivability, efficiency and performance, while also noting its cleanliness and lightness.

“The new engine has been engineered to empower the driver and offer increased power and torque and higher levels of efficiency than any comparable predecessors from the company,” Infiniti says in a statement.

The Japanese brand was due to unveil the refreshed Q50 as well as a revised QX60 3-row CUV tonight at a media event in West Bloomfield, MI.

The more powerful version of the engine hits 400 hp at 6,400 rpm and 350 lb.-ft. (475 Nm) of torque from 1,600-5,200 rpm.

The 300-hp version also peaks at 6,400 rpm but produces less torque, hitting 295 lb.-ft. (400 Nm) also from 1,600-5,200 rpm.

A lighter and more compact aluminum cylinder block cuts weight, as does a spray-on, mirror-bore coating (also low-friction) in the cylinders and integrated exhaust manifolds built into the cylinder heads, Infiniti says.

The engine’s “core structure” weighs 430 lbs. (195 kg), which is 39 lbs. (14 kg) less than the ’15 Q50’s 3.7L VQ V-6. The VQ engine family is a 15-time Wards 10 Best Engines winner, with the 3.5L VQ in the ’16 Maxima placing on the 2016 list.

A new turbocharger and advanced intercooler system together weigh 57 lbs. (26 kg), bringing the new 3.0L’s total weight to 486 lbs. (221 kg).

The 300-hp variant uses a single water pump while the 400-hp version uses two, for better heat management under higher loads.

The latter also has an optical turbo speed sensor providing a “30% power boost to the turbo system by allowing the blades to spin faster,” Infiniti says.

The twin-turbo system’s turbine speed sensor allows it to reach 220,000 rpm at steady condition and 240,000 rpm at transient condition, “higher than ever before for a V-6 power unit,” Infiniti says.

The brand claims a best-in-class power-to-weight efficiency ratio for the 400-hp V-6 thanks to advanced timing control and a new electric motor fitted to the valve-timing system. The latter enhances response times by increasing the speed of the throttle while also more closely controlling cylinder combustion.

The new engine will make its way throughout Infiniti’s lineup, the brand says, noting production begins next year at Nissan’s Iwaki, Fukushima, Japan, powertrain plant.

The refreshed Q50 with the 300-hp V-6 hits U.S. Infiniti dealers in late spring, while the 400-hp twin-turbo arrives in early spring, respectively.

In late winter the ’16 Q50 also will offer Daimler’s 208-hp 2.0L turbo I-4, already being assembled for export to overseas Infiniti markets at Nissan’s Decherd, TN, powertrain plant.

A 360-hp hybrid system for the ’16 Q50 is another late-winter arrival.

Also new for the Q50 for ’16 is a dynamic digital suspension, so drivers can select their preferred level of ride comfort and agility, as well as direct adaptive steering, now with better feel and feedback, the brand says.

Meanwhile, the QX60 gets styling enhancements for ’16, including a Q50-like front fascia and taillights, and improved noise, vibration and harshness levels.

New interior trim materials and seat quilting, plus a new gearshift lever, are other updates.

Available in the QX60 and a first for Infiniti is forward-emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

The refreshed QX60, with a 265-hp 3.5L V-6 or 250-hp hybrid system, arrives in late winter in the U.S.

Infiniti U.S. sales were up 12.4% through November to 118,405 units, WardsAuto data shows.

The Q50 and QX60 are the brand’s No.1 and No.2 best-selling models this year, with Q50 sales rising 18.6% to 39,195 through November and QX60 sales up even more, 32.2% to 36,783.

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