If you, like us, have been disappointed in Infiniti’s aloof Q50 sedan as the ostensible replacement for the sporty G37—which, incidentally, Infiniti still sells as the “Q40″ for 2015—we have good news. The Q50S model is set to get considerably more sporty for 2016, thanks to a retro revision headed where the car needs it most: the steering rack.
You see, the Q50′s base steering setup is an electrically assisted unit. Although some manufacturers have coaxed decent feedback from these systems, making them nearly as talkative as the hydraulically assisted racks we’re always reminiscing about, Infiniti is still chasing that bogey. At least the Q50S’s EPS marks an improvement over Infiniti’s wonky Direct Active Steer (DAS) option, which offers zero road feel and lacks precision. Happily, Infiniti got enthusiasts’ message and is looking to the past to cure its current sins. Speaking with Infiniti’s head of product planning, Keith St. Clair, we’ve learned that the brand is working on ditching the Q50S’s base electric power steering in favor of a rack derived from the G sedan’s heavenly hydraulic-boosted setup.
“Some members of the enthusiast community, including the media, suggested the car could benefit with enhanced steering feel, as in more engagement similar to the former G Sedan Sport,” St. Clair said. He told us development engineers built a prototype from one of its pool cars, with the steering system of an old G, along with some tweaks to the exhaust system to bring the Q50′s sound closer to that of earlier Infinitis.
“The results were very clear and pronounced. The car is a blast to drive,” said St. Clair, who noted that his team subsequently presented the car to the powers that be in Japan. He added that Infiniti is “now looking into the fastest path for adopting these into regular production.”
The revised Q50S is likely to appear sometime in the 2016 model year, St. Clair said, and would be accompanied by amped-up styling and chassis upgrades. It isn’t clear what the proposed changes mean for the Q50S Hybrid or for regular, non-S Q50 models, but needless to say, we can’t wait.
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