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13 Cool Infiniti Q60 Facts We Learned at Pebble Beach

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 8/25/2015 Zach Gale, Motor Trend Staff

We once called the 2003 Infiniti G35 coupe a “spicy-looking machine, with hunkering proportions.” Will the same hold true for the upcoming production-spec 2017 Infiniti Q60 coupe? Before the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, we spent some time with Infiniti executive design director Alfonso Albaisa to get a closer look at the Q60 concept and preview what’s coming to the production coupe. Albaisa once drove a Q60 convertible, the drop-top version of a two-door that in calendar year 2014 outsold the Q70 sedan as well as the QX50 and QX70 crossovers. So if you’re interested in learning more about the Q60 and Infiniti design, keep reading.

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The Q60 production car was designed first.

Infiniti Q60 Concept Front View© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Q60 Concept Front View Infiniti based the Q60 concept's design after the Q60 production coupe, which is currently set to arrive in dealerships by early fall of 2016 (the concept is shown here).

400 sketches became one concept.

Infiniti Q60 Concept Teaser© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Q60 Concept Teaser Designers started the project by producing around 400 sketches of what the car could look like. From there, six quarter-scale models were selected, of which three became full-size models. Each variation clearly represented the brand's design identity, and one was chosen.

So what did all three full-size models have in common?

Strong shoulder lines.

Infiniti Q60 Concept Rear Side View© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Q60 Concept Rear Side View "They all had the very strong shoulder," Albaisa says. "The one thing we did at that time was to identify that Infiniti had super-strong shoulders that the cabin sat on. I do love the sense that the hand of the artist is in the body."

How about that door hinge?

Infiniti Q60 Concept Wheel© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Q60 Concept Wheel Albaisa is proud of the way the door panel's complex body surfacing doesn't interfere with the concept car's ability to have small parting lines or functional doors that actually open.

But how close will the Q60 concept's door design be to the production model?

The 2017 Infiniti Q60 will debut at the 2016 Detroit auto show.

Infiniti Q60 Concept Front Side View© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Q60 Concept Front Side View The 2017 Infiniti Q60 production coupe is set to debut in Detroit in January. When it does, we'll pay more attention to the door design and the cutlines between the doors and front quarter panels, as Albaisa says the production car is "exactly" the same in that section. Also in Detroit, Infiniti is expected to provide more details about the refreshed 2016 Q50's new turbo-four base engine and debut a refreshed QX60 seven-passenger crossover. The latter will likely debut with updated styling and additional active safety tech (the Q60 concept is shown here).

The 2017 Infiniti QX30 is coming to this year’s Los Angeles auto show, while the 2017 Infiniti Q30 will debut in Frankfurt.

The fender vents are evolving.

Infiniti Virtual Reality Experience© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Virtual Reality Experience The 2017 Q60 production car will have fender vents, Albaisa tells us, but they won't be the same as the ones on the concept that sweep up to the front wheel, just like in the Q50 Eau Rouge. The newly revealed 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe goes without fender vents, while the BMW 4 Series coupe includes a pair of functional vents.

A more powerful grille for a more powerful car.

Infiniti Q60 Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Q60 Concept The Q60 concept wears a large grille up front that is recognizable as connected to Infinitis including the Q50 and QX70, but it's bigger than you might expect. That, Albaisa says, points to the car's more powerful engine. The 2017 Q60 will debut with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 that could make at least 350 hp, with more than the outgoing model's 270-276 lb-ft of torque, too. That's not the full story on the 2017 Q60's powertrain, though...

13 Cool Infiniti Q60 Facts We Learned at Pebble Beach

The next-gen Q60 will likely offer more than one engine option.

Infiniti Q60 Concept Wheel© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Q60 Concept Wheel Just as the Infiniti Q50 is finally getting another engine option for the 2016 model year —a turbo-four—we expect the Q60 will follow suit in offering more options. Because some luxury consumers are just fine with a car that merely appears to have 300 hp or more, we'd expect another engine such as the 2016 Q50's turbo-four to potentially lower the 2017 Q60's entry price and increase fuel economy.

Infiniti Q60 Concept Sideview Mirror© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Q60 Concept Sideview Mirror

The future of Infiniti design is...

Infiniti Virtual Reality Experience© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Virtual Reality Experience Thinking long-term, as Infiniti continues to roll out new designs over the next few years, Albaisa suggests the brand's designs will be "deeper" and "sharper" than the competition's. He says—and we'd agree—that a truly premium car isn't simply one that has more features. The types of first-tier luxury cars buyers are willing to pay big bucks for "push the state of the art" in some way, such as with design or technology.

The hood's central character line stays.

Infiniti Q60 Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Q60 Concept A small character line begins toward the edge of the Q60 concept's hood and ripples through the top of the chrome front grille. That line, which directs attention to the Infiniti emblem, will make it to the production car.

Get quilted.

Infiniti Q60 Concept Front Seat© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Q60 Concept Front Seat The Q60 concept features quilted leather inserts, and we're told that detail will be offered on more Infinitis in the future. Although it's not a unique selling feature among luxury or even non-luxury brands, it could still help boost consumers' impressions of Infiniti’s interiors.

Infiniti Q60 Concept Interior© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Q60 Concept Interior

So many I's!

Infiniti Q60 Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Q60 Concept Ever noticed how half of the letters in Infiniti are I's? Neither did we, until Albaisa pointed it out, noting that even the brand's name is cool.

The grade strategy could change.

Infiniti Q60 Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Q60 Concept Grade strategies might be shaken up a little at the 2016 Detroit auto show in January, hinted Albaisa and Kyle Bazemore, senior manager for Infiniti U.S. Product Communications. Some changes may be announced "that will make sense when it comes to levels of performance and how we describe that to the consumer," Bazemore says.

Expect to see the 2017 Infiniti Q60 coupe debut at the 2016 Detroit auto show (the concept is shown here). Infiniti Q60 Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Q60 Concept

Infiniti Q60 Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Q60 Concept
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