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Infiniti Q60 Concept: First (Virtual) Drive

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 8/15/2015 Zach Gale

There's a lot at stake with the upcoming 2017 Infiniti Q60 coupe, the latest in a line coupes that began with the still-attractive G35 two-door that debuted for the 2003 model year. And as part of Infiniti's efforts to attract affluent folks at Pebble Beach events away from, say, a Lexus or Jaguar booth, the automaker is offering interested passersby free "test drives" in a virtual reality experience featuring the Q60 concept, as well as a design-oriented experience starring the QX30 concept. We tried both out at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering.

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The Q60 concept simulator starts after you sit into a white racing seat (with quilted inserts to remind you this is a luxury brand). After strapping into the completely unnecessary racing-style seatbelt, an Infiniti representative puts on a headseat and headphones, and you're off, driving away on some of the most amazing roads around the world, wrapping your hands around a real Infiniti steering wheel for added effect.

Infiniti Guest Centered Virtual Reality Experience© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Guest Centered Virtual Reality Experience The simulator tilts and can recreate G-forces as it takes you through roads including the Stelvio Pass in Italy and the Atlantic Ocean road in Norway. And the simulator, which was created over a seven-and-a-half week period, we're told, actually required filming certain segments of these amazing roads -- it's not all CGI magic.

Having the Q60 concept pass a BMW M4 in a tunnel is a fun touch, and if we had a chance to try this again (at an auto show or sporting event Infiniti is sponsoring), we might pay more attention to the sounds. The engine sounds, Infiniti says, were created by a real engine, though the sound was tweaked for the audio experience.

Infiniti Q60 Concept: First (Virtual) Drive

Infiniti Virtual Reality Experience© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Virtual Reality Experience A second simulator -- this one launching at Pebble Beach -- involves Infiniti executive design director Alfonso Albaisa explaining the inspiration behind the QX30 concept. What's interesting about this one isn't just Albaisa's insights, but the way you're taken inside what at first appears to be a sketch, from CAD files to clay modeling, and then the actual model.

If you have a chance to try out either of these Infiniti virtual reality experiences at an event, we'd recommend moving your head in all directions to capture as much of the visuals as possible.

We won't see the 2017 Infiniti Q60 or its twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 for a while, but in the meantime, for those who've never tried a simulator like these, the Q60 concept and QX30 concept experiences are definitely worth 90 seconds of your time, plus of course, however long the line is. Despite how car designs sometimes lose too much of their edge transitioning from concept to production design, we're still eager to see the production design of the 2017 Infiniti Q60, especially since the Q60 coupe and convertible contributed more sales in 2014 than the Q70 sedan or the QX50 and QX70 crossovers.

What would you like to see from the 2017 Infiniti Q60 coupe when it debuts?

Infiniti Guest Centered Virtual Reality Experience© Provided by MotorTrend Infiniti Guest Centered Virtual Reality Experience
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