Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Good looks. Charm. You can virtually have it all

Good looks. Charm. You can virtually have it all

I HAVE a great affection for good-looking cars, even if down the years these very same handsome objects of desire I might covet have failings in other departments.

Italian cars passim, for example, might prove a bit dodgy bodywork-wise in the long run, yet the Italians have a tradition of producing some truly handsome beasts. (See Ben Stodolnic’s piece on this page — the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is a fine example of a stunning, modern supercar.)

So this week’s drive provided a bit of a conundrum for me: the Infiniti Q60 caught the eye of many onlookers as I passed by — but did the sum of the Q60’s parts, inside and out, make it a fine car?

Its sleek, cool lines from its low, smooth top line to its sublime 19-inch, five-spoke Bi-tone alloy wheels cleverly create the illusion of a supercar at a very reasonable price at just on £40,000 with options fitted. The F12 Berlinetta chimes in at an eye-watering £200,000 more than the Q60.

The Q60’s megaphone-like twin exhausts at the rear and a mere hint of a rear spoiler moulded into the boot lid, add to its subtle attraction.

Inside, too, the car ticked the boxes on comfort and ease of passage. Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury brand, has to be an acquired taste — and this may be the key to its across-the-model range attraction for me.

I suppose it is inevitable that I am old school when it comes to a car’s attractive features.

I like to be comfortable when I drive and I like to be a bit pampered too. Again, Infiniti models I have driven in the past go out of their way — on a budget — to fulfil this requirement.

Where the Infiniti range might struggle — and I think the Q60 is no exception — is with the perception that the cars might be considered a little old-fashioned.

I don’t find this a problem for the above-stated reason that I am more old school when it comes to creature comforts in a car. For your forty grand for the Q60 you get some lovely touches: the dark maple wood interior trim, the ambient lighting, the leather-wrapped, stitched gear shift lever with matt chrome and black gloss finish, and the Infiniti aluminium front door sill finishers.

You don’t have to be a poseur to appreciate the overhead sunglass storage and map lamp or the sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors. You just have to appreciate a hint of luxury in your motoring life.

True, we never had this sort of kit in our old British sports cars when we started out many years ago in our driving lives. It was more
in-line six-volt batteries under the seats that often came loose so the car failed to start. A cassette tape player, perhaps, if you were really flash.

Happy days!

Of course the technology was there in abundance in the Q60. There was push-button ignition, Infiniti InTouch — dual touch screens, fine vision electroluminescent gauges with 3D, five-inch colour display — all the stuff you would expect to find now in a modern, 21st century car.

To make for safe passage there was a host of safety features, too: four-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS), traction control system (TCS) and vehicle dynamic control (VDC), hill start assist, pop-up engine bonnet for pedestrian protection, six airbags, lane departure warning (LDW) and lane departure prevention (LDP) and blind spot warning (BSW) — the list is seemingly endless.

For me, this is all to the good. Where would we be in modern driving circumstances without such strictures on safety in car manufacture?

So the perception of the Q60 might be that this is a car that might suit a certain type of person — reasonably well off, of let’s say maturing age, but still into sports cars with comfort added. That’s about the sum of it.

The Infiniti Q60 gets my vote because, as I hinted at the beginning of this piece, I still appreciate some traditional values when it comes to cars.

Us chaps understand that it’s not a man’s prerogative in the modern world to “have it all” but with the Q60, if you are a certain type, you might get close.

Infiniti Q60 Premium Tech

Engine capacity: 1,991cc

Fuel type: petrol

Combined mpg: 41.5

Max speed: 146 mph

0-62mph: 7.3 seconds

Options fitted:

l Electric glass sunroof: £880

l Iridium Blue paint: £660

l Steering pack: £800

l Price with options: £40,030

Motoring

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