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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I took delivery of my new Q50S Hybrid on Tuesday and wanted to post my thoughts on the decision making process as a Thank You to this forum which popped up a lot on my Google searching when looking for specific info on the Q50S. I also wanted to post my thoughts because I did see some opinions/info that might be confusing to others trying to decide on a Q50 vs other luxury performance vehicles.

The purpose of the Q50S is to heighten my track events in the coming years as I take part in track events with Audi and BMW and Porsche car clubs. So my purchase HAD to be trackable with respectable enjoyment there as well as give me a great daily ride in the Boston Area daily traffic.

Full disclosure: I am not a Green Teamer and have never thought the world needs electric vehicles to save the planet.

A Bit o'History
In order of ownership, I have owned a new '96 GrandAM, a new '05 G35 6MT, used '03 330XI, and I was replacing my '12 MazdaSpeed 3.
My wife currently owns an Audi Q5 which she LOVES and I do mostly enjoyed on the weekends when I couldn't get her to set foot in my Speed3.

More History
Since my '05 G no other car's interior comfort or ergonomics has even come close, until the Q50 which has finally surpassed my love for that car.

I am an Audi Club Member and I was waiting for 2014 to use my Car Club discount for a 2014 S4 Prestige as I used my 2013 discount on my wife's Q5. Turns out, this gave me enough time to do more research on other AWD Luxury Performance Vehicles and ended with me not selecting the S4 in the end.

The list of drives
S4 was going to be the only drive and then I was going to buy it. However, the Audi ergonomics for the driver are THE WORST! The controls around the shifter is awful. It's the thing I hate in my wife's Q5 which is what led to looking for alternatives to the S4. Having to deal with the ergnomics of an Audi interior daily was going to bug me. The S6 has an even worse setup.

Lexus IS350 F Sport AWD - Though I am not a fan of Toyotas after owning several that have had quality issues but the reviews were compelling

Q50S AWD - Not expecting to drive the Hybrid. I was excited to read reviews of the Q50 and totally excited that this time around Infiniti decided to have an AWD Sport model.

Not BMW - My 330XI was always in the shop and was a heavy car that was not an exciting drive.

Not Cadillac - My experience with American made cars have soured me forever. And from the reviews, it seemed that the Q and Lexus have beat it.

Why the Q50S Hybrid
After driving the 3 cars above and an A4 and A6 it came down to reasonable performance vs daily driving. The Q50 had it all, and the hybrid was much smoother. And my wife gave me the thumbs up right after the test drive where with the other 2 makes she was underwhelmed.

As for the discussions that the Q50 has a "not so great" sound I would disagree. I love the throaty 3.5L . And the exhaust is deeper than the G35 6MT which was more high pitched. My preference is the low throaty exhaust sounds of a V8 is my ideal sound for a car. My Speed3 despite being a 4 banger has an exhausted that is tuned to be more throaty than pitchy.

The run-flats will have to be replaced. After just 400 miles the tires don't do well under heavy braking and that won't do at Watkins Glen.

Why the hybrid?
Cause it was smoother under heavy gas and the idea of getting somewhere near a net 360 HP sounds great. Though I have my doubts how close to that I will actually get. Does anyone know if the HP is likely to be close to 360 HP and any ideas on what the actual torque numbers are under driving conditions?

The other reason is because the Q50 is not a dual clutch transmission. And from my understanding of how the Hybrid works I can get the extra power without having the slushbox downshift. Not sure if this is good thinking or not but from my experience thus far it does seem to work this way as I accelerate on the highway on-ramp the car is definitely flying and when I look at the RPMs the they are flat at 1000 RPM and then slowly rise as I demand more power from the car. So it seems that it does work the way I expected when I bought it and it is definitely cool to have power on demand without the harsh downshift of a traditional auto.

In the end the S4 is probably the best handling car but the Q50 will be good enough for a pretty good track experience and will be a step up from the pushing FWD Speed 3 which was good enough to pass bigger faster cars on track but I needed an upgrade to improve the development of my driving skills.

Why not the Lexus?
The Lexus was a great car and performed pretty well but under high speed cornering was a bit pushy where as the Q50 was more loose and my preference is to have a loose rear than pushing the nose of a car. The interior was also not as "luxurious" and not as "easy to use" in my opinion.

Regarding "Is it an Infiniti"
I have read some posts how the new Q50 is not a traditional Infiniti since it has the sharp lines instead of the softer smoother lines. I think it distinguishes it from other cars that are moving to "roundy" boring lines, see the now totally boring 3 series sedans that are starting to get more straight (see 4 series). To me the straighter harsher lines are more aggressive and that is definitely something I like in a sporty car.

Hopefully my experience will help someone in a similar situation when trying to decide which car to take on a test drive.
 
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Thanks for the post. Gives me a little more confidence in considering the Q. Drove the ATS yesterday; I was a little disappointed in the power but the handling was nice. The back seat is a joke. I checked out the CTS also. Nice, but pricey and no real deals yet. Need a car early next year, so I have to make a decision soon.
 

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Welcome! I picked mine up Tuesday as well.
 

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The other reason is because the Q50 is not a dual clutch transmission.

I'm sorry, but the Q50 non-hybrid is supposed to have a torque converter; the hybrid has no converter. It does have a dual clutch transmission. Infiniti calls it a "Direct Response Hybrid." From its description:

The Q50 is powered by a 328-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 that carries over from the G37, or a new hybrid powertrain that generates 354 horsepower from a 3.5L V6 and an electric motor. Standard equipment is a seven-speed automatic transmission with downshift rev matching and dual-clutch.

That statement is confusing to me, as I thought the dual clutch tranny was only in the hybrid. Maybe Sinecure can tell us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Agreed! It was extremely confusing until I found this review:

2014 Infiniti Q50: First Drive

Which states there is a wet and dry clutch in the hybrid. And that makes sense cause Infiniti is not likely to come up with 2 7-speed auto transmissions with rev-match one that is a dual clutch and one that isn't.

From that description and others like the one you posted (even here on the forum complaining the that q50 wasn't a dual clutch like the s4) regarding the non-hybrid I interpreted the information like this:

1. The Q50 3.7L non-hybrid auto is not a dual clutch transmission and uses a torque converter.
2. The Q50 and Q50S 3.5L Hybrid has this same 7 speed auto coupled with a second clutch for the electric motor which operates completely independently from the transmission.

Thus what you get is a "slush-box" 7 speed auto with rev match plus an on-demand electric motor which can be mated to the drivetrain to act kind of like a "boost" which allows for a smoother acceleration and allows the "normal" tranny to operate in not as a herky jerky manner as most folks think of with automatic transmissions.

My dealer and I are both F1 fans and we chatted that the way this boost motor must work is like the F1 KERS system. We think it actually works this way because the amount of power added to the F1 car is 60 HP and the Q50 is 67 I think. Can't be a coincidence. If you see how a dual clutch works in the traditional sense I think what the Q50 is doing is that the second clutch isn't to pick a gear in the transmission but rather to add the electric motor power onto the drive shaft. Sort of like this how dual clutch works but not really because the transmission only has 1 clutch and the second clutch is probably near the area of the red gears. I envision it to work exactly like this video (fast forward to the 50 second mark):
and replace the flywheel with the battery pack behind the back seat.

And like I said, since a mash on the gas gives me first a boost of power without downshifting to increase revs and power then I think this is how the "clutches" work in the hybrid. And why I didn't buy the non-hybrid "slush-box" only transmission.
 

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As I've stated here before, one of the things that showed how ridiculous the first C&D review was, was that THE author COMPLAINED that the hybrid didn't have a torque converter. Total idiot - the torque converter saps power between the engine and the wheels.
 

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Sperry, thanks for your post. It actually gave me comfort since I didn't test drive other luxury/sporty cars before opting for the Q50. In fact, I had been looking at other hybrids and test drove the Lexus CT200h and Toyota Avalon Hybrid before being totally floored by the comfort and performance of the Q50 Hybrid. Granted, the other Hybrids are supposedly capable of getting about 10 mpg more than the Q50 Hybrid, but their performance was so lackluster that the tradeoff, for me, was well worth it. I'm really enjoying the fact that I can get enough power to go 0 to 60 in about 5 secs or so whenever I want, and still drive a hybrid that can theoretically get me 30/31 mpg on average. At this point, with a little over 400 miles on my ride, I'm getting about 28 mpg on average, but I'm hoping that improves as the car breaks in more. Enjoy your new ride!
 
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