"Less is more" evidently wasn't Infiniti's mind as it penned the busily styled Q50, which succeeds the G37. For those that can't keep track of the renaming frenzy, the company is adopting the Q and QX name for all its cars and utility vehicles, respectively. The original Q45 was known for its avant-garde styling, so at least the new nomenclature fits the quixotic design of Infiniti's new 3 Series fighter, which will be out later this year.
Lower, wider and adopting a similar angry front fascia as the QX60, the Q50 is full of undulating curves, especially from the A-pillar forward. But while the exterior may have its detractors, the cabin is an elegant evolution from the G sedan's lackluster interior, and the finer grained materials finally feel competitive for the segment. It also employs a dual touchscreen display, and the user interface looks sleek enough to appeal to iPad users.
Infiniti's powertrain has never been lacking compared to its Bavarian counterparts, and the Q50 keeps the same 326-hp V-6 for the standard trim, which is paired with a 7-speed automatic. There's also a hybrid V-6 variant which makes 360 combined hp, and a turbo four-cylinder engine is also in the works. Mechanically the most appreciable difference may be the Direct Adaptive Steering, which anticipates steering input for a more direct feel.
For 2014, both Lexus and Infiniti are trying to infuse emotion into the sheet metal of their respective entry-level luxury sedans, and it's a bold, if not risky, venture; BMW has always been more conservative design-wise with the 3 Series because it didn't want to alienate long-time customers with a Bangle-ized rear or flame-surfaced rocker panels. Whether or not Infiniti's contoured styling pays off, it's anything but forgettable.