The ranks are thinning. Since the new year, the Q60 coupe is not available for order in Russia. Demand was scanty: from 46 pieces in 2019, it fell to nine in 2020. It is not clear why Infiniti even agreed on a test of a deliberately irrelevant model. But I am glad that it took place, because BMW fourth series needs context, and go find a German competitor. Last year, only 109 Audi A5 coupes were sold, only the top model 45 TFSI (249 hp) is kept in the press park.
Mercedes is more noticeable: during the same period, 335 C-class coupes were sold against 278 BMW Fours. But you know how things are with Daimler’s Russian office… However, the Mercedes flavor is still felt in this test, because under the hood of the Q60 there is a two-liter turbo engine M274 with a capacity of 211 hp, as on the pre-styling C 200. By the way, the bulk of Benzos in this segment are “two-hundredth” four-wheel drives. Infiniti has its own transmission: “automatic” with seven gears, and the moment is transmitted only backward.
There are so many disputes about the appearance of BMW, so much negativity in social networks! But the controversial car immediately went out by almost 50 pieces per month and in the last quarter of 2020 turned out to be twice as popular as the previously dominant Mercedes. Europe is even more categorical: in December 1175 “fours” and 386 “caches” were registered there. BMW designers have achieved the main thing — they have attracted public attention to a niche model. Infiniti can boast neither such publicity nor magnetism for onlookers. Although personally, his non-aggressive image is closer to me.
Already at the stage of announcing this test on Instagram @drive_ru, you asked the question why a 190-horsepower diesel car was put up against a gasoline Q60? Not that we did it on purpose. In addition to a couple of such diesel, there is still a “nedodemka” M440i xDrive in the BMW press park (from 5.1 million rubles). But in that – 387 forces, you can’t put it even against A5 45 TFSI. Diesel “Eski” are not being transported to Russia, AMG With 43-piece goods: only 18 coupes were sold in 2020. And the “four hundred and fortieth” itself found only 14 buyers.
Diesel is the driving force of BMW. If environmental biases are not restrained, it is difficult to deny yourself the pleasure of getting 400 NM for a ridiculous surcharge instead of 300 for the initial version of the 420i with less fuel consumption. (During the test, the rear-wheel-drive modification of the 420d consumed an average of 7.1 liters / 100 km versus 11 liters per hundred for the Q60.) Moreover, any options are available for diesel, including popular M-packages.
True, BMW all-wheel drive cars are most in-demand, and there is such a gray coupe in the representative office, highlighted by bloggers. But this is a matter of the personal preferences of the journalist. I like to drive in winter with rear-wheel drive, and the most interesting options seem to be close to the basic ones. A quick glance at the specification is enough to choose this particular white car — there are devices with arrow scales here! Alas, because of the M Sport Pure package, the price still exceeds four million.
Let me remind you, for 11 years I owned a couple of the third series. Moreover, the atmospheric version of the 330i was bought exactly like a winter one. In my opinion, cars with this type of body are underestimated. There is almost no posturing in them, they are practical. Four adults are accommodated here, and there is more space in the back than in a large “eight”. In the huge trunk of the correct shape — all their things. Why are there extra doors in everyday life if there are no small children?
In short, this format is clear to me, the pros and cons of the body are clear, I am familiar with the peculiarities of owning a BMW. For example, the system of irregular maintenance is very beneficial to those who travel a little. And again, the experience of relations with the generation before the last E92 is useful. The current “four” with the G22 index returns to the same mediocre level of driving comfort after the soft previous F32 series. Even the new sedan of the third series has lost its smoothness, and the suspension of the coupe is even stricter, especially with the optional M-package.
On the test “four”, instead of the regular 19-inch wheels, 18-inch wheels with decent non-studded Continental VikingContact 7 SSR tires from the line of factory accessories are installed (150-180 thousand rubles per set). Most likely, the transition to a single size 225/45 R18 front and rear improves directional stability, but it is unlikely that the smoothness of the ride benefits from a decrease in the landing diameter. BMW engineers say that in the case of Run Flat tires, increasing the profile more often harms it because of the larger area of the reinforced sidewall.
So it turns out that even on plump wheels, the “four” transmits little things to the salon in the most detailed way. It trembles on short waves, and at the joints, it clicks with such a sound as the teeth of a schoolboy, whom his comrades caught with his mouth open on a saechka, not sparing enamel, make. Even on a smooth highway, he finds something to find fault with. As the years go by, tire technologies are developing — and the best recommendation to the owner of a BMW of this class is the speedy replacement of Run Flat tires with ordinary ones. Don’t be greedy and wait for the regular ones to fall into disrepair — get rid of them and enjoy the transformed car.
In the current state, the rigidity of the chassis with electronically-controlled racks is, if not excessive, then too demonstrative for an ordinary daily car. As if the chassis was tuned to please the US market, where, as you know, there is no sportiness without shaking. However, after all, the relatively soft “four” of the previous generation was leading overseas among their own kind.
What happened to the landing? BMW chairs never required getting used to. But new sports seats have been developed for the G22 coupe, with which no one in the editorial office has found a common language. The backrest is too strict, something is wrong with the profile, the side rollers are placed wider than is traditionally accepted in BMW. The hard filler aggravates the feeling of an overstuffed suspension. It is probably possible to adapt — the owners on Drive2 do not complain. However, when choosing a car for a long journey, I get into a more cramped Q60.
The chair here is also not ideal, but it distributes the load much better. It’s a pity you can’t move the steering wheel as close to you as in a BMW. There are, however, more important problems. After the “four”, the Infiniti interior is difficult to take seriously. If it is ergonomically more or less good, then multimedia content is not even yesterday, but the day before yesterday. No freedom was implied when ordering, the Q60 was supplied in a single configuration, so the owner is doomed to look at two low-resolution screens at once.
Colleagues from Infiniti, despite the warning, left the Michelin X-Ice dimension 245/40 R19. I think even if they had increased the profile of the tires, it wouldn’t have mattered much. The way the Q60 interacts with the canvas is determined primarily by qualitatively tuned passive shock absorbers. Infiniti is also not soft. But unlike BMW, the course is truly sporty, devoid of tremors on trifles and the flabbiness of secondary vibrations.
Infiniti shakes tightly on large bumps and joints, but feels more comfortable than it really is, because of the steering wheel, almost completely untied from vibrations. The Q60 doesn’t tell you anything about the disturbances of unsprung masses or how painful low-profile wheels are on potholes or tram tracks. Sometimes you have to put yourself down so as not to damage the car because the chassis seems to be all right. Meanwhile, the front here is not a hardy McPherson, as in BMW, but a gentle two-lever.
But there is also a downside to the coin. The informativeness of the steering mechanism with an electrohydraulic amplifier tends to zero. In most urban modes, this does not cause much problems, but the faster you drive and the more unstable the coating, the more difficult it is to catch in a uniformly viscous force what exactly is happening in the contact spot. Infiniti is not able to synthesize feedback even in case of loss of traction of the controlled wheels. The car plows in demolition, and the weight of the steering wheel does not change.
Against this background, the first meters behind the wheel of the “four” are like an epiphany. Despite the gearbox changing the gear ratio, the BMW electric booster is an example of informativeness after Infiniti. The German car is significantly faster in turns, primarily due to the strong relationship between the steering wheel and the driver’s confidence in the tires, and then – thanks to kinematics and elastokinematics, selected so as to provide fast responses and neutrality on the arc…
Having let the “four” go ahead on a winding section, the Q60 will no longer catch up with it in a straight line. A slight dynamic advantage on the BMW side. There are no ideal conditions for measurements. It’s cold, slippery, both cars are on winter tires. Racelogic shows close times, but the smallest – 7.5 s – belongs to the 420d. Infiniti is heavier, its peak torque is 50 Nm lower, and with the most successful start it lags one tenth. The average is slightly better for the “German”.
But more importantly, the BMW Four provides more convenient traction control. Subjectively, a modern eight-band automatic with a modified torque converter and a traction diesel make the coupe no less responsive than my atmospheric six-cylinder “three-wheeler”, despite the fact that we communicated with it using six-speed “mechanics”. It doesn’t sound like a compliment to the E92, but for a new car, it is clear praise.
By itself, responsiveness to fuel supply is half the battle. It’s good when it can be turned to the benefit of controllability. In order to drive in controlled conditions, we gathered at the recently rebuilt Moscow Autodrom (ADM), which operates all year round. They were supposed to find asphalt, but on the eve of our arrival, without warning, the track began to be flooded. Two coupes with non-studded tires made a difficult journey through the morning traffic jams in Myachkovo to get out on the fresh uneven ice with white cows.
It doesn’t matter. First of all, good photos turned out. Secondly, much has become clear about gas control and chassis reactions to dynamic mass redistribution. BMW’s “four” is more accurate in all responses. A minimum of time passes between the accelerator movements and the sliding change. The “short” steering wheel simplifies the adjustment of skidding, its development is more stable, and the critical angle is greater due to the electronic imitation of the differential lock, which the Q60 lacks.