SAN DIEGO -- Infiniti has launched a more powerful and more refined Q60 midsize coupe as it counts on a resurgence in the segment in the next few years.
The new Q60, on sale in limited numbers since late August, has been redesigned using the platform of Infiniti's volume-leading Q50 sedan, and also receives a new twin-turbo V-6 engine with 300- and 400-hp versions. The nameplate previously was a renamed old-generation G37.
Infiniti expects midsize coupe sales to grow in the U.S. and globally. IHS Automotive forecasts that coupes could rise to 5 percent of global midsize auto sales by 2022, up from near-zero volumes in 2008-09.
The 300-hp version of the Q60 launched at the end of August, while the 400-hp version began reaching showrooms last week.
The car will also come with a 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo four-cylinder engine that yields 208 hp and 350 pounds-feet of torque.
Randy Parker, vice president of Infiniti Americas, vows to get the redesigned car to dealers as quickly as possible to make sure inventories are available as customers come looking.
"Coupes have a little bit shorter shelf life than other body types," Parker said last week at the redesigned car's global media introduction here. "Coupes are an emotional purchase -- more of an impulse buy. Consumers like what they see, and they want it right then. If you don't have it, they might not wait."
Parker said all Infiniti dealers now have at least one Q60, and more likely two of them. Larger volume stores have more. "We're going to make sure we get plenty of inventory out there," he said.
The car is being launched with an ad campaign featuring TV's "Game of Thrones" star Kit Harington.
Gerardo Carmona, senior manager of Infiniti global product strategy, said the company will focus on the Q60's core configurations to give dealers the best odds of having the exact cars that customers request. There are about 150 configurations of the car, but about 20 of them account for nearly 90 percent of sales, he estimated.
Infiniti is counting on a wow factor to reignite interest in the Q60. The car's redesign features more sculpted body panels, a larger grille, and Infiniti's "human eye" design headlights.
Like the Q50 sedan, the coupe uses steer-by-wire electronic direct adaptive steering, which allows drivers to select tension settings based on driving conditions. The coupe's second-generation system offers seven steering modes.