UPDATE: Autoblog spoke with Infiniti spokesperson Nick Twork, who clarified some of the details originally outlined in this story. First, all current Q50 models without Direct Adaptive Steering use hydraulic power steering. The proposed new system would be adapted from the previous G37S, which used a variable-ratio hydraulic steering rack. This is the one that could potentially be used in the Q50S for the 2016 model year.

Sometimes, new technology doesn't make things better. Take the march of power steering technology as an example. Electrically assisted systems are in vogue at the moment for their ability to increase fuel efficiency, but tuning them to offer good feedback remains something of a dark art. Some automakers get it, but most don't. The previous hydraulically assisted setups just seem to be inherently more communicative when driven with enthusiasm. And it looks like Infiniti might be learning this lesson the hard way.

In talking with Keith St. Clair, Infiniti's head of US product planning, Car and Driver has learned that the Q50S is probably going to ditch its standard electrically assisted steering in favor of a hydraulic system derived from the old G37, a model soon to be renamed the Q40. The system should make the sedan more engaging behind the wheel, but it still won't help those who tick the option box for Infiniti's controversial Direct Adaptive Steering drive-by-wire system.

According to St. Clair, Infiniti's engineers have heard the complaints of critics and previous G37 owners about the Q50S model's electric steering system, and wanted to see what they could do. They didn't have to go far to figure it out – all it required was taking the steering rack off of a G37 and putting it onto the Q50S. After a little tweaking, "the car is a blast to drive," St. Clair reports. Now, the company is said to be fast-tracking the switch, and it could be ready for the 2016 model year.

To be clear, this change is likely going to be for the Q50S only. Electric assistance and Infiniti's DAS steer-by-wire aren't going anywhere, but the S model is supposed to be a little sportier than the rest of the Q50 range. Therefore, the switch to something enthusiasts prefer in a model expressly designed for them would appear to make good sense.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 44 Comments
      Krazeecain
      • 3 Months Ago

      Amidst the looming future of darkness that is EV's and self-driving cars, a glimmer of light shines through for a brief moment.

      chonnes
      • 3 Months Ago

      Once upon a time vehicle nomenclature made sense . . . then BMW and Infiniti improved it by giving typewriters to monkeys.

        Susan
        • 3 Months Ago
        @chonnes

        Wait a minute there: monkeys are more intelligent that ad. executives.

        lne937s
        • 3 Months Ago
        @chonnes

        I wish they would just go by the JDM names: Skyline, Fuga, Patrol, Cima...

          Matt
          • 3 Months Ago
          @lne937s

          Yeah, Americans think "luxury sports sedan" when they hear "Fuga".

          Get real 

        Matt
        • 3 Months Ago
        @chonnes

        My 320i is true to BMW's classic nomenclature, although it's missing a "t". It's the other models that fell off the wagon. 

      carguy1701
      • 3 Months Ago *Edited*

      PRAISE THE SUN!  DAS should be bundled with the Technology package anyway (the stupid driver aids), as it's clearly intended to work with those systems.  Honestly, it shouldn't even be available on the Sport model.

      Can we get the limited slip diff and manual back too?

        Rochester
        • 3 Months Ago
        @carguy1701

        The 6MT is gone, but pretty sure the RWD Sport still gets VLSD.

        In other news, aren't those 370Z Rims on that Q50?

          carguy1701
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Rochester

          Autoblogist: The Maxima wheels are a similar design, but they aren't the same wheels.

          Autoblogist
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Rochester

          I'm pretty sure they put those wheels on the Maxima too. 

      rmt_1
      • 3 Months Ago

      It looks like Infiniti is creating the automotive equivalent of "Back to the Future". If hydraulic power steering systems produce better road feel and electric power steering systems produce better gas mileage by reducing parasitic engine loses, then whatever happened to the electrically-powered hydraulic power steering system, where an electric motor powers the hydraulic pump instead of the engine, that I read about a few years ago? I'll admit this is not an automotive area where I've been trying to stay current, but I've always thought the idea of an electric/hydraulic power steering system made sense.

        carguy1701
        • 3 Months Ago
        @rmt_1

        The 1st Gen Mazda 3 had an electrohydraulic assist system.

          Stang70Fastback
          • 3 Months Ago
          @carguy1701

          If that's the case, then hopefully they've found a way to improve it. There was nothing wrong with it from an operational point of view, but his power steering had an annoying whine to it that I always thought was a mechanical issue, but was apparently normal operational noise according to the dealer, due to the "unique design" (which I assume referred to the fact that it was electrohydraulic.) It all makes sense now!

        Yoemanship
        • 3 Months Ago
        @rmt_1

        The Kia K900 uses an electrically-driven hydraulic pump. 

      Gorgenapper
      • 3 Months Ago

      "Infiniti took the G37 and dropped it onto the Q50. It was such a smash hit that they dropped the whole Q-bullshit nomenclature and reverted back to G."








      ...and then I woke up.

        Greg
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Gorgenapper

        Maybe after Johan De'Nyschen leaves (did he go to Cadillac?)...

          carguy1701
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Greg

          He did, and he wasn't a fan of the name change. Was decided before he was brought in.

      Square Wheel
      • 3 Months Ago
      I hear Porsche knows a thing or two about making electric power steering systems work... [giggle]
      Dmack
      • 3 Months Ago

      Let me get this straight. The G50 I meant the Q50 is replacing the G37 and the Q40 is replacing the name of the G37 for 1 year. This makes no sense and I think the brand is in the toilet now. 

        futurecars
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Dmack

        because there is a new Q40 coming the following year so the G37 is just filling the spot for the time being.


      Winnie Jenkems
      • 3 Months Ago

      Just another example of how technology for technology's sake does not necessarily equate to an improvement in driver experience and, in many cases, makes it worse. Props to Infiniti for recognizing the error of their ways and implementing a simple, time-tested fix.

      ICantDrive88
      • 3 Months Ago

      The hydraulic steering comes standard on the Q50S already. It's only when you get the Deluxe Touring model when the electric steering comes in.


      Check and make sure but I'm 99% certain!

        k_m94
        • 3 Months Ago
        @ICantDrive88

        I believe that it is electric (as in electro-mechanical) steering that comes standard in the Q50 but *drive by wire* electric which is optional or on the higher models. 

          carguy1701
          • 3 Months Ago *Edited*
          @k_m94

          Negative. The base Q50S has hydraulic assist steering. Ordering the Deluxe Touring package nets you DAS.

      AlfieR
      • 3 Months Ago
      Your move BMW...
        Barry Hubris
        • 3 Months Ago
        @AlfieR

        Like they've stuck with their horrendous runflats, BMW will not bow to the pressure.  I have little interest in driving my 2013 BMW because of the very poor implementation of electronic power steering.  4 BMWs in the last 12 years and this one is likely my last as it's just not fun.

          AlfieR
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Barry Hubris
          That was what my comment was trying to say, i wish bmw would go back to hydraulic steering, my 135i was supperb, expecially when the run flats were replaced by ps2s
      Bernard
      • 3 Months Ago

      They should have done this from the start. Regardless, Tesla is getting my money although their steering is just as bad.

      kontroll
      • 3 Months Ago

      I don't understand why these three japanese entry level premium brands (lexus, acura and infinity) continue their agonizing attempts to become respected luxury brands. IT will never happen, they will always be toyota, honda and datsun.

      They should be happy there are enough idiots out there who consider buying these cars at luxury prices

        Tom
        • 3 Months Ago
        @kontroll

        Just because you can't afford one, yes the little green of envy.

          kontroll
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Tom

          look dude, I'm in my late 30's (not young I admit), professional with good income.

          Neither me, nor any of my friends or colleagues at my income level would be caught dead in any of these old fart japanese "luxury wanna be" cars.

          What I drive is a desirable car for my age group and income level and I can ASSURE you that what I drive is waaay superior and more expensive than this POS.

          So, if you want to argue with me, don't start the "income" cliché moron, because 90% of the autoblog spectators would seriously lose this competition.

        Porsche 996
        • 3 Months Ago
        @kontroll

        Seriously?  Wow you need help..

        futurecars
        • 3 Months Ago
        @kontroll

        Kontroll when you are talking you should do some research who first comes with lane depature? was it MB or cadillac, because I know it was infiniti who had the technology first, and what about 5 point collision, I am sure infiniti had the tech first, And as you can see the Q50 is basically semi autonomous, is your Audi and (except merc) your other luxury do that? keep on trolling bro

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