Thursday, August 14, 2014

Forza Motorsport 5: It's the V37 Skyline!*

*Well, sort of. It may look like the latest V37 Nissan Skyline sedan but when you open its hood, instead, you will be greeted by a 3.7L V6 VVEL engine carried from its previous model instead of...well, you know...so clearly that looks like a Nissan Skyline but doesn't feel like one because what this is is the export version of the V37 Skyline, the Infiniti Q50.

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Despite the difference, this is the first I have ever got my shot to drive the latest premium midsize saloon from Nissan's Infiniti division now that it was recently added to the Forza 5 car list via this month's content update. It's been an honor to get behind the wheel of the V37 Skyline even though it has a completely different engine and made for export markets, especially North America.

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So, what's all about the Q50? You know? The Americanized or globalized or localized, whatever you may call it, version of the V37 Nissan Skyline?

Revealed at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, the Q50 is the successor to the V36 Skyline-based G37 saloon and it's the first to incorporate Infiniti's new naming scheme where saloon models bear the Q letter while sport utilities bear the QX letters.

Went on sale in America in the second half of 2013, the Q50 is available in 3.7L V6 petrol and 3.5L V6 hybrid powerplants. It comes with the world's firsts such as Direct Adaptive Steering which delivers precise handling and quickly communicates road surface feedback to the driver and the Predictive Forward Collision Warning that detects possible collisions ahead and triggers and alert to the driver with a visual warning and audible buzzer.

The Infiniti Q50 is sold in Japan as the Nissan Skyline V37 but Japan-spec models come with the 3.5L V6 hybrid and the Mercedes-Benz-derived 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo engine.

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Having spent five minutes driving this premium midsize saloon, I can surely say that the world's first Direct Adaptive Steering on the Q50S really handles like it should unlike those power steering that you expect in most cars like the Lexus GS. It's as precise as locking-on the target and thanks to the Direct Adaptive Steering, this Q50S could be one of the best handling cars I have ever driven on FM5 and when I put this sports saloon on the Top Gear Track and faced in corners like Chicago, Hammerhead, Follow-Through, and Gambon, the Q50 precisely glides through the corners with clinical precision with some minor mistakes when not focused. It's okay though because this Q50 is so easy to drive even at the hands of a rookie.

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I know that the 3.7L V6 engine may have 328HP of power for the Q50S but with such handling mojos rigged to it, the Q50 will keep me longing for days and not only that, you can drift one of these, which of course, why would you want to?

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So, what can I say about this car? Well, it may not be the V37 Skyline I was hoped for but I am very humbled to drive the latest version and its strength lies to its handling capabilities thanks to its Direct Adaptive Steering. Luxury never felt so liberating...

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