My new ‘Road’mance

Published: Sunday, January 31, 2016    

Breaking new ground in the world of crossovers, irwin B Fletcher takes the infiniti QX70s for a drive and discovers a match made on asphalt or sand.

The first Infiniti I ever drove was my Uncle’s 1997 I30t, a model that is no longer made, but wow did I love that car. I was 18 years old and for me, every moment behind the wheel, was the epitome of what a car should be - power, grace, and sophistication.

It has taken me nearly 20 years to get behind the wheel of another Infiniti, but I can tell you that starting the ignition and smelling the leather, even after such a long hiatus, let me know that my ‘road’mance was still there.

The Infiniti QX70S breaks new ground in the crossover segment between sport and utility by including some ‘modern art’ aspects to the design. From the jet black sports grill, the masculine front end flexes with power, then gracefully swoops up over the engine and along the side panel to the integrated rear spoiler.

Everything you ask the QX70 to do on the road, it will do with ease, making it difficult to find another vehicle that fits any other segment so closely.

Externally, this car is noticeably wider, measuring in at 1,925mm, which is great for cruising the wide ‘super highways’ so prevalent here in the UAE. The ‘sport’ package (that’s the ‘S’ in the aforementioned QX70S), adds to the striking profile with 21-inch alloy wheels that seem to echo racing performance more than your everyday highway cruiser.

Alongside the avant-garde exterior and sporty lines there are also rugged aluminium roof rails further adding to the masculine look. After admiring the exterior from afar, I approached the driver’s door, with great anticipation and it seemed the car came to life the nearer I got!

Welcome lighting first responded to my presence when the puddle light under the side mirrors came on. As I drew even closer, on came the interior lights tantalisingly inviting me in as an honoured guest.

The sequence finally concluded with the illuminated ignition button pulsating as though the heartbeat of the QX70 was adrenaline- filled as well, whispering to the adventurer inside me that we were both ready for the road ahead.

Pressing my thumb on the ignition button, a thrilling growl sprang from the exhaust and the systems on the dash sprang to life. I revved the engine one more time just for my own amusement to hear the orchestrated sound from the exhaust.

As I left the parking lot of the Al Masaood Automobile Showroom, it was soon apparent that the QX70S responded to whatever need I required at the time, all the while keeping an eye out for trouble.

The 3.7L V6 engine delivered 329 horsepower and substantial torque over every rev range, resulting in a great feeling of acceleration, no matter how far I pushed the pedal down.

The intelligent all-wheel drive was active from the moment I put the car in Drive. Continually adjusting for better traction when I needed it, the QX70S automatically switched from 100 per cent rear wheel drive to allocating up to 50 per cent of the power to the rear for four-wheel drive, when it sensed traction or stability was not at maximum performance.

This was very apparent when I took the car off the asphalt and onto the dust and gravel of some of the ‘country roads’ just outside town. With the addition of the Sport package, the Active Rear Steering and Continuous Damping Control systems also helped to keep me on the road and able to corner at speeds where most SUVs would start to have a significant amount of body roll or squealing of tyres.

Stopping has also been improved, thanks to the Electronic Brake Force Distribution. This simply means that the QX70S helps you stop just as safely as it does anything else, by adjusting the amount of brake force applied to the front and rear wheels. In this way, ‘nose dive’ during heavy braking is reduced and additional pressure to the rear brakes is added when the load being carried is detected as more than normal.

All of this was happening in fractions of a second, completely unbeknown to me inside the car - mainly because I was too busy enjoying the benefits of my spirited drive with the auditory hedonism bestowed upon me

from the BoseTM Premium Audio System, which included not one but two subwoofers.

I was also breathing a bit easier thanks to the innovative PlasmaclusterTM air purifier, which was actively cleaning and freshening the air inside the automobile. It was also producing positive and negative ions that helped to prevent odours from sticking to interior materials (great when passing a camel farm)!

Moreover, for those cold and flu seasons, it also aids in killing mould and viruses. It works hand in hand with the Grape Polyphenol Filter, which was removing up to 99.5 per cent of allergens from the air coming in from the outside, most of which was the result of sand being kicked up as I drove along.

For long road trips, it is easy to get comfortable - and to stay that way! Both passenger and driver seats are eight-way adjustable,

with lumbar support on both the lower back and under the knees, while both front seats are heated or cooled for individual comfort preferences.

So how do you describe an entire day of driving the QX70S? ‘Intense’ would be a good word to start with, and in a good way. I spent nearly three hours in the car without feeling any type of fatigue or even becoming uncomfortable.

This Infiniti loves the straight roads just as much as it does rugged gatch tracks. It devours corners with an understated authority, all the while, cradling and protecting those within.

Consideration for the ‘crossover’ rather than a sport sedan is becoming an everyday event.

Although you may not take it extreme offroading or bashing through sand dunes, if you want something a little taller, a little edgier, that handles well and won’t leave you stranded in most cases, the QX70S is a viable contender.
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