“Its design and engineering development has the fingerprints of four-times F1 Champion Sebastian Vettel all over it.”
Premium brand Infiniti will unveil its first-ever compact car at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt in September this year (September 17 to 27, 2015).
Two years after the Infiniti Q30 Concept debuted at the 2013 Frankfurt show, the production version of this segment-spanning compact car will be revealed at the show this year.
Infiniti is in the final stages of preparing the launch. Dynamic testing and ultimate validation is currently taking place across the UK and throughout mainland Europe where development of the vehicle has been completed at the company’s Engineering Centre in Cranfield, in north-east England, since 2014.
The Q30 will go on sale in Europe towards the end of 2015 with other markets to follow subsequently. More news on the Infiniti Q30 active compact will be released closer to the Frankfurt show in September.
The road to production for this much-anticipated car has been rocky though not for what might be expected reasons. Its design and engineering development has the fingerprints of four-times F1 Champion Sebastian Vettel all over it.
When his ‘hands-on’ association with the car was revealed, it was not merely a stroke of marketing genius but the racer’s renowned smarts meant his input would be extremely valuable.
Then Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen announced the car alongside Vettel, who was wearing his Infiniti-Red Bull F1 team shirt for the occasion. Since then the president has headed over to GM to run Cadillac and Vettel has joined the Ferrari F1 team.
After chatting to Vettel, there’s no doubt in the mind of yours truly that he will want to get a turn at the wheel of a Q30 production car to see just how much of his advice was accepted. Sadly, for Infiniti they won’t be able to trumpet his participation in Frankfurt this fall.
Contact the writer at: keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca
Milton Keynes, England.
The security here seemingly rivals that of the most top-secret government institutions. (more…)
Driveway editor Keith Morgan took a couple hot laps with F1 champion Sebastian Vettel and former Formula 1 racer David Coulthard, while the two of them and their Red Bull-Infiniti team were in Toronto before heading off to the Montreal Grand Prize in Quebec.
It was the second time Morgan had ridden with Vettel, and the second time their meetings have crossed just before Seb has finished on an F1 podium.
“It’s all down to you,” the champ said, while taking Morgan on a windy, whipping turn around the track at Bowmanville, Ontario.
Videos: Keith Morgan, Driveway
Seb’s seat time with Driveway editor Keith Morgan clearly paid off as he went on to take his fourth straight championship… (more…)
Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS) is a bold move by Infiniti and it had the guile, and the racing connections, to involve the best driver in the world (four-time F1 Champion) Sebastian Vettel in the development of Q50… (more…)
I keep hearing TV F1 commentary teams talking about the perfect race in relation to the now four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.
As I watched the German driver for Infiniti-Red Bull race team take the chequered flag in India on Sunday, the repeated reference to his perfect race reminded me of another open-wheel racer.
Back in the early 1990s, Vancouver Indy racer Ross Bentley strived for what he called the ‘Perfect Drive’, not on the track but on the roads of B.C.
Ross, now coaching race drivers and street drivers in Washington state, always told me that he found the racetrack a safer place to drive. On the track he pretty much knew what other drivers were going to do, whereas drivers on the street were very unpredictable.
And I was reminded of that the other morning when a young driver whizzed by me in the curb lane, then cut in front and crossed two more lanes to turn left at an intersection just a block ahead. Of course, he didn’t signal when he got there, either!
Ross devised a little game that he played every day while travelling to and from work across town. The Perfect Drive Concept was designed to help drivers concentrate and I can’t help think it would be a great game for us all to play some 20 years on from when he first outlined the idea to me.
“The idea is to drive smoothly at a constant speed with minimal braking,” explains Ross, who tells me he still tries to achieve the Perfect Drive daily.
“To do so, you must anticipate light changes and ease off when you approach a stale green. You have to slow in such a way that if your passengers had their eyes closed they wouldn’t be aware of the exact point you stopped.”
Keeping a healthy distance between your car and the one you are following is key. Others do cut into the space but they disappear as fast as they arrive. And even if you ease off to open up the gap again, Ross figured if even 10 cars did that to you and stayed during the average trip you might lose a minute in travel time.
“The Perfect Drive can be ruined by others so I try to figure out what crazy things they might do and adjust accordingly. If I have to brake jerkily in anticipation of the other driver’s move, I don’t deduct any points!”
However, if you hold up traffic or disrupt the flow then you deduct points. If you can let somebody in smoothly or provide an opportunity for somebody else to turn then you’re assisting the flow so he figured that was worth a few bonus points.”
“The Perfect Drive can be different for everybody and you can work out your own scoring technique. I keep it simple and figure if I drop four points then that was nowhere near the Perfect Drive.
I love his final comment: “Oh, and if you drop a point halfway through, you don’t give up and drive the rest of the way like a jerk.”
Give it a try, it’s fun.
Email: keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca