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2016 Infiniti Q50 - can it really do 180?

My first lease car for the heck of it, an Infiniti Q50. There’s a top speed of 180 on the speedo @ 9000 rev’s. Someone told me it can’t do that, governed! True or false?

True… A Q50 will NOT do 180mph just because the speedo goes that high. Governed to 145 to 155 depending on model. Runs into an aerodynamic wall even if unlimited to well less than 180. Not enough HP.


Do a web search for road tests by the car magazines and you will have a good idea of what the vehicle will do. Frankly I have no idea what any of my vehicles would do because I don’t want a ticket.

I was collecting Social Security long before I owned a car that I did not find the top speed of.

Remember the short lived, gov. mandated, 85 Mph speedometers ?

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The captured by @missortegon via Instagram, sliding the Acceleration toggle on a P90D(L) from Sport to Ludicrous, and then holding for 5 seconds will unleash an animated graphic that gives ode to Space Ball’s Ludicrous Speed.


Gauge cluster from a 1988 Caravan. Anyone who thinks it will actually do 125… I got beach-front property in Arizona to sell ya!


Additionally, its tires are not rated for 180 mph–or anything near that number.


Most of fifties American cars had 120 MPH Speedometers few could could manage a hundred.
As to aerodynamics, in the 60s I was an avid reader of Hot rod magazines.
One ran an article on an highly modified 55 Chevy that the magazine reported was the first stock bodied car to break 200 on the salt flats. A letter writer corrected them citing a 53 Studebaker bodied car had previously surpassed 200, the magazine responded that, in their opinion, that record did not count because the Studebaker was too aerodynamic…

Because of aerodynamics, to go twice as fast requires 8 times the horsepower. HP cubed.

“We’re sorry. You’re entirely too smart to be in MENSA.”


The top Q50 ( Red Sport 400) is governed to 153 MPH

Intresting side note on the Q50 Red Sport; it’s the first car to have drive by wire steering.

The mid-range Q50 (3.0L Turbo) is governed to 150 MPH and the base model with the 2.0L Turbo is good for about 130 MPH

Optimistic speedo markings are quite common. We had a 1971 Mercury Comet with the 200 cu inch engine. The speedo was marked to 120 MPH. A Lamborghini speedo goes up to 300 Kph on the metric verison.

I see steer by wire to be a huge negative. Even the article mentions the lack of feedback at the tires limit. Electric assisted steering is one thing, by wire is a different world altogether!


That could be overcome using video game technology that’s been around for decades:

Force-feedback gaming wheel. I remember getting one of those back in the early 2000’s and being absolutely amazed that you could feel the road with it. Drive over a wood-plank bridge, you could feel every plank in the tires. Start to lose grip, you’d feel that too.

Seems odd that Infiniti can’t manage to put technology in their $50,000 car that was available in a $100 toy 18 years ago. :wink:

Keep in mind that the early Caravan instrument cluster was the same exact unit used in several other Chrysler products of the day, some of which were equipped with a V-6 or V-8 engine. Obviously, the Caravan with its 2.6L carbureted engine could not reach anywhere near 125 MPH.

Similarly, I have a 1995 Caravan with the 2.5L 4-cylinder engine, and it uses the same exact instrument cluster that was offered on top-end models with the 3.8L V-6. The speedometer only goes up to 100 MPH, and while the 4-cylinder van could not possibly go that fast, I’m sure the V-6 models could exceed that.

Or you could find a mid sixties JC Whitney catalogue. Everything they sold made your car faster, more efficient, last longer…even the fuzzy dice for your mirror.

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Those crazy optimistic speedometers are a pain - to squeeze all those numbers in they compress the actual most-used part of the dial. One of my cars only has marks every 10 mph, but gosh, it goes to 140! Better to make it go to 100, and have a digital readout selectable for those times one wants to go faster.


At some point in the near future, the steering wheel input will only be a request from the driver…

I prefer gauge design where all the indicators point in a similar direction under most common use condition. Like a race car, only takes a glance to reaffirm then. We used to rotate the gauges to accomplish this if it didn’t come that way…

You joke, but if you’ve ever flown on a modern Airbus airplane, that’s what’s going on. The pilot moves a control. The computer accepts the request and then first determines if the request can be safely executed, and then determines the best way to execute it. So if the pilot yanks back on the stick, the computer will recognize that if it does exactly what the pilot wants, the plane will stall and fall out of the sky, and it will refuse to do it - instead it’ll behave as though the pilot asked for a climb the plane is capable of, and it may decide to do that by throttling up the engines instead of deflecting the elevators like a normal plane would do if you pulled back on the stick.

The problem comes when the computer is getting bad inputs. Bad sensor inputs caused by ice forming on the sensor openings were one of the links in a chain that caused an Airbus to crash into the ocean and kill everyone aboard.