HONG KONG — Production of the new Infiniti VR30 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, which will be available on the 2016 Q50 sedan and the 2017 Q60 coupe, has begun at the Nissan engine plant in Iwaki, Japan.
An Infiniti spokesperson told Edmunds that the VR30 will be an option on the Q50 beginning in about a month and on the Q60 when it debuts this summer.
The spokesman said to expect the price of a fully equipped Q50 with the new engine to be in the "mid-$50,000 range."
Standard for both models will continue to be the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, with a 3.5-liter V6 hybrid powertrain available on the Q50.
"The VR30 is the lightest, most powerful engine Infiniti has ever produced," the spokesperson said. "It helps broaden our range and opens up a whole new segment of the market for us."
Exclusive to Infiniti, the VR30, which replaces the long-running VQ series, will be manufactured in two performance levels rated at 300 and 400 horsepower.
The high-output version, which produces 350 pound-feet of torque, gets its increased power in part from an optical turbo speed sensor that allows the turbocharger blades to spin 30 percent faster. It also employs two intercooler pumps, while the 300-hp version, which puts out 295 lb-ft of torque, uses one.
Advanced timing control, which is achieved by means of an electric motor in the variable valve timing system, is said to increase throttle response and acceleration while also maximizing efficiency to improve fuel economy.
Other features worth noting are a redesigned electronic wastegate actuator for increased overall efficiency, a new direct-injection fueling system, a new integrated exhaust manifold design and significant weight savings courtesy of an aluminum engine block and other components.
"Infiniti is in the middle of a major product offensive, significantly expanding and refreshing our product portfolio," said Roland Krueger, president of Infiniti Motor Company, in a statement. "With the new V6 engine, Infiniti vehicles will become even more powerful and more fun to drive."
Edmunds says: Shoppers looking for a bit more kick from their new Q50 sedan or Q60 coupe should check with an Infiniti dealer for availability of the new VR30 engine.