Infiniti Q70 stretches luxury

/ Updated: April 16, 2014 1:54 PM PDT

Sarah Tew/CNET

NEW YORK -- In past years, Infiniti remained solidly in the premium segment, but could not quite breach the luxury realm occupied by Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. At the 2014 New York auto show, the company makes its latest foray into luxury with the Infiniti Q70L, a long-wheelbase version of the Q70 sedan.

The Q70 model was known as the M37 and M56 until Infiniti's recent model rebranding. As the Q70, it isn't drastically different, employing the similar styling, engines, and cabin electronics.

In long-wheelbase format, its curvaceous exterior and extended rear side window give it a look like the Porsche Panamera. An extra 5.9 inches at the wheelbase leads to an additional 5.6 inches of legroom in the rear seats. The luxury feel of the interior is enhanced by deep grain wood trim and sculpted interior door handles. A 16-speaker Bose audio system with shoulder mounted speakers on the front seats add to the audio experience. Active noise canceling should also minimize unwanted exterior sounds.

The Q70 also benefits from Infiniti's prior development of near-autonomous technologies, such as automatic braking in city traffic and lane departure prevention.

LED headlights are an additional high-tech touch on the 2015 Q70.

The Q70 comes with either a 3.7-liter V-6, a direct-injection 5.6-liter V-8, or a hybrid drive system based on a 3.5-liter V-6. However, the long-wheelbase Q70L version will not have the hybrid option.

The Q70L certainly has the presence and the technology to live up to the standards set by cars like the Mercedes-Benz S-class and Lexus LS, but the fact that it is merely a longer wheelbase version of an existing sedan model may lessen its brand impact.

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2015 Infiniti Q70

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