Infiniti could be considered a newcomer to the premium market, while Volvo is making a comeback after years of struggling to find solid ground among its continental rivals.
Both are looking for ways to upset the long-standing balance of German dominance of the premium sedan segment, and one of the ways is to contend against the BMW M Performance and Mercedes-AMG by coming up with their own high-output models.
The Nissan premium division has introduced a new twin-turbo V6 block for the Q50, found only in the Red Sport 400 model, that is worth 400hp and 350lb-ft torque. That’s up from 208hp and 258lb-ft managed by the standard 2.0T engine models.
On the Swedish side, Volvo made full use of the Polestar performance division it recently acquired to great effect for its S60 and V60 vehicles.
The automaker dropped the 345hp 3.0L turbo inline-six used in the previous Polestar models, and has taken the 2.0L four-cylinder engine from the top-trim T6 Drive-E model as a replacement.
On the standard 60-series models, the Drive-E engine is worth 302hp and 295lb-ft torque. Under Polestar however those numbers are pushed by turbo and supercharging up to 367hp and 347lb-ft torque.
The 2016 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 starts at approximately $48,000 and comes with RWD. No information has been disclosed on the price of the 2017 Volvo S60 Polestar, but the T6 Drive-E model from which it derived its engine starts at about $39,500.