Cars are sure getting fancy these days as makers run out of superlatives to describe levels of luxury, surely one of the most over-worked adjectives in the lexicon. Not that I don’t appreciate a dollop of the luxe life every now and again and that’s exactly what we got when the team from Infiniti recently came to town to re-introduce the brand, more specifically the Q range of sedans and sports cars.
“The Q50 motor car is all about design, performance and technology,” said Cambell York, CEO of Infiniti , Australia.
Its engineers have appropriated race car technology for the Q range thanks to their sponsorship of the Red Bull Formula 1 team while its designers have created an ‘athletic, muscular car’ with a sleek, high tech interior pleasing to both males and females.
Customization includes two keys, each personalized with pre-selected radio stations and seat positions. Steering is direct, control firm and acceleration rapid as we quickly discover while heading down Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula after taking it for a spin at Sandown race track. Not being a race driver and being given the car to see what it can do was a little daunting but demonstrated a confidence in the handling aspects from the Infiniti crew. From our point of view the electronic steering was amazingly responsive with a good direct track feel coupled with great braking from high speed with no deviations or slipping, fundamentals for any road driver.
The interior was sleek and comfortable even when taken around the track at high speed by a race driver, pre-tensioning seat belts keeping you in position on hard braking. Asked what the tech driver thought of the unit his response was “…. it handles very , very well.” Believe me, he gave it a good hard run through all the corners!
From an aesthetic point of view our chic white car had a slim profile, a smart charcoal and cream interior and a plethora of electronics. Competing with the other luxury brands around $55,000, it’s an upwardly mobile new kid on the block worth looking at from a design, luxury, electronic and performance point of view.
Cruising down the Mornington Peninsula, we took in a few of the local points of interest, parking the sleek Q50 firstly at Gordon Studio.
Inspired by nature’s sumptuous palette, Grant and Eileen Gordon experiment with dentist drills, grinding wheels and lathes to create molten glass marvels. The gallery smells of flame heat, glass and creativity and their collectors’ pieces s are shipped to Japan, Canada, America, the UK and Hong Kong.
Set amidst rolling farmlands and open 7 days a week, we watch the artisanal assembly line from the gallery balcony.
One way to satisfy a champagne taste on a beer budget is to make your own sparkling wine at Red Hill’s Foxeys Hangout Wine Company. At 11am each Saturday and Sunday, the Peninsula’s only winery creating an estate sparkling customises bottles of bubbly to individual taste. Winemaker Michael Lee explains wine-making techniques before visitors participate in the final stages of making their personalized bottle, dressed with a champagne hood.
Our decadent joyride culminated in lunch at Port Phillip Estate, a cutting-edge architectural bunker set deep in a hillside overlooking vineyards.
Just as architectural was the food which included seared scallops, crab and avocado with lemon pepper pearls, pan fried gnocchi, cauliflower, olives, truffle with brioche crumb and a wicked caramelised white chocolate parfait, compressed apple with a perfect scoop of fennel sorbet perched on an almond tuille.
Port Phillip Estate is at 263 Red Hill Road, Red Hill South, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, a 60 minute drive from Melbourne. Overcome the drink-driving dilemma and stay overnight at one of their chic retreats. www.portphillipestate.com.au
To book a test drive and go from here to Infiniti, check out www.infiniticars.com.au
Foxeys Hangout is at 795 White Hill Road, Red Hill Victoria. www.foxeys-hangout.com.au Book to produce your own bottle of bubbly.
Gordon Studio Glassblowers, 290 Red Hill Road, Red Hill, Victoria. www.gordonstudio.com.au
For more on the Morning Peninsula check out www.visitvictoria.com
To get a visual flavour of this edition go to IN THE PICTURE on our menu
Tags: Chic Weekend Escapes, Fine Dining at Wineries, Foxeys Hangout, Gordon Studio Glassblowers, Infiniti, Infiniti Australia, Infiniti Q Range, Luxury Cars, Mornington Peninsula, Peninsula Wineries, Port Phillip Estate, Red Bull Formula 1 team, Victorian Wineries