Motoring from Yankee Stadium to the Baseball Hall of Fame in the sleek Infiniti Q50 Hybrid Premium
Author Justin Goldman Illustration Brett Affrunti
We celebrated baseball’s return by driving from Yankee Stadium to the Baseball Hall of Fame (celebrating its 75th anniversary this year) in Cooperstown, N.Y. In solidarity with the green spirit of spring and one of the few nations that loves baseball as much as we do, Japan, we did the 185-mile trip in an Infiniti Q50 Hybrid.
We’ve sat behind enough Priuses (Prii?) going 5 mph under the speed limit to know that drivers of hybrids have a reputation for slowness. We did our best to dispel such notions, punching the accelerator and putting the 3.5 L, 360-hp V6 engine to the test as we zoomed onto the New York State Thruway.
We found ourselves lost after making a wrong turn in the small town of Walton. But the Infiniti InTouch system, with dual touch screens, made it easy to bring up a map that got us back to Delaware County Road 21. Let’s just keep the illegal U-turn we made on Prospect Avenue between us, yes?
One of the exhibits at the Hall of Fame has a baseball bat–shaped guitar made for John Fogerty, so it seemed apt that we pulled into town blasting Fogerty’s hit “Centerfield.” The Q50’s Bose Studio on Wheels audio system, with three speakers in the instrument panel alone, was louder than Yankee Stadium in October.
The Q50 features Predictive Forward Collision Warning, which beeps if you get too close to the car in front of you and automatically applies the brakes before you crash. We didn’t need the nanny brakes, but the alarm alerted us when we came up on George Washington Bridge traffic like Rickey Henderson diving into a stolen base.
We hopped off the Thruway at Harriman and took country roads through the Catskills, but we weren’t just smelling the roses; we were busy cycling through the car’s seven gears using the paddle shifters on the steering column. The Direct Adaptive Steering and Active Lane Control systems kept us glued to the road.
The Q50’s sleek lines were a bit out of place amid the pickup trucks of upstate New York, but they’re for more than just aesthetics: The Infiniti’s drag coefficient of 0.26 is on the low end for a luxury sedan. It’s like drafting a slugger for his bat, only to find out he can also make some nifty plays in the field.
Cooperstown’s Main Street is lined with baseball memorabilia shops—a problem for our wallets but not for the 9.4-cubic-foot trunk, which we stuffed with mementos. An orange T-shirt that says “I don’t often hate, but when I do, I prefer to hate the Dodgers”? These longtime Giants fans will take two, please.