Infiniti’s Sydney Escape: Harry, Harvest & Helicopters

 

What does Harry Seidler, Bondi Harvest and privately chartered Helicopters have in common? Well, Infiniti cars evidently. Fresh from testing the impressive (but not quite available) QX50 in Taiwan, Infiniti thought they’d showcase their increasing popular Q30 and QX30 models with a day trip outside of Sydney. While I was more than Happy to put the Q30 through its paces on some country roads and take the QX30 out for some dirt driving, Infiniti Australia had different plans entirely.

Infiniti Gunmetal QX30 and White Q30

After a few handshakes and a quick coffee, I was handed the keys to Infiniti’s Q30 Sport. Sitting somewhere between a 5-door hatch and an SUV (premium active crossover using Infiniti speak), the Q30 is that model you’ve seen starting to pop up everywhere. Love or hate the styling, there’s no denying it looks unique. There’s a lot going on in terms of curvatures and shapes, but with some 19-inch gunmetal wheels and cleverly sculpted shadow lines, it all ties in proportionally well.


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Hunmetal Infiniti Q30 on road

Of course, with 350 Nm on tap, you have more important things to focus on. 0 – 100 is an impressive 7.3 seconds, especially when you consider the Q30 will be a utility daily driver for most people, and with Brembo stoppers up front, you’ll be back to 0 before you can say ‘fixed glass roof ‘.

Infiniti Q30 on-road rear angle

Heading south through Sydney was a plush ride. The suspension seemed well sprung with a slight preference towards the softer side of life and considering there were 19-inch wheels under foot, overall ride comfort was spot on. Inside the cabin, the plush vibes continued. Black leather and composites scatter the cabin with an executive feel, but there are enough curves and details going on to keep the interior engaging.

Men drinking coffee infront of Infiniti Cars

When I arrived at Sharkey’s beach south of Sydney, I was offered another caffeine hit and a car change. This time, I was jumping into the Q30’s all-wheel-drive sibling, the QX30. While aesthetically there isn’t much to split the pair, their differences are significant. A few wrong turns in the southern highlands meant that my destination would have to be accessed via 30 minutes of gravel roads.

RX30 far shot from store

Conveniently, the QX30’s drivetrain and extra ride height meant that I had the confidence on the slippery stuff to have a bit of fun whilst maintaining predictable steering feedback. Even though both cars share components with its cousin, the Mercedes A-Class, the QX30 has a less precious feel and you get the sense it enjoys rolling up its sleeves. So much so, it arrived earlier than expected and was rewarded with a very special lunch.

People talking over lunch

Infiniti had organised our lunch destination to be none other than the Harry Seidler designed ‘Berman House’. Built in 1999, the concrete and steel masterpiece won the RAIA Blacket Award and is still one of Seidler’s most iconic residential pieces. The setting alone was enough to put a smile on this closet Grand Designs fan, but when I took a peek at the kitchen, I knew I was being spoilt.

The boys from Bondi Harvest had got the call up to prepare a lunch of Infiniti standards, and they well and truly delivered. The lunch was as delicious, as it was healthy and as the boys grew up in the area, they knew how to source an ingredient or two. Suspended above an outback valley, in a Harry Seidler building whilst talking to Guy Turland about all things food was a genuine ‘pinch yourself’ moment. Unfortunately, the crew got nervous when I started to measure up the bedrooms, and after a quick Mango rose tutorial from Guy, it was back to the QX30.

Bondi Harvest Chef plates food

As I drove down a somewhat familiar gravel road, I was starting to ponder the vagueness of my instructions from the outback oasis. Evidently, this vagueness was intentional as I a caught glimpse of my ride back to Sydney. A private helicopter had been stationed at a nearby farm, and although I was quite happy to drive my new off-road companion back to Sydney, a 4-million-dollar chopper made my key return that little bit easier. Safeties were checked, belts were clicked, and very quickly I was drinking up the royal national park and Sydney’s stunning coastline.

Kris Smith on helicopter

You might scratch your head and wonder how these elements relate back to Infiniti motor cars. Sure, you could just say it was a luxury day out with a luxury brand, but I think there’s more to it than that. Infiniti is still quite young in Australia and very much shaping an identity. There is a sense of unpredictability about Infiniti, and there’s something exciting in that. The day was spontaneous, luxurious, unique but at no point pretentious, which is an accurate reflection of their cars. The Q30 and QX30 are just the tips of an emerging Infiniti iceberg and although what’s below the surface is a mystery, I’m quite certain whatever emerges will be pure excitement.

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