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For the first time in a road car, there’s no direct physical contact between the steering wheel and the front wheels in the new Infiniti Q50

IT started in the aviation industry when aircraft manufacturers introduced fly-by-wire.

Now luxury car maker Infiniti has developed the concept to bring steer-by-wire to the roads of Britain.

The world-first technology makes its debut on the new Infiniti Q50 saloon, which is aiming to take sales from the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class.

So the diesel version of the Q50 is very much being pitched as an alternative for company car drivers looking for something different.


The technology has been around in aircraft for many years – which will re-assure the sceptics. As will the presence of a conventional steering rack as a fall back in case of electrical faults

Infiniti sees the launch of the upper crust four-door saloon as one of the biggest steps forward in the history of the company as it goes for growth in the UK and Europe and says it sees the business community as a prime target for sales.

“We are aiming to attract company car drivers who are bored with premium German models and want something new and seductive,” a company spokesman told Business Car Manager.

“The new Q50 2.2-litre diesel will be ideally suitable, although I think some company car drivers might be tempted by the hybrid version, even though it’s more of a niche market.”

The steer-by-wire system, or to give it its correct name Direct Adaptive Steering, means that for the first time ever there is no physical contact between the steering wheel and the car’s front wheels. No conventional steering rack is in use; so every time you turn the steering wheel the instruction is transmitted to the wheels electronically.

The beauty of the system is that you will no longer feel every bump or adverse camber in the road through the steering wheel, so you enjoy more relaxed motoring. The wheels might hit a pothole but you won’t feel any impact through the steering wheel so you won’t have to make sudden steering adjustments.

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