Moving from the miniaturized Q45 to its Big Brother, which also is on that 100 percent tariff hit list, you might want to check out one of the better "driver's machines "or "road machines."The lengthy equipment list and hefty window sticker have it posing as a luxury sedan, however. We tested the 1995 Q45A, the A being the key to what makes this car special-full active suspension. That means when you hit a bump, the suspension automatically pushes downward with a computer-controlled hyrdaulic pump. The intent-and it works-is to provide a smooth, level ride. The Q45A also is equipped with a limited slip differential that sends power to the wheel with the most traction when another one passes over ice or snow. And then there's traction control, which supplements the limited slip differential by automatically engaging when both rear tires are slipping. If one tire is slipping, the limited slip goes to work. If sensors detect both wheels slipping, the anti-lock braking system intermittently applies brakes to the right and left wheels to prevent slipping and loss of control while engine speed is reduced until it's in harmony with the available tire traction. This means the Q45A is an all-season, all-weather, all-climate rear-wheel-drive sedan. And to further ensure you don't get bounced around, there's fully independent four-wheel suspension so that when one wheel experiences shock, the other three-and the folks in the cabin-don't. It's comfortable, quiet and, with a 4.5-liter, 278-h.p., 32-valve, V-8, certainly peppy, though the 15 m.p.g. city/21 m.p.g. highway rating proves energy comes at the expense of economy. But, as we said, if the Clinton administration imposes punitive tariffs on Japanese luxury cars, you may have to hold a winning lottery ticket to be able to afford one. There may be a run on the machines before the tariff deadline to avoid an increase. The Q45A we tested starts at $59,350. All you need add is $450 for freight. For that sum you get dual air bags, all-season tires, tinted glass, power tilt and slide sunroof, heated remote outside mirrors, color-keyed splash guards, carpeted trunk, power front heated seats with driver memory (get in and turn the ignition key and the seat and steering column motor into your desired position). There's also center console cupholders, illuminated entry system, air conditioning, Bose AM/FM stereo with cassette and integrated compact disc player with the changer in the trunk (which gets finicky in damp weather), power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power windows/locks, cruise control, cellular phone wiring, speed-sensitive power steering and keyless remote entry to name the major items.
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