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How Infiniti Connection in a 2014 Q50S helped me find a timber wolf in the Black Hills

John Brandon | July 10, 2014
The goal was to see a live timber wolf. You know, one with teeth snarling, tail quivering, lips curling, and hair raised--a blood-thirsting animal on the prowl. Bonus if we spotted other predatory animals, caught a few pristine canyon spires in a wooded vista, ate fresh pancakes for breakfast, and maybe took a quick trip to see the original Monuments Men.

Using my iPhone 5s, I fired up the Infiniti Connection app and looked for a few more hotspots, including the classic Elks Theater in Rapid City. (You can watch movies from a balcony and look at statues of all 43 past presidents on the sidewalk.) I sent these destinations to the car, and designated them as waypoints on my route for the day. The app also lets you lock and unlock the car remotely, get roadside help, and even chat with a live Personal Assistant about almost anything — including pancakes and wolves.

When we arrived at Bear Country, I was a little incredulous. There's a massive gate in front, and the loop winds around a wooded area for only two miles. We drove in and spotted black bears right away. We drove through an area filled with bighorn sheep, then came to another open gate. My wife gasped. A timber wolf appeared around the school bus in front of us and then stood in front of the Infiniti Q50S, almost daring us to enter.

We must have stared at that wolf for about 15 minutes. Eventually, it trotted away slowly down the road. We had our big vacation moment. It's rare to see wolves at Bear Country. Having one confront you head-on is even more memorable.

Infiniti Connection is a powerful ally for family vacations. I would've still found Bear Country USA and my camper cabin, but the browser, touchscreen and mobile apps all worked in conjunction to make my trip planning much easier.

In a few cases, especially out in the wilds of Custer State Park, the connection lagged a bit. When you select Infiniti Connection in the car, the service has to connect and download data, which can take a few minutes.

The Infiniti Connection service costs $179 per year after an included one-year free trial. You'll need at least the Q50 Premium trim level (starting at $40,000) and the Nav package (for $1,400). The Personal Assistant app is included for free as part of the service. We tested the sportier version called the Q50S, which costs $50,650 and includes Infiniti Connection.


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