Infiniti G37: the lowdown
Infiniti has so far been a brand best known in the US, but over the next few years Europeans are going to hear a lot more about them. The brand is to Nissan what Lexus is to Toyota - the Japanese firm’s luxury brand. But while Lexus does luxury, Infiniti is chasing BMW. A range of saloons, 4x4s, and this sleek G37 coupe will be launched over here in autumn 2008.
So tell me more about the G37
As you can tell from the G37 badge, this coupe is related to the G35 saloon we recently tested. It's aimed at the Mercedes-Benz CLK and BMW 3-series coupe and has a 3.7-litre V6 under the bonnet. Derived from the 350Z engine, it’s bored out to give 330bhp and 270lb ft. It will be officially unveiled at April’s New York Motor Show and we’ll get behind the wheel soon after. It should be a cracking drive. When we tested its G35 sibling, we called it ‘as rewarding as anything a 3-series can deliver’, whilst the ride and steering were little short of ‘brilliant’. That's not bad for an upstart brand that's starting from scratch in Europe.
So will I be charged Nissan or Lexus prices?
The G37 should cost £32-33k, so it’ll be a few thousand pounds less than an equivalently powered BMW or Mercedes. It will be well-specced too, whilst four-wheel drive and steering will be available as options. Only the one engine will be offered in Europe at launch. And while they’re at it, Infiniti wants to better the German brands' customer service, and have a crack at Lexus. Ambitious you might think, but the sales expectations are rather modest. Nevertheless, don’t bet against them being successful.
So which other Infinitis will I be able to buy next year?
Infiniti isn't cutting any corners with its launch; it'll offer a full-ish range of cars, including the G35 saloon, the G37 coupe and a pair of crossovers: the swish FX45 (above) and a new, smaller crossover dubbed EX that we'll see unveiled at the New York Motor Show next month. The EX is aimed squarely at the BMW X3 and Lexus RX range and will cost from around £37,000. We've seen photos of it and it looks suitably slick and Euro-attractive. Infiniti is issuing the full details later this month.