2003 Infiniti G 35 Sport Coupe LTHR (446)

Overview:
This week I tested the Infiniti G35 Coupe to round out the Infiniti line. What better way to close out the lineup than with a great sport vehicle? Yes, the Nissan 350Z, a close cousin, is a more traditional sports car and some feel if it isn’t convertible it isn’t a sports car anyway. I disagree, and although I like both the Z and this Coupe,

the coupe is more practical. It has a useable rear seat, albeit if you’re over 5 feet 6 you’ll have a problem bumping your head.

It has awesome speed for a V6 and I am fortunate to be able to test these cars on the racetrack at Willow Springs, California up by Edwards Air Force Base. Most drivers never have that opportunity so they get caught by Highway bandits we’re told are traffic cops there to “Protect and Serve”. The problem is that speed laws are antiquated and behind the times. They reflect the needs of the past as to safety, but now only serve to generate revenue for control freak politicians. The motoring public is the fall guy here. I have news for those old foggy legislators about today’s technology. I wonder if they ever heard of Traction Control, ABS, Disc Brakes, and all the other handling control features on cars today. One such control system is the VDC -Vehicle Dynamic Control that is described below.

One wonders whom our elite “SS” are “Protecting and Serving”. It surely isn’t “We, the people…” who pay exorbitant extortion in the guise of traffic fines that hardly fit the crime of 50 in a posted 35 that is about $160 in California. Listen up Highway Patrol and lesser city police and especially the brain dead legislators responsible to the folks who elected them.

General Info:

Parts – n/a

Assembly – Los Angeles, CA, USA

Class: – Compact

Cars: – FX 35/45, G35 (coupe and sedan), I35, M45, Q45 & QX4.

Handling & Performance:

A wonderfully enjoyable ride. Thanks Nissan, even if the politically incorrect French have a hand in this great auto company turn around. The 280 hp V6 is the same as in its sibling FX35, but this G35 is about 1,000 lbs. lighter, so you’ll experience impressive acceleration.

VDC like the one on this sport coupe provides 2-dimensional control by sensing the transversal movement of the vehicle and its yaw (rotation around the perpendicular axis). It uses these data to predict the vehicle\’s direction in 2 dimensions and to control it within safe limits. The system recognizes the course a driver wishes to take from the steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. It detects the current driving conditions from the wheel speed sensors, longitudinal and transversal G sensors and the yaw velocity sensor, and simultaneously estimates the coefficient of friction (potential loss of traction) of the road surface. It uses this information to predict the actual direction of the vehicle, and minimizes the difference between the desired and predicted course by controlling the driving and braking forces. When a potentially unstable situation is predicted because the desired course and the cars actual course differ, the braking and driving forces are controlled to regain stability. Vehicle speed is also limited if necessary by reducing engine output and torque.

Styling:

Hard to believe this nice looking sport car has any connection to the design folks responsible for the Infiniti FX 35/45. On the other hand, give credit where credit is due. Designers have shared well between cars of this brand to keep cost down since they use many of the same parts.

Fit and Finish:

Excellent.

Conveniences:

The entire lineup of Nissan Infiniti cars is similarly equipped, as you’d expect. You’ll find little differentiation moving from one to the other.

Cost:

The MSRP isn’t cheap, but the car will carry this price because of all the high tech features and wonderful performance.

Consumer Recommendation:

If in the market for a sport car, this is a great option to give that sporty look, feel and handling with a lot of the conveniences of the larger G35 Sedan. I strongly recommend the auto trans.

The Competition:

Infiniti G35 $28-32,000, Acura TL $29-33,000, Audi A4 $25-42,000, BMW 3-Series $30-44,000, Cadillac CTS $30,000, Jaguar X-Type $29-36,000, Lexus IS300 $29-31,000, Mercedes Benz C-Class $25-50,000, Saab 9-3 $26-40,000, Volvo S60 $26-33,000.

Good News:

Fast, great handling, clean lines, and 4-seater sport coupe.

Bad News:

Rear seat is a little tight if you’ll want to transport taller folks.

Standard Equipment:

3.5 liter 280 hp V6 engine, 5-speed auto trans, front engine rear wheel drive, traction control and VDC – Vehicle Dynamic Control, 4-wheel power ABS disc brakes, speed sensitive power steering, cruise control, fog lights, 17 inch aluminum alloy wheels, power mirrors, climate control, leather seats with heated front seats, 6-way power driver seat and 2-way passenger seat, power windows and door locks, leather wrapped tilt wheel and shift knob, audio system with cassette and 6 disc CD autochanger, remote keyless entry, folding rear seat with pass through, security system, dual front and side airbags.

Gas Stats:

19 City and 26 Highway MPG.

Pricing:

MSRP $31,400.

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