The Infiniti G37's suspension - double wishbones at the front and a multi-link rear - deliver the perfect blend of sporting handling and superb ride comfort while the longer-than-class-average wheelbase results in a roomy cabin with a specific attention to rear knee room.
Just as significantly, the Infiniti G37 has been fine tuned to cope with European demands and expectations. Our higher average speeds place extra demands on aerodynamic efficiency, high speed stability, ride and handling and braking performance.
To meet those demands, a special Infiniti team working within Nissan's Technical Centre Europe (NTCE) has developed a package of changes to ensure the Infiniti G37 can compete with Europe's finest on level terms. Testing of the developments has been undertaken not just on private test tracks, but also on derestricted sections of the German Autobahnen at the infamous NÃ¼rburgring Nordschleife race track for handling and on British secondary roads for ride comfort.
Unlike many of its rivals, where judicious ticking of boxes in the options list is invariably required before a 'complete' car can be ordered, the Infiniti G37 is comprehensively equipped as standard. There's a full complement of standard safety equipment, too, while Infiniti's drive for quality results in exceptionally low Noise/Vibration and Harshness, uniformly small panel gaps and excellent materials inside the cabin.
With its long bonnet, long wheelbase and short overhangs, the Infiniti G37 blurs the boundaries between a four-door sedan and coupÃ©. As well as providing a classic silhouette, the long bonnet is a visual reference to the Infiniti G37's 'front midships' engine location: the compact V6 is mounted in the front of the car, but as low and as far back as possible, with most of the block behind the front axle line. The result lowers the centre of gravity and helps to deliver the optimum front to rear weight distribution.
The low nose flows, via a curving roofline, to a high trunk to provide a feeling of motion even when the car is static. This is accentuated by a strong rising beltline, the flowing C-pillar and the muscular rear wheel arches.
To the front, the L-shaped headlamps and double-arch grille - complete with sculpted "twisted" horizontal blades inspired by traditional Japanese swords - have become Infiniti design elements helping to give the brand a distinctive face. At the rear the distinctive wraparound tail-lights are another Infiniti signature design. A neat, upswept spoiler integrated into the boot lid contributes to zero lift aerodynamics over the rear axle and completes the sporting look.
The overall effect combines obvious sporting potential with an understated sophistication that together capture the essence of the Infiniti brand.
Chassis and driving dynamics
Using the second generation version of Infiniti FM platform, the Infiniti G37 has an excellent front to rear weight balance thanks to its 'front midships' engine location while its long wheelbase and wide front and rear track adds to the car's overall handling stability.
Suspension design is fully independent and uses lightweight aluminium components to reduce weight as much as possible. With a racing-inspired double wishbone set up at the front, a multi-link arrangement mounted on a subframe behind and an extremely rigid bodyshell, the Infiniti G37 feels agile and surefooted with a refined ride.
Alignment changes are minimised at the front through use of a single pivot lower wishbone and a long upper link. The rear design separates the shock absorbers and springs, locating the dampers in line with the wheel centre to help reduce friction and reduce wind-up under acceleration.
Four-Wheel Active Steer (4WAS) is available as part of the Infiniti G37 Sport model (see standard and optional equipment). This helps improve handling performance by varying the front steering ratio and adjusting the geometry of the rear suspension according to steering input and vehicle speed.
An AWD version, known as the Infiniti G37x, uses Infiniti's ATTESA E-TS (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All Electronic Torque Split) all-wheel drive system, as found on EX37 and FX models will also be available.
The system uses an active torque distribution management system with an active centre clutch for smooth starts, greater grip and better manoeuvrability on slippery surfaces without compromising the vehicle's rear-wheel drive performance characteristics on dry roads.
By constantly adjusting the power - sending anything from 50 per cent to the front, to up to 100 per cent to the rear - the system generates greater control without sacrificing sportiness and true performance dynamics.
All versions of Infiniti G37, whether rear- or all-wheel drive come with Electronic Stability Program (ESP), helping to enhance vehicle stability under a variety of driving conditions. A Viscous Limited Slip Differential (VLSD) is included in the Sport model.
Power-assisted four-wheel vented disc brakes have a four-channel, four-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). The power steering system is a vehicle-speed-sensing design, which provides optimum steering effort at both high and low vehicle speeds.
Engine and powertrain
At the heart of a sports sedan there needs to be a sporting engineâ€¦ and this is another area where Infiniti G37 delivers on its promise. It is powered by a new 3.7-litre version of VQ engine family. Regularly honoured in independent awards the world over, the twin cam 24 valve V6 produces over 310PS and an impressive over 350Nm of torque.
Among its many features, the lightweight aluminium engine features a bed-plate construction. A technique that has been used in motor racing for many years, the resulting two-part construction of the cylinder block is more rigid than a single piece casting. Among engine specialists, this configuration signifies a high-performance sporting engine which is uncompromisingly designed for the highest strength and reliability.
Other benefits include reduced vibration levels and higher engine speeds to be reached consistently without damage.
The VQ37 unit also features V-VEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift) technology to optimise efficiency and, in turn, the balance between power, response, fuel efficiency and emissions.
V-VEL continually alters valve lift and therefore the quantity of air in the combustion chamber. At partial throttle - in stop-go city traffic, for example - it will make a small lift thus achieving a more precise fuel/air mix with lower quantities of both to improve fuel consumption. At full throttle, the valve lift is greater, inducting a larger quantity of air into the combustion chamber.
The result is a more powerful combustion phase increasing torque and powerâ€¦ this is felt tangibly by the driver in the instant throttle response, which is a result of using the valves to control air-flow into the cylinder - eliminating the slight delay that can be felt with engines using a conventional throttle butterfly.
Precise mapping of the engine control unit (ECU), meanwhile, helps the engine provide a progressive 'swell' of power and torque, providing a 'building wave' of acceleration rather than a peaky power delivery.
As well as a smooth shifting six-speed manual transmission, the Infiniti G37 will be available with a new seven-speed automatic option with Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) allowing a downshift blip control.
With its additional forward gear, the new automatic transmission has a wider spread of ratios which benefits both fuel consumption and drivability. The seventh speed is effectively an overdrive ratio, returning improved fuel economy on a steady throttle without compromising in-gear flexibility for overtaking.
Shift points are tuned to keep the engine in the largest part of the torque curve, ensuring there is always a healthy reserve when the driver wants to overtake. The linked ASC system switches between three different programs depending on input from the major control systems throughout the car.
The Infiniti G37's interior is an environment designed to appeal to driver and passengers alike. Quality materials provide the warmth and comfort expected in a premium car, yet the driver's quarters have a 'scooped-out' design to emphasise the concept of a cockpit in direct contrast to the open, spacious design of the passenger area.
The dashboard and centre console adopts Infiniti design DNA with a 'double wave' upper section linked to a central vertical spine for a feeling of solidity. With roots in Japanese design, 'Washi-style' aluminium accents can be found through the cabin. Washi is a form of elegant Japanese handmade paper and textured aluminium trim inserts can be found on the centre console, the instrument binnacle and the door panels. Automatic versions have the option of African rosewood inserts.
At 2850mm, the wheelbase is longer than its key rivals which translates directly into more interior space for rear passengers.
A full complement of six airbags can be found as standard in Infiniti G37. The front seats incorporate hip and thorax bags, while there are front-to-rear curtain airbags for protection in a side impact.
As well as offering occupants the highest level of crash protection, Infiniti has developed a pop-up bonnet to offer greater protection for pedestrians: it is a standard fitting on Infiniti G37.
In the event of a collision, a small pyrotechnic charge raises the trailing edge of the bonnet close to the lower edge of the windscreen. This creates a larger buffer between the bonnet and the 'hard points' of the top of the engine, providing a more yielding surface and helping to reduce potential injuries.
Standard and optional equipment
Right from the outset, Infiniti G37 has been designed to offer a full complement of standard equipment rather than force prospective customers to open their wallets even wider when choosing the model of their choice.
That means every Infiniti G37 has the Infiniti I-Key with smart access as standard. As soon as the vehicle identifies a pre-programmed I-Key in the vicinity, the door can be opened and the car started without the key needing to leave a pocket or handbag.
Personal settings for the driver's seat, steering wheel and exterior mirrors can be programmed into the key (on any car specified with leather seats) so that the key holder won't have to reposition anything if the car has been driven by anyone else.
Also standard are a six-disc, seven speaker CD audio system, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity, cruise control, power seats, auto-dimming rear view mirror, front and rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, 18-inch alloy wheels, six airbags and integrated fog lamps.
The steering wheel - leather trimmed and double stitched by hand - incorporates controls for the audio system, cruise control and telephone. The Infiniti G37 also has an adaptive front-light system (AFS) as standard. The Bi-Xenon headlamps are linked to steering inputs and automatically follow the path of the front wheels to provide a wide spread of light around corners and on winding roads.
Unique to Infiniti is the use of "Scratch Shield" paint. A special highly elastic resin has been combined with a conventional clearcoat to increase the paint's flexibility. A car painted with "Scratch Shield" paint can exhibit up to five times fewer scratches that a conventional clearcoat when exposed to the same conditions.
When exposed to heat, "Scratch Shield" paint repairs fine scratches, restoring painted surfaces close to their original state. It will allow a Infiniti G37 to retain the brilliance of its exterior colour long after rivals have lost their glow.
Options are largely grouped into a couple of special packages. The leather package, as its name implies, includes leather seats, heated in the front, power lumbar support in the driver's seat and eight-way adjustment for the passenger seat in place of the standard four-way adjustment.
The Sport Model provides a different style of 18-inch alloy wheel, tyre pressure monitoring, a viscous limited slip differential and sports settings for the suspension, steering and brakes (forged aluminium opposed brake callipers).
It also features Four-Wheel Active Steer (4WAS). By monitoring steering angle and vehicle speed data, the 4WAS controller calculates the difference between current performance and optimum target data which is pre-programmed into the system.
The front and rear steering angle (the amount the wheels are turning in comparison to the straight-ahead position) can then be altered to match the target performance data - which is based on the optimum possible vehicle dynamics.
Benefits of active steering include greater stability at high speed, adding to the passive safety equipment of the vehicle and working in combination with the ESP system. The driver will also be able to enjoy an even greater level of agility when cornering. 4WAS is not available with four-wheel drive.
Also included in the sports package are sports front seats. The heated and leather covered seats have thigh extensions for greater support, while the driver's also has power operated lumbar and lateral support. As with the leather package, the passenger seat is upgraded to 8-way power adjustment. The sports package is completed by aluminium pedals and foot rest and exterior 'S' badging.
Finally there's a multimedia package which includes satellite navigation, a rear view camera and a Bose premium audio system. The navigation system covers more than 30 European countries and offers Birdview as well as conventional displays on the integrated eight-inch colour screen. Voice recognition for navigation and the phone is incorporated and the screen is also used by the rear view camera to relay real time images from behind the car whenever reverse gear is selected.
The Bose premium sound system has been specially designed for Infiniti G37. The loudspeakers in the 10 unit system features lightweight yet powerful neodymium magnets with an innovative driver design allowing the speakers to produce the output of a larger, heavier speaker.
Nd magnets are smaller and lighter than conventional ferrite magnets found in most speakers but are just as powerful. As a result, they help the system deliver a full rich sound while adding less weight to the vehicle. In addition, an innovative design approach, powerful digital amplifier, custom equalisation and digital signal processing help reproduce music with clarity, spaciousness and realism.
The audio system itself incorporates an in-dash six-disc CD player with AM/FM radio and has an RCA AUX-in jack socket for MP3 players.
The final option is an Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) which uses brakes, throttle and laser sensors to help maintain a set distance between the Sedan and the car in front. In automatic versions of the Infiniti G37, the software reduces driver's workload even more allowing ICC to work from 0km/h thanks to the "Full Speed Range" feature.
Infiniti is synonymous with vehicle quality, and that's something that doesn't happen by accident.
On the Tochigi production line in Japan every vehicle - not just every tenth - is laser scanned to ensure that panel gaps are within prescribed limits.
During the design and development phase, new models are exhaustively tested not just at Infiniti's Hokkaido proving ground but also at the Tochigi and Motegi test and race complexes in Japan. Infiniti also has a vast 12.34 million square metre hot weather testing base in Arizona and uses the famed Nordschleife circuit at the NÃ¼rburgring in Germany.