- Still behind the class-leading BMW in handling.
- Power steering gets confused in twisties.
- No handbrake in automatic models.
- Very stiff tuning on sportiest models.
- Looks like the old model from far away.
Press Coverage :
The all-new Infiniti G35 sedan, which went on sale in November 2006, is designed to create a powerful driving sensation – from its rewarding performance and sophisticated exterior, to its finely crafted interior and intuitive technology.
The new G delivers, with a sensuous evolution of the exterior, utilization of an enhanced platform and the next generation of the award-winning VQ-series V6. It also offers a redesigned interior, which combines modern warmth and traditional Japanese design cues, and an impressive list of available technology, including a touch screen navigation system with real-time traffic function and an audiophile premium audio system that brings studio quality sound on the road.
The front of the new G is highlighted by its L-shaped headlights and dramatic Infiniti signature grille with sculpted "twisted" horizontal blades inspired by traditional Japanese swords. High Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-xenon headlights with fog lights are standard, while an Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS), which automatically controls the headlight lighting pattern according to steering angle and vehicle speed to help provide better visibility at night, is optional.
To impart tight tolerances and an exacting fit of the complex front fascia, Infiniti developed a new production process for headlight installation, as well as securing the aluminum hood with dual latches located at the two front corners. These dual latches provide proper alignment for the sensual, sculpted hood.
In the rear, the refined, evolutional L-shaped LED taillights express the G heritage and the Infiniti design identity. The trunk lid is accented by an integrated spoiler, while prominent dual exhaust outlets complete the sporty appearance.
The G35 Sport and G35 Sport 6MT models offer a unique front fascia and side sills, and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and tires. A full rear spoiler is also available.
The driver’s space of the new G has a simple, intuitive layout. The instrument panel features Fine Vision gauges with a new white-and-violet illumination. White is used for the most important information because it provides the highest contrast, while violet – a traditional Japanese representation of royalty – is used as an accent color.
A center information display, which is located between the tachometer and speedometer, conveys updates from the drive computer (average fuel consumption, instantaneous fuel economy, average speed, elapsed time, running distance, distance to empty, outside air temperature, warning displays, odometer and automatic transmission shift indicator) and uses red illumination.
Another detail that has roots in Japanese design is the new G’s "Washi"-style textured aluminum-alloy accents. Washi is a form of elegant, handmade Japanese paper. The aluminum trim pieces are located on the center console, across the instrument panel and on the door panels.
The G’s steering wheel also has a unique look and feel. While the stitching for most leather-covered steering wheels is done by machine, with the stitches often located right where the fingertips fall, the new G’s steering wheel is double-stitched by hand – a process that takes more than an hour to complete. The benefit is significant, allowing the stitches to be moved away from where the driver’s hands rest for a smoother, improved feel. Steering wheel-mounted cruise control and audio switches are standard on all models.
The G35 Sport model (automatic transmission) offers standard lightweight magnesium paddle shifters, which enable drivers to conduct upshifts or downshifts without releasing their hands from the steering wheel.
Another unique new feature is the G’s available 10-speaker Infiniti Studio on Wheels™ by Bose®, combining the industry’s first 3-way front door speaker array using 10-inch woofers with an audiophile-quality head unit incorporating double oversampling 24-bit 96KHz Burr Brown® Digital Audio Converters.
The G’s optional touch screen Infiniti Navigation System features available XM® NavTraffic™ with real-time traffic information and a 9.5 gigabyte Music Hard Drive. Other technologies include standard Infiniti Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, standard 7.0-inch color monitor display, available RearView Monitor and Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System.
All G35s come equipped with standard leather-appointed seating in a choice of Wheat (except G35 Sport and G35 Sport 6MT), Stone or Graphite. Along with the standard Washi-style aluminum trim, real wood (straight-grained African Rosewood) accents are optionally available.
The soul of the G35 has always been its dynamic performance and at the heart of its advanced drivetrain has always been its award-winning VQ35 3.5-liter V6 engine and advanced FM (Front Mid-ship) platform. Both engine and platform have been significantly enhanced for use with the 2007 G.
The VQ-series V6, which has been named one of the "Ten Best Engines" by Ward’s Auto World magazine for 12 consecutive years, now moves into its fourth generation and has been significantly rethought, with approximately 80% of major parts (except bolts, O-rings and clips) redesigned. Other engine enhancements include the addition of standard variable exhaust cam timing (eCVTCS), a higher rev limit (increased from 6,600 rpm to 7,600 rpm) and higher compression ratio (10.6:1 versus the previous 10.3:1), asymmetric piston skirts, twin knock sensors, improved coolant flow and new Iridium spark plugs.
A new symmetric twin ram air intake system helps reduce airflow resistance by 18% and increases horsepower by three hp at 60 miles per hour. A new dual exhaust system has been designed with equal length exhaust manifolds and reduced muffler exhaust pressure (25% less than the first generation G35) help improve engine breathing. Both are tuned to create authoritative harmonies, helping enhance driving pleasure.
The result of all these changes is 306 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque, an exciting engine sound and expected improvements in emissions and fuel economy.
The new VQ engine design also includes a long list of advanced systems found on the previous design – including a Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), a "noiseless" timing chain for quiet operation, an electronically controlled "drive-by-wire" throttle system, microfinished crank journals and cam lobes, and molybdenum coated lightweight pistons.
The G again offers a choice of 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode or a 6-speed manual transmission. The 5-speed automatic features Downshift Rev Matching, DS mode and ASC (Adaptive Shift Control) that allows for quicker shifts in sporty driving situations.
The 2007 G’s driving pleasure is also due in great measure to its second generation FM platform, similar to that used on the Infiniti M. The racing technology-inspired FM platform locates the engine behind the front axle in the "Front Mid-ship" position.
The G’s suspension is a 4-wheel independent design with lightweight aluminum components and front and rear stabilizer bars, designed to provide nimble and natural feeling handling, as well as a controlled, refined ride. The front suspension minimizes alignment changes through use of a single pivot lower wishbone and a long upper link. The rear design separates the shock absorbers and springs, locating the shock absorber inline with the wheel center to help reduce suspension friction and reduce the wind-up motion of the axle on acceleration.
G35 Sport and G35 Sport 6MT models offer an optional Four-Wheel Active Steer system, which helps improve vehicle handling performance by adjusting the geometry of the rear suspension according to steering input and vehicle speed.
All G35s come with Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), helping to enhance vehicle stability under a variety of driving conditions, while Viscous Limited Slip Differential (VLSD) is standard on the G35 Sport and G35 Sport 6MT models.
The G’s braking system utilizes power-assisted 4-wheel vented disc brakes with 4-channel, 4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). Larger brakes are offered on the G35 Sport and G35 Sport 6MT models.
The power steering system is a new twin-orifice vehicle-speed-sensing design, which provides optimum steering effort at both high and low vehicle speeds,
The new G features standard 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P225/55R17 tires, and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and 225/50R18 front and P245/45R18 rear W-rated tires on the G35 Sport and G35 Sport 6MT models. A Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) is standard on all G35s.
All 2007 G35s come equipped with the Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors and occupant classification sensor, front-seat side-impact supplemental air bags and roof-mounted side-impact curtain air bags for front- and rear-seat occupant head protection. Also standard are 3-point ALR/ELR seat belts (driver’s side ELR only) and front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters and adjustable upper anchors, front seat Active Head Restraints and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system. The G35 also features Zone Body Construction with front and rear crushable zones to help disperse crash energy around the passenger compartment.
Several options and packages are available for the 2007 G35 Sedan, including the Premium Package, Sunroof, Satellite Radio (choice of XM® or Sirius™), Navigation Package, Technology Package, Four-Wheel Active Steer Package, rear spoiler and straight-grained African Rosewood trim.
Infiniti says the four-wheel active steer (FWAS) system (which activates at 25 mph) improves the vehicle's handling by adjusting the toe of the rear suspension up to one degree based on steering input and vehicle speed. At the same time, a planetary gearset that's been added to the steering shaft varies the steering ratio between 12.0:1 and 18.5:1. We would like to say the system works but not having track tested a car without the system, it's hard to know.
Testing a car with four-wheel active steer versus a car without it probably wouldn't prove anything anyway. When you order FWAS, the sedan's suspension is stiffened beyond the G35 Sport's standard settings, so any difference in handling could be due to the active steer system or the differences in suspension tuning. Or both.
One thing's for sure. The suspension tuning on the G35 Sport, which is firmer than the suspension on the other three trim levels, is just too firm. The car's new 40-percent-stiffer chassis allowed for such aggressive suspension tuning, and Infiniti's chassis engineers took the bait. Order four-wheel active steer and the ride becomes downright teeth chattering. We expect Infiniti will be getting some hate mail from Sport owners in the rough-road states.
Nobody but BMW owners will complain about the G35's handling. Front-end grip borders on the remarkable, while body control and balance are superb. Wheelbase is the same 112.2 inches as last year, but the front and rear tracks have been widened 0.7 inch in front and 0.9 inch in the rear. The four-wheel independent suspension also received some revision up front, with a new single-pivot double-wishbone design which replaces the previous model's two lower links. Infiniti also staggered the car's tire sizes for the first time.
Our only dynamic-handling complaint has to do with the G's steering. Ratio and feedback are right on, but the vehicle's speed-sensitive steering assist needs a little sorting. When the vehicle speed is changing rapidly up and down — like when you're charging a mountain road — changes in the assist are too radical and too slow to come, which can give the steering an artificial, video-game quality.
The brakes, on the other hand, are flawless. Sport models get larger 13-inch rotors front and back, and they stop this big sedan with little trouble. Fade is not an issue, pedal feel is excellent and stops from 60 mph take just 112 feet.
The car is quick, and fast. Big, nasty, clutch-demoralizing launches will propel the car to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds. And that's, of course, bigly fun (to use Rush Limbaugh's word of the week). But the car feels even more heroic than that, thanks to some cuteness from the powertrain engineers. The dual-air intake is ducted in such a way as to produce a mild ram-air effect, so that as the car goes faster, it gets a little atmospheric overboost, a rising, gathering surge of power that Infiniti has dubbed "swell.'
If swelling lasts more than two hours, stop for gas. EPA fuel economy is pegged at 19/27 mpg, city/highway.
If there is Japanese sport-sedan idiom, the G35 speaks it fluently. The car feels big and masculine and a little heavy at turn-in -- unlike a 3-series, which feels light and reactive and so effortlessly flickable. So, you have to muscle the Infiniti through its thick-section wheel. Then it takes a set and just carves. Because of its front weight bias, the car will happily rotate when you lift off the throttle, which makes it really fun to balance on the edges of tire adhesion. Listen for the re-tuned stability control.
Also, like other Japanese performance cars, it has a lot of precautionary understeer dialed into the suspension right out of the box. A little aftermarket fiddling could really make this car cha-cha.
Some might think the gearshift is a little too far back in the console, leaving them a bit handcuffed. I didn't have that problem. The brakes are stout, the corner-exit thrust abundant. It might not be quite as intuitive as a 3-series, but the car is far more confidence-inspiring than that other Bimmer-hunter, the Lexus IS350.
The Detroit News
2003-2006 Infiniti G35
3,498 cc / 260 hp / 260 lb-ft / 3336-3512 lbs / 0-60 mph 5.9-6.2 sec.