2008 Infiniti G37 Expert Review:Autoblog
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In Seattle and again at Pebble Beach, Autoblog got behind the wheel of the new Infiniti G37 Coupe. The new G didn't go to the gym or to BALCO-merely pumping up would have been the easy route. It disappeared to some secluded mixed martial arts school in the mountains and came back with a bit more muscle, coordination, and reflexes. Click read to get the full story, and check out the gallery with a few more detailed pics of the car.
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Iconic status is usually half ordained, half accidental fortune, and as long as there have been icons, the question has been: what does an icon do for round two? Those responsible for the ordained portion need to make sure any changes remain in the good graces of Fortuna. Consequently, things usually remain heavy on the iconic, and light on the evolution. In the G's case, the evolution is not a cheap shot or a copout.
I quite liked the previous generation's styling -- and so did a lot of other people. It squared the Z off perfectly. Exterior styling is the number two reason consumers give for buying a G Coupe, so it was especially important not to turn them off. All of the previous edges are gone, the G having been worked over by a team armed with dueling compasses and protractors. Where it was straight before, it is curved now -- in some cases, downright swoopy -- though its predecessor can still be seen. Infiniti calls it "kinetic feeling with emotional surface expression." We call it different, but still good-looking. It's also longer and wider than the previous car, which is meant to be "indicative of the power and technology of the vehicle." We will, again, stick with good looking.
I also especially liked the tail on the G35, that horizontal slab balanced on the decklid. It has also been retired, replaced by a chromed lip that, if you've ordered the navigation, also houses the rear view camera. Kyle Bazemore, Infiniti PR man, said that there was a decided split of opinion on that part of the revised design. It won't turn anyone off, but it's an interesting change.
The true evolution is hidden by that bodywork, because the engine and the interior are what Infiniti really put work into. Infiniti pitches the G Coupe against the BMW 3-Series, and with young affluent professionals as the target, they have thrown more chips into the fit-and-finish pot.
Inside it's quintessential Inifiniti, with electroluminescent dials tucked in their cowl, and to the right, the familiar center console stack. Aluminum alloy trim is now finished in with a Japanese Washi paper pattern, and African Rosewood trim is also available. Some folks liked it, some folks thought it looked scratched, and some other folks said if nothing else, it would hide scratches.
The seats are beautiful to look at, and while a bit narrow (at least for this tester), terrifically supportive for spirited driving. The bolsters are also adjustable, which was a boon. On the G37 Journey with Sport Package and Sport 6MT, the seats are 14-way, which was fantastic, even though I've really only got an 8-way body.
I also like that Infiniti gives you a place to put the key fob that you don't need to put in the ignition. It's a bit out of the way, to the lower left of the wheel. But that beats having valets run after me because they can't move my car.
Infiniti's also joined the iPod integration game, with a dedicated plug in the center console cubby. You can control it from the steering wheel as well, although you don't have access to the entire range of iPod functions.
The V6 has grown to 3.7 liters and 330 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, and now features VVEL-variable valve event and lift-technology. It's hydraulically controlled and aimed at increasing performance and fuel efficiency. The engine, which is 35% new from the one just introduced in the new G35 sedan, is also has ladder frame construction for greater rigidity, large crank journal and pin diameters, asymmetric piston skirts, twin knock sensors, an electronically controlled "drive-by-wire" throttle system, molybdenum coated lightweight pistons, Iridium spark plugs and a symmetric twin air intake system.
How does it drive? Even better than before. This is especially important, since "fun to drive" is given as the number one reason for buying a G Coupe. But the point isn't just how it goes, it's how it all comes together: in addition to the horsepower, the car is 36% stiffer overall, the upper models get a new sport suspension, the performance braking system has opposing pistons and larger rotors, and all models come with Vehicle Dynamic control and speed sensitive steering.
The 6MT gets a revised dynamic damper, modified shifter linkage, and modified shifter isolator. And if you stump for the 4-Wheel Active Steer system (4WAS), there's a unique chassis configuration that features automatically variable front steering ratios and rear suspension geometry that adjusts to steering input and vehicle speed via motor-driven controls. The result is better coordination all round, going, stopping, shifting, and turning.
With its exhaust note, hop-to-it acceleration, and suspension, the G35 always asks you to run it. On twisting country roads outside of Seattle, you can get at least another two-tenths out of the G37, and a clear stretch of asphalt that disappeared in a downhill, steeply banked left hand turn gave one that roller coaster thrill.
Driving it around the snaking coastal roads of Monterey was even better, even though the speeds were slower. The Pebble Beach Concours turned the roads into a mess of parading supercars, weekend drivers, and 3-mph crawlers looking for parking spots. The G37 did just as well coming to sudden stops after hard acceleration uphill out of tight turns as it did cruising and spurting through beach traffic. The rev-matching downshifts and magnesium paddle shifters on the automatic were especially good.
The sum of its evolutionary details adds up to a revolution. The G37 Coupe is a full generational step taken in finish and performance that will undoubtedly keep folks heading to the showrooms.
Infiniti G37 Overview
All-New 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe Sets New Standards For Style, Performance and Luxury
– Highlights Include New 330 Horsepower V6, Seductive Styling and Luxury Appointments –
The all-new 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe combines the exhilarating performance, stunning styling and modern, sporty interior of the original Infiniti G Coupe and accelerates each to new levels. Among the key enhancements to the new second-generation G Coupe are a larger, more powerful 3.7-liter V6 engine, available advanced 4-Wheel Active Steer system, a dramatic new exterior design and a refined interior with intuitive, integrated technology. The G37 Coupe joins the recently introduced, all-new 2007 Infiniti G35 Sedan in Infiniti showrooms nationwide in August.
"The new G35 Sedan, which has been named to both Car and Driver's '10 Best Cars' and Automobile magazine's 'All-Stars' list, has set the stage for the new 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe," said Mark Igo, vice president and general manager, Infiniti Division. "The new Coupe builds on the styling, performance and interior enhancements of the G Sedan, adding the dynamic style, sporty atmosphere and expressive driving character expected of a class-leading luxury sport coupe. The line starts here."
Exhilarating Performance From a New Engine Design
Leading the enhancements to the 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe is the first-ever application of the new 3.7-liter V6 engine with VVEL (for Variable Valve Event and Lift). Rated at 330 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, the new "VQ37VHR" contains approximately 35 percent new and unique parts from the new VQ35HR engine introduced in the 2007 G35 Sedan just last year.
Both the Coupe's VQ37VHR and the Sedan's VQ35HR engines are based on the award-winning VQ engine series, named one of the "Ten Best Engines" by Ward's Auto World magazine for 13 consecutive years.
Along with utilizing a larger displacement than the previous 3.5-liter powerplant, the G37 Coupe's new VVEL system combines hydraulic-controlled variable valve timing and electronically controlled variable valve lift on the intake side to help improve performance and response. The VVEL system is also expected to improve emissions and fuel efficiency. The VVEL intake camshafts, featuring continuously variable lift control teamed with the Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), allow for a 7,500 rpm redline.
The engine also features increased cylinder block height (from the previous 3.5-liter design), ladder frame construction for greater rigidity, large crank journal and pin diameters, asymmetric piston skirts, twin knock sensors, an electronically controlled "drive-by-wire" throttle system, molybdenum coated lightweight pistons, Iridium spark plugs and a symmetric twin air intake system.
A new, specially tuned dual exhaust system has been designed with equal length exhaust manifolds and low muffler exhaust backpressure to help improve engine breathing. Both intake and exhaust enhance driving pleasure with their authentic performance notes.
Rated at 330 horsepower, the new engine is not only considerably more powerful than the previous generation G Coupe (rated at 275 hp with 5AT, 293 hp with 6MT), but is expected to offer increased fuel mileage and reduced emissions levels. Overall vehicle fuel economy improvements are estimated to be nearly one mpg better than the G35 Sedan and nearly two mpg better than the previous generation G35 Coupe (actual EPA mileage estimates and emission information to be announced at a later date).
"The new 3.7-liter V6 is a true powerhouse – becoming more enjoyable as you drive it," said Igo. "And, this powerplant also features Infiniti's trademark "Swell" acceleration – introduced on the new G Sedan last year – with special tuning that builds horsepower almost continually to the redline like a building wave."
The G37 Coupe engine is backed by a choice of an upgraded electronically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission with manual mode, downshift rev matching, DS mode and ASC (Adaptive Shift Control) that allows for quicker shifts in sporty driving situations and available genuine magnesium paddle shifters; or a newly revised, lightweight 6-speed manual transmission.
Performance Platform and Suspension
Developed at test circuits throughout Europe – including the famed Nürburgring – the G37 Coupe was conceived as a performance thoroughbred. Handling and ride performance increases come from the G37 Coupe's enhanced FM (Front Mid-ship) platform, which has been stiffened 36% from the previous generation, is lower in overall height and has a wider front and rear track width.
The G37 Coupe's 4-wheel independent suspension design features lightweight aluminum components and large front and rear stabilizer bars, increased spring rates and optimized suspension damping.
The front suspension is a double-wishbone design, with a single pivot lower wishbone and a long upper link. The multi-link rear suspension separates the shock absorbers and springs, locating the shock absorber inline with the wheel center. These designs help minimize alignment changes and reduce suspension friction for nimble handling and smooth riding characteristics.
Steering is provided by a twin-orifice vehicle-speed-sensing design, which provides optimum steering effort at both high and low vehicle speeds. Standard on all G37 Coupes is Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), which assists in enhancing vehicle stability under a variety of driving conditions.
Also available on the new G37 Coupe is Infiniti's exclusive 4-Wheel Active Steer system (4WAS). With unique chassis configuration that features automatically variable front steering ratios and rear suspension geometry that adjusts to steering input and vehicle speed via motor-driven controls. The system's electronic control unit calculates the desired vehicle dynamics from a series of sensors, including vehicle speed and steering angle, and separately directs both the front and rear actuators to change steering gear ratios and rear geometry by moving both the front steering gear and rear suspension lower links – thus providing sports car-like agility and secure stability.
Braking performance is provided by standard 4-wheel vented discs with 4-channel, 4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). The standard G37 Coupe adopts the "sport" braking system of the recently introduced G35 Sedan. The G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package and G37 Coupe Sport 6MT are further enhanced with aluminum four-piston calipers (front)/two-piston calipers (rear) embossed with Infiniti lettering and large ventilated rotors – 14.0-inch front and 13.8-inch rear.
Also available on G37 Coupe is Infiniti's Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) with Preview Braking, which provides a precise following distance from the vehicle ahead. It also identifies sudden braking situations with laser sensors to determine distance and relative speed of the vehicle ahead in the same lane and "pre-pressurizes" the Brake Assist system before the driver steps on the brake pedal.
A new 18-inch wheel and tire package is standard on G37 Coupe, featuring a "split 5-spoke" 18x8-inch aluminum-alloy wheel design with P225/50VR18 all-season tires. A new 10-spoke 19-inch wheel and tire package, with lightweight cast aluminum wheels and high performance tires, is also available. A Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) is standard on all 2008 G37 Coupes.
To enhance the already high level of dynamic performance, the G37 Coupe 6MT and G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package come standard with unique sport suspension, a Viscous Limited Slip Differential (VLSD) and a new wheel and tire package with 19x8.5-inch front wheels with 225/45WR19 front tires and 19x9-inch rear wheels with 245/40WR19 rear tires.
The G37 Coupe's advanced performance systems are wrapped in an all-new seductive skin, giving the vehicle a kinetic feeling with emotional surface expression, sweeping character lines and tight panel gap lines.
"Compared with its predecessor, the G37 Coupe is longer, lower and wider – indicative of the power and technology of the vehicle," said Igo.
Exterior highlights include flowing front fender curves, a wave-style hood, expressive front fascia with Infiniti's signature double-arch grille and L-shaped High-Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-xenon headlights with integrated fog lamps. As with the new G35 Sedan, Infiniti developed a specialized production process for headlight installation to impart tight build tolerances and an exacting fit of the complex front fascia. The aluminum hood is secured by dual latches located at the two front corners to ensure an excellent fit.
The strong side character line and side sills integrate with the large wheel wells and the 18- or 19-inch performance-oriented wheel and tire packages to transmit an added sense of power and vibrancy.
The rear of the G Coupe features broad rear fenders, flowing into the large LED taillights – an Infiniti trademark, refined rear bumper, integrated RearView Monitor camera (when equipped), rear underbody air diffusers and large dual exhaust outlets with chrome finishers. An available rear spoiler gives the G37 Coupe zero rear lift, matching the standard zero-lift front aerodynamics.
The G37 Coupe Sport 6MT models and G37 Journey with Sport Package add an enhanced performance look, with a unique front fascia, special side sills and standard 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with high performance tires.
Eight exterior colors, including four new colors – Blue Slate, Platinum Graphite, Vibrant Red and Amethyst Graphite – are offered.
Sophisticated, Luxurious Interior
The 2008 G37 Coupe interior design features sophisticated craftsmanship, with a cockpit-oriented front driver and passenger area, Infiniti signature "double wave" instrument panel design featuring the Infiniti-signature analog clock and dramatic, full-length center console with a leather and aluminum-clad shifter. Special aluminum-alloy interior trim, inspired by elegant, handmade Japanese Washi paper, is located across the instrument panel, on the center console and on the door panels. Genuine African Rosewood trim is also available.
The instrument panel features Infiniti electroluminescent instrumentation with white-and-violet illumination and integrated multi-function information drive computer (average fuel consumption, real-time fuel economy, average speed, elapsed time, running distance, distance to empty, outside air temperature, warning displays, odometer and automatic transmission shift indicator) display.
Drivers grip a double hand-stitched leather-covered steering wheel, designed for maximum comfort and usability with wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls. Available genuine magnesium paddle shifters for the 5-speed automatic transmission fall readily to hand and add control (G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package only).
The 8-way power driver and 4-way front passenger seats (8-way on G37 Coupe Journey, G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package and G37 Coupe Sport 6MT model) are appointed with Infiniti's exclusive premium leather and feature 2-way adjustable head restraints and a unique rear-seat access system, whereby the front seats will move forward automatically at the touch of a button to allow passengers into the rear seat.
The G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package and G37 Coupe Sport 6MT add special 14-way sport-styled seats with thigh extensions and power adjustable torso and thigh bolsters for the driver, unique steering wheel stitching and high-grip aluminum pedals.
Technological and convenience features abound in the new G37 Coupe. Standard is the Infiniti Intelligent Key with push button ignition, Remote Keyless Entry system, a tilt/telescoping steering column with increased travel, illuminated glove compartment and automatic temperature control.
Also standard is a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3 playback capability, Radio Data System (RDS) and center console-mounted auxiliary input, as well as a 7-inch color display.
Available is an 11-speaker Infiniti "Studio on Wheels"™ by Bose®, combining a 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 Analogue Converters (DAC). Also available is a Bluetooth® hands-free phone system, new touch screen Infiniti Navigation System with available XM® NavTraffic™ real-time traffic information (requires XM® subscription required, sold separately), voice activation for navigation, audio and HVAC functions, and a 9.3-gigabyte Music Box hard drive with compact flash drive slot.
Three interior color combinations are offered – Wheat, Graphite and Stone.
Safety Performance and Technology
Available on the new G37 Coupe is 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.
Standard on all G37 Coupes is an 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, driver and front-passenger knee bolsters, front seat Active Head Restraints and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system. Available as part of the Technology Package are brake-operated pre-crash seat belts with motion sensor on the brake pedal.
The G37 Coupe features Zone Body Construction with front and rear crushable zones to help disperse crash energy around the passenger compartment. For occupant safety, the engine is designed to move under the occupant compartment in a high-speed frontal collision, while a breakaway construction of the propeller shaft (connected with the engine-drop function) and the double-wall construction of the bulkhead helps to minimize cabin deformation, especially in the lower leg area. In addition, the brake pedal is designed to collapse to help reduce lower leg injuries in a severe crash.
Three Well-Equipped Models
The 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe is available in three models: G37 Coupe, G37 Coupe Journey and G37 Coupe Sport 6MT. In addition to the long list of standard features on all three models, several options and packages are available.
These include the Premium Package, with a power sliding glass moonroof, 11-speaker Infiniti "Studio on Wheels"™ by Bose® audio system with iPod connection, memory system (drivers seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors) with synchronization, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, anti-glare rearview mirror with compass and HomeLink© Universal Transceiver, Bluetooth® hands-free phone system, and heated front seats and door mirrors.
Also offered is the Sport Package (available on G37 Journey model and standard on G37 Coupe Sport 6MT), which includes 19-inch wheels and tires, Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD), sport-tuned suspension, sport brakes, unique front fascia and side sills, sport-styled seats and steering wheel stitching, aluminum pedals and paddle shifters (G37 Coupe Journey only).
The Infiniti Navigation Package adds an advanced navigation system with touch-screen capability, available XM® NavTraffic™ real-time traffic information (XM® subscription required, sold separately), voice activation for navigation, audio and HVAC functions and a 9.3-gigabyte Music Box hard drive with compact flash drive slot, and RearView Monitor. The Technology Package includes Infiniti Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) with Preview Braking, Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) and, available for the first time on G Coupe, a "Pre-Crash Seatbelt" system.
Also available is the Infiniti 4-Wheel Active Steer system; Performance Wheel and Tire Package with 19-inch high performance tires featuring lightweight cast aluminum-alloy wheels; Moonroof; Rear Spoiler; and African Rosewood interior trim.
"When the original G Coupe was introduced, it proved to the world that exhilarating sport coupe performance doesn't have to come in a machine-like box," said Igo. "This new G37 Coupe, which we're proudly showing for the first time anywhere in New York, is pure G and pure Infiniti – and ready to take center position on the world automotive stage."
Press Release: Infiniti G37 At-A-Glance
The all-new 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe, which is set to arrive at Infiniti retailers nationwide in August 2007, combines the exhilarating performance, stunning styling and modern, sporty interior of the original Infiniti G Coupe, accelerating each to new levels.
Leading the enhancements to the new, second-generation G Coupe is the first-ever application of the new 3.7-liter V6 engine with VVEL (for Variable Valve Event and Lift). Rated at 330 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, the VQ37VHR contains approximately 35 percent unique parts content from the new VQ35HR engine introduced in the 2007 G35 Sedan last year.
Along with utilizing a larger displacement than the previous 3.5-liter powerplant, the VVEL system combines hydraulic-controlled variable valve timing and electronically controlled variable valve lift on the intake side, helping to improve not only performance and response but also emissions and fuel efficiency. Overall vehicle fuel economy improvements are estimated to be nearly one mpg better than the G35 Sedan and nearly two mpg better than the previous generation G35 Coupe (actual EPA ratings will be announced at a later date).
The engine is backed by a choice of an upgraded electronically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission with available paddle shifters or a significantly revised and more refined 6-speed manual transmission.
The G37 Coupe's enhanced platform and chassis also includes an available advanced 4-Wheel Active Steer system (4WAS), which helps improve vehicle handling performance by adjusting both the front steering gear ratios and the rear suspension geometry according to steering input and vehicle speed. Braking and handling is targeted to be among the best in the luxury sport coupe class.
All of these advanced performance systems are wrapped in an all-new seductive skin. The G37 Coupe exterior design features flowing front fender curves, a wave-style hood, smooth front fascia with Infiniti's signature double-arch grille and L-shaped headlights. The side character line and side sills, as well as large wheel and tire packages transmit an added sense of power and vibrancy.
Inside, Infiniti-levels of craftsmanship are apparent throughout the all-new interior design, including the use of unique materials and finishes with traditional Japanese design cues. The new G Coupe also includes an extensive list of available technological features – a touch screen navigation system with XM® NavTraffic™ real-time traffic function (requires XM® subscription, sold separately), RearView Monitor and an available 11-speaker Infiniti "Studio on Wheels"™ by Bose® audio system with 24-bit Burr Brown DAC, 3-way door speaker arrays with 10-inch woofers and a 9.3-gigabyte Music Box hard drive.
Highlights of the 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe include:
• All-new exterior design, featuring seductive and muscular shapes, including flowing front fender lines with low silhouette roofline, strong side character lines and side sills, wave-form hood Aggressive zero-lift front end styling with smooth front fascia, integrated fog lamps and double-arch grille
• Infiniti signature L-shape High Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-xenon headlights, available Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS)
• Large LED Infiniti G-style taillights, large trunk opening and available integrated RearView Monitor
• Standard rear underbody air diffusers
• Large diameter dual exhaust outlets with chrome finishers
• New 18-inch or 19-inch wheel and tire packages
• Unique front fascia and side sills on G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package and G37 Coupe Sport 6MT
• Available rear spoiler on G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package and G37 Coupe Sport 6MT model, achieving zero rear lift
• Available sliding glass moonroof with tilt and one-touch open/close feature
• Available heated outside mirrors
• Eight exterior colors available, including new Blue Slate, Platinum Graphite, Vibrant Red and Amethyst Graphite
Engine and Driveline
• 3.7-liter VVEL 24-valve DOHC V6 producing 330 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque
• Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) intake camshafts, incorporated with the Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), allows for 7500 RPM redline
• Ram air dual intake, equal length exhaust manifold and dual exhaust system with laser-welded rear mufflers produce an authentic performance sound
• Choice of electronically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission with Downshift Rev Matching and quick-shift DS mode and ASC (Adaptive Shift Control), or newly revised close-ratio lightweight 6-speed manual transmission
• Rear Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD) on G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package and G37 Coupe Sport 6MT model
Suspension, Steering and Braking
• Enhanced FM platform, 36 percent stiffer than previous generation, lower in overall height, with increased front and rear track width
• 4-wheel independent multi-link suspension (front single pivot double-wishbone design) with extensive use of lightweight aluminum components and large front and rear stabilizer bars
• Power-assisted twin-orifice vehicle-speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering
• Exclusive Infiniti 4-Wheel Active Steer (4WAS) (available on G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package and G37 Coupe Sport 6MT model) – includes unique chassis configuration, adjustable geometry rear suspension and automatically variable front steering ratio
• Standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC)
• 4-wheel power-assisted vented disc brakes, 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA)
• G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package and G37 Coupe Sport 6MT model brakes feature 14-inch rotors with 4-piston front calipers and 13.8-inch rotors with 2-piston calipers rear with "Infiniti" lettering
• Available Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) with Preview Braking
• Standard "split 5-spoke" 18x8-inch aluminum alloy wheel design with 225/50VR18 all-season tires
• New 10-spoke 19x8.5-inch front wheels and 225/45WR19 front tires and 19x9-inch rear wheels with 245/40WR19 rear tires (available on G37 Coupe Journey, standard on G37 Journey with Sport Package and G37 Coupe Sport 6MT model)
• Standard Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS)
• Driver-oriented sporty interior with luxurious passenger space
• Infiniti signature "double-wave" instrument panel and Infiniti-signature analog clock
• Dramatic, full-length center console with a leather and aluminum-clad shifter
• Available magnesium automatic transmission paddle shifters
• Special aluminum-alloy accents, inspired by elegant, handmade Japanese "Washi" paper, on center console, instrument panel and door panels; available genuine African Rosewood trim
• Standard 7.0-inch color monitor display, available RearView Monitor
• Standard leather-appointed seating, available in Wheat, Graphite or Stone
• Standard 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat and 4-way power-adjustable front passenger's seat (G37 Coupe); 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat and 8-way power-adjustable front passenger's seat (G37 Coupe Journey); 14-way power-adjustable driver's seat and 8-way power adjustable front passenger's seat (G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package and G37 Coupe Sport 6MT model)
• G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package and G37 Coupe Sport 6MT model feature sport-styled seats with thigh extensions, driver's power adjustable torso and thigh bolsters and aluminum pedals
• Hand-stitched leather-wrapped steering wheel with steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise control switches, tilt and telescopic steering column with unique stitching on G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package and Sport 6MT model
• Electroluminescent instrumentation with white and violet illumination
• Standard Infiniti Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition
• Available 11-speaker Infiniti "Studio on Wheels"™ by Bose® audio system with 24-bit Burr Brown DAC, 3-way door speaker arrays with 10-inch woofers
• Standard audio system featuring in-dash CD player with Radio Data System (RDS), auxiliary audio input, mp3 playback capability and 6 speakers; standard XM® satellite radio
• Available Infiniti Navigation System with available XM® NavTraffic™ real-time traffic information(requires XM® subscription, sold separately) voice activation for navigation, audio and HVAC functions; 9.3-gigabyte Music Box hard drive with compact flash drive slot
• Available Bluetooth® hands-free phone system
• Digital automatic temperature control with standard micro filtration and rear floor heater vents, available dual HVAC control with available center rear air conditioning vents (not available on Sport 6MT model)
Safety and Security
• Standard Infiniti Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors and occupant classification sensor
• Standard front-seat and roof-mounted front and rear curtain side-impact supplemental air bags
• 3-point ALR/ELR seat belts (driver's seat ELR only)
• Front seat belt adjustable upper anchors with pretensioners and load limiters
• Available pre-crash seat belts with motion sensor on the brake pedal
• Front seat Active Head Restraints
• Zone Body construction with energy-dispersing side structure
• Engine mount breakaway design with breakaway driveshaft
• Retracting brake pedal to help reduce lower leg injuries in a severe crash
• LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tether for CHildren) child seat anchorage system
New Car Test Drive
All-new, second-generation high-performance coupe.
The 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe is all new, a second-generation redesign, building perfectly on the G35 Coupe that was outstanding in its time (and still is). The chassis is stiffer, lower and wider, for an improved ride and handling. The engine has been increased to 3.7 liters, and uses the latest electronic valve systems to make 330 horsepower with improved fuel economy. The five-speed manual automatic transmission is superb and beautifully obedient, using downshift rev matching, meaning the throttle blips on its own when you downshift. The Sport Package doesn't make the ride too stiff, and offers bigger brakes.
The G37 has a full complement of standard safety features, including six airbags, a tire pressure monitor, Vehicle Dynamic Control that invisibly keeps you on the road, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, and crush zones in the front and rear.
The exterior styling has been freshened, and the interior has been totally redesigned as well. Perforated leather seating is standard. With little legroom in the rear seat, two adults will not be happy back there for long, so the G37 is no car-pool vehicle; but, up front, we loved the instrumentation, in particular the ease with which the navigation, climate control, and sound systems could be operated. The optional navigation and sound system have exceptional features; the nav monitors traffic conditions on the road ahead, and the sound system uses a 9.3-gigabyte Music Box hard drive with compact flash drive slot.
There are three distinctive models of the G37 Coupe: the Coupe, Journey, and Sport 6MT. Their biggest differences are in the styling twists and suspensions. They all use the same award-winning Nissan aluminum V6, redesigned for 2008 with 3.7 liters and VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift) camshafts, which boost it to 330 horsepower at 7000 rpm with a redline at 7600, and that's pretty awesome for a V6. The Journey is the touring version, and the Sport 6MT (stands for six-speed manual transmission) is the racy one, but under the hood they're all the same.
The Coupe and Journey come with a wonderful five-speed manual automatic transmission, having downshift rev matching, meaning the engine blips just before the car drops a gear; and Adaptive Shift Control, which sharpens the shifts when sensors say you're driving sporty. Paddle shifters, made of magnesium, are optional.
The 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe ($34,250) comes standard with leather interior and all the power things, an AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary audio input, seven-inch LCD monitor, HID bi-Xenon headlights, aluminum 18-inch wheels with all-season tires, keyless entry and starting, tilt/telescoping steering column with increased travel, illuminated glove compartment and automatic temperature control.
The Journey ($35,000) includes a six-disc CD player, eight-way power front passenger seat, and automatic headlights. Its styling and suspension are both a bit softer.
The Sport 6MT ($35,500) comes with a new six-speed manual transmission, lightened with aluminum. It has bigger brakes: ventilated rotors, 14.0 inches with four-piston calipers front, and 13.8 inches with two-pots rear. The suspension is tauter, riding on 19-inch, 10-spoke aluminum wheels and high-performance tires. There's also a Viscous Limited Slip Differential, for increased traction under hard acceleration. The Sport looks racier, with more aggressive front fascia and side sills, and sport-styled seats with aluminum pedals.
Options include the Premium Package ($3200) with a moonroof, 11-speaker Bose Studio on Wheels audio system with iPod connection, memory system for driver's seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, anti-glare rearview mirror with compass, HomeLink, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, and heated front seats and door mirror. The Navigation Package ($2200) is touch-screen and voice-activated, with user-friendly and detailed information on traffic ahead, using XM radio; the package also includes a 9.3-gigabyte Music Box hard drive with compact flash drive slot, and a rearview video monitor. The 10-spoke alloy wheels with 19-inch high-performance tires can be ordered separately ($650), and a bigger, body-colored and better looking rear spoiler ($550) improves stability at speed. The Moonroof is $1000, and African Rosewood interior trim is $450.
The Sport Package ($1850) for Coupe and Journey adds the Sport 6MT's tauter suspension, 19-inch wheels and tires, viscous limited-slip, bigger brakes, front fascia and side sills, sport-styled seats and steering wheel stitching, aluminum pedals, and paddle shifters (for the Journey but not the Coupe).
The 4-Wheel Active Steer Package ($1300) makes lane changes on the freeway steadier and safer, by altering the front steering ratio and counter-steering the rear wheels up to 3 degrees.
The Technology Package ($1150) is all about safety and includes Infiniti Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), which maintains the gap to the car in front, with Preview Braking, in which lasers measure the distance and closing speed to the vehicle ahead, and pressurize the brake system before the driver steps on the pedal, saving milliseconds. This package also includes Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS), in which the headlights turn with the car, and a pre-crash seatbelt system, which anticipates a crash and tenses the belts to prepare.
Safety equipment that comes standard includes a new advanced airbag system with two-stage front airbags, side airbags in front, and full-length airbag curtains. Infiniti's Vehicle Dynamic Control helps keep the G37 under control in the wet. The anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist is the same braking system used on the G35 Sedan. Also standard is a tire pressure monitoring system.
Unlike the G35, the new Infiniti G37's lines are more contemporary than classic. Everything flows from the front fenders, rounded so much they stand out.
Infiniti calls the new look seductive, although we think the word better applies to the sleek G35. The G37 second-generation daughter looks bulkier around the shoulders and hips. Still, it achieves a very aerodynamic 0.30 Coefficient of Drag.
On paper, the shape sounds good. The front wheel cutouts are larger, leaving less metal for the fenders and making them appear to rise even more. The headlights with integrated foglamps are smaller and sexier, an evolutionary improvement over the G35. But the grille has been slightly arched at the top at bottom, and filler has been between the horizontal bars at their edges, so it appears blockier.
The change to the hood and shoulders is easier to see. Infiniti calls the aluminum hood (pinned with two latches) a wave hood, although the sea looks pretty flat between the bulging shoreline of the fenders. The new hood is smaller than before, moving the fender seams inboard, which allows the fenders to rise to a ridge with character lines.
The front fascia below the grille has been changed on the Coupe and Sport 6MT, with the Journey keeping the G35 fascia that's slightly sleeker, having two long openings with black screen, coming toward each other. The Sport fascia has three openings, although two are filled and just for looks, while the width of the bumper between the openings and grille is thicker.
New character lines on the side of the car angle upward, visually lifting the butt of the G37 a bit, and making the rear bumper look narrower. Other than that, the tail is unchanged, including the taillights and twin chrome exhaust tips. The standard small spoiler on the lip of the trunk is awful, if only because it comes only in chrome (popular with many). But for the sake of highway beauty, spend $550 for the body-colored one, which is bigger but not too big, and its size gives the G37 more stability at speed.
From the side or 3/4 view, you can see a hint of the family resemblance to the Nissan 350Z (soon to be the 370Z with the new 3.7-liter engine). We also see a roofline resemblance to the Mustang, although it takes some squinting.
Finally, the wheels. Infiniti does good wheels. The standard 18s are split five-spokes, in polished titanium, and the beautiful 10-spoke 19-inch wheels fully complement the car's good looks.
The redesigned interior, leather with some vinyl mostly on the dash and doors, comes in three handsome shades: wheat, graphite and stone. The instrument panel is Infiniti's double wave design, trimmed in standard spun aluminum, so understated it seems almost stark (inspired by elegant, handmade Japanese Washi paper), or optional African rosewood. The rosewood is unique and classy, while the aluminum is sporty. The signature analog clock is present, of course. The materials, fit and finish are high quality.
The three-spoke steering wheel contains audio and cruise controls, and is wrapped in hand-stitched perforated leather. The instrument panel uses electroluminescent lighting, its needles glowing red on a white-and-violet background. An information gauge gives readouts for useful stuff like immediate or average fuel mileage (16.9 for us), average speed, elapsed time, running distance, distance to empty, outside air temperature, odometer, and warning displays.
The perforated leather seats are comfortable, with the 8-way driver's seat having air lumbar support. Both front seats slide with the touch of a button, to allow passengers into the rear seat. The Sport Package, standard on the 6MT, adds 14-way sport-styled seats with thigh extensions and power adjustable torso and thigh bolsters for the driver, sporty steering-wheel stitching, and aluminum pedals.
The paddle shifters on the steering wheel are magnesium, and you can actually reach them with your fingers when your hands are at the 10 and 2 o'clock position on the steering wheel. With many other cars it's not possible. You pull back on each one: right side upshifts, left side downshifts.
Door pockets are small, half-taken by armrests, although each includes a hollow for a water bottle. Plus, there are two big cupholders behind the shift lever. Further back, under the driver's elbow, the size of the compartment in the center console is reasonable, and there's a glovebox.
A cool center stack falls around a small screen that displays data or navigation information, with the $2200 navigation package. It's easy to understand, and its functions controlled with a four-way dial that indicates current traffic conditions, including construction ahead, with routes showing in green, yellow or red, colors based on congestion. It's all done through XM radio.
Infiniti has done the radio right. While many German, British and some Japanese cars are ridiculously overcomplicating sound system controls, Infiniti sees that simple is good (because it's efficient), and also intelligent. The G37 shows off its sound system with SOUND capabilities, not button-pushing and menu-interpreting that's only tail-chasing.
The optional G37 music box sound system uses a 9.3 gigabyte hard drive to record about 90 CDs in superfast time (it's legal because it's not burning). So you never have to carry CDs in your car. The directory can access your CDs by artist or type of music.
There's a vent in each A pillar to keep the side windows clear, and lots of rear glass gives good visibility and makes up for a lack of head space back there. There's not much knee room in the rear seats; that legroom stat of 29.8 inches is the lowest we've seen in a long time. The driveshaft hump runs high between the two rear seats, and supports an unimaginative console with cupholders and a vinyl tray. There's a wide crack between the seatback and seat bottom that might be uncomfortable over the miles.
That crack exists because the seatbacks fold forward to extend the trunk space, which is fairly shallow, with only 7.4 cubic feet. Overall, the rear seat sends heavy reminders that this is a coupe, not a sedan. You might even think of it as a four-seat 350Z.
The Infiniti G37 is rear-wheel drive like a BMW, not front-wheel drive like an Acura. It would be nice if there were an all-wheel-drive version of the G37 Coupe, as there is with the Sedan, but Infiniti says there's not enough demand. Maybe later.
Three hundred thirty horsepower is a lot to get out of a V6, but if any engine were made for it, it's the Nissan V6, which has won too many awards to list. Nissan engineers prove they have lost nothing, with this 3.7-liter version using an aluminum block and heads. That new VVEL, Variable Valve Event and Lift, is hydraulic-controlled variable valve timing and electronically controlled variable valve lift on the intake side, helping to improve not only performance and response but also emissions and fuel efficiency.
The engine makes 270 pound-feet of torque at a peaky 5200 rpm, and revs to a howling pitch at 7600 rpm, where the rev limiter begins to gently cut fuel. The power comes on smooth and quick, and doesn't snap your head because it still has 3616 pounds to carry. The engine has a unique howl, carefully created by the exhaust system; you can even hear it when a G37 rolls by at 20 mph. But you can't hear it from the cabin with the windows rolled up, because the G37 is insulated so well. You can hear it with the windows down, though, and the howl brings a smile to your face.
The five-speed manual automatic transmission, with or without paddle shifters, is wonderful. It positively demonstrates a difference in car-building philosophy between the Japanese and Germans, because this transmission obeys the driver, it doesn't rule the driver. Making it a relief and joy. It flawlessly does everything it's asked to do, and a bit more. Only a bit, and the right bit.
Move the stubby leather-wrapped shift lever to the left, and Sport mode is engaged. The upshifts come at higher rpm, and both upshifts and downshifts are sharper. But we found that the Manual mode is where we wanted to be, during sporty driving. Most of the time we stayed in plain old Drive, and drove casually, able to forget the transmission was even there.
Another difference between the Japanese and Germans is the direction the lever moves to make upshifts or downshifts. The G37 goes forward for upshifts, back for downshifts. The other direction, the European way, seems more natural to many, because it follows the physical forces on the body: upshifting back, downshifting forward. So the G37 might take some concentration to shift, if you've moved into it after selling your BMW with a manual automatic.
Another small dilemma with the shift lever is that you have to raise your elbow to clear the armrest in the center console. The optional steering-wheel paddles would cure that. They're huge, four inches long and arc-shaped, so your fingers can reach them even if your hands are on the steering wheel at 10 and 2 o'clock.
The 6MT Sport comes only with the six-speed manual transmission with upgraded synchronizers, tied to an improved clutch. Our drive took us into downtown Seattle, and pulling away from stop signs on steep hills, we missed BMW's system of holding the brakes for a couple seconds to allow time to engage the gas and clutch.
The six-speed shifted with short, tight throws and no notchiness. But you can't hurry the release of the clutch pedal after downshifting or the car will snatch. Mostly, the car's overall noise and vibration increase with the manual transmission. We like the five-speed automatic with the delicate and strong paddle shifters.
Our test model was a G37 Coupe with the Sport Package, including bigger brakes. They are super smooth, predictable, and rock steady, inspiring confidence. They're also sensitive, so you can't jump on them, just as you can't jump off the clutch pedal when downshifting.
The G37 uses a new chassis that's 36 percent stiffer, a bit lower, and has a wider track. The ride is excellent,.
The four-seat Infiniti G Coupe has been a winner from its beginning, and the second-generation G37 builds on the car's strengths. The re-sculptured styling loses some of its classic appeal, but it does look more contemporary. The legendary V6 is more powerful than ever, at 330 horsepower. The five-speed manual automatic transmission (with optional paddle shifters) deserves to win awards, like the engine has. The ride, even with the firmer Sport suspension, never jolts. The brakes are big and Sport brakes bigger. The electronic stability control is invisible as it keeps the car on the road. The navigation system is easy to use and offers detailed information about traffic conditions. The sound and climate control systems are blissfully simple to operate. Overall, the Infiniti G37 is a whale of a value.
Sam Moses filed this NewCarTestDrive.com report from the Columbia River Gorge.
Infiniti G37 Coupe ($34,250); Journey ($35,000); Sport 6MT ($35,550).
Options As Tested
Sport Package ($1850); 4 Wheel Active Steer ($1300).
Infiniti G37 Coupe ($34,250).
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