SEE ALSO: Infiniti Buyer's Guide
SPECIFICATIONS Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price $ 50,500 Price As Tested $ 59,345 Engine Type DOHC 32-valve 4.5 Liter V8 w/SMFI* Engine Size 274 cid/4494 cc Horsepower 340 @ 6400 RPM Torque (lb-ft) 333 @ 4000 RPM Wheelbase/Width/Length 113.0"/72.6"/199.6" Transmission Five-speed automatic w/ manual shift mode Curb Weight 4116 pounds Fuel Capacity 21.4 Tires (F/R) 245/ 45R18 v-rated Brakes (F/R) Disc (ABS)/disc (ABS) Drive Train Front-engine/rear-wheel-drive Vehicle Type Five-passenger/four-door Domestic Content N/A Coefficient of Drag (Cd.) 0.30 PERFORMANCE EPA Economy, miles per gallon city/highway/average 17/25/22 0-60 MPH 6.0 seconds 1/4 (E.T.) 14.5 seconds @ 98.0 mph Top-speed (Governed) 147 mph * Sequential multi-port fuel injection
(For years, the big Infiniti Q45 hasn't been accepted into the inner circle of luxury cars, says Bob Hagin. Matt Hagin says it just muscled its way in with 340 horsepower and more fancy trimmings.)
BOB - Infiniti has been the prestige line of Nissan for a dozen years now, and from the beginning, it hasn't been "up there" with the heavy-hitters of the luxury car niche. Its smaller sedans have been gussied-up front-drive Nissans and the line has never really clicked. A V8-powered, rear-drive Q45 has always been in the lineup but for whatever reason, the last version was reduced in overall size and the V8 engine was "downsized" in both displacement and horsepower. These facts, and its somewhat stodgy design, further diminished the Q45's stature.
MATT - The newest version of the Q45 is definitely not stodgy, Dad. The headlights alone differentiate it from most other cars on the road Each of them contain seven jewel-like lenses in the high-intensity discharge unit. The Infiniti press kit says its the most powerful automotive headlight system in the world and if that's true, I'm glad that I don't find too many of them coming at me at night on the highway. The overall length of the "new Q" is the same as the old version, but it seems to me that it has slightly less head room. But there's no getting around the fact that this new Infiniti is very luxurious and loaded with creature comforts. The front seats are armchair-comfortable and adjustable to all kinds of angles and heights. They're heated, of course, and so are the rear seats, which are also power-adjustable into a couple of different positions.
BOB - The mechanicals of the new version are very impressive, too. The all-aluminum 4.5-liter V8 uses twin overhead cams with four valves per cylinder and through the use of its own variable valve timing and variable-length intake system runners, it puts out 340 horsepower at 6400 revs and 333 pound/feet of torque. It has an automatic transmission, of course, but it's now a five-speed, up a notch from the last one. It has an automatic stick-shift mode too, which isn't all that new but it's fun to row this big car through the gears for a 0-to-60 mph time of six seconds. The suspension system is pretty standard stuff, with MacPherson struts and multi-link trailing arms and coil-over shocks. It handles great for such a big car and with its fancy electronically-controlled hardware, it would be hard to get into trouble. It has a traction control system that keeps the driving wheels from spinning out of control in snow and ice, and another system that cuts the engine power and applies braking if the driver gets into a dangerous sliding situation. The radar-controlled cruise control is high-tech and when it's engaged, it keeps the "Q" at a safe distance when it's approaching another vehicle from the rear.
MATT - Even the rearview mirror is modern wizardry, Matt. When the reverse gear is engaged, a small video camera just above the bumper "sees" what's immediately behind the car and it's shown on a dash-mounted display screen on the control panel. This touch-screen controlled panel also operates the six-disc audio system, the climate control devices for the front and rear seats and the single-DVD actuated navigational system. If the driver objects to smudgy finger prints on the panel, there's a row of buttons below it that do the same things. The steering is a bit numb at high-speed, although we didn't try it at the car's terminal velocity of 147 mph. Our test car came with Infiniti's $8000 Premium Package, which includes a system that tightens up the shocks with a "Sport" position for more spirited driving.
BOB - The thing I like best about this and all the previous Q45's is the round analog clock in the middle of the dash. It takes me back to the days before everything went digital. I wish they'd bring back more of those old-time auto items.
MATT - Sorry Dad, but "suicide doors" in back and vinyl tops are passe.