2008 Infiniti G37 Sport Review
2008 INFINITI G37 SPORT
A Cool New Coupe
By Steve Purdy
...if you’re a performance sports coupe kind of guy/gal take a look at this one.
After reviewing a spate of luxury cars these past few weeks it was a real pleasure, or more accurately a thrill, to spend a few days with this wonderful new Infiniti G37 Sport, replacement for the venerable G35 we liked so well. It’s a bit more sophisticated, great looking, excitingly fast, crisp handling, though a bit cramped, at least for this big guy. Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive this well-balanced 2+2 coupe is just arriving at Infiniti dealers.
The G37 comes in three iterations: the G37 Coupe starting at $34,250, the Coupe Journey at $35,000 and the Sport 6MT at $35,500. The latter, our test car, comes with the 6-speed stick, 19-inch wheels shod with Bridgestone Potenzas, firmer spring and damper settings, quicker steering, 14-inch front brake rotors with 4-piston calipers emblazed with the Infiniti name and a viscous limited slip differential.
This new 330-hp, 3.7-liter V6 is an updated revision of the trusty and versatile 3.5-liter engine used in lots of Nissan and Infiniti products, including the huge Armada and Titan. It’s only 24-hp and only 2 lb.-ft. of torque up from the earlier engine, but it feels like more. This new mill features an 11:1 compression ratio and VVEL technology, that’s Nissan’s “Variable Valve Event and Lift” system which acts together with C-VTC (Continuous Valve Timing Control) like a throttle to meter the amount of air entering the combustion chambers. These systems are reported to reduce CO2 emissions by 10% and improve fuel efficiency marginally to 17-city and 26-highway. That wonderful V6 revs to 7500 rpm effortlessly. In fact we can get about 7700 before the rev limiter kicks in.
Our test car is a six-speed stick with a short-throw stubby shifter that fits nicely into my palm. It’s not easy to modulate the clutch and gas for smooth application of power without a little practice. It’s just so quick to respond to each input we must concentrate on technique to get smooth action. After a few days our technique improved enough to be able to run it through the gears without jerkiness.
Reaching the power seat controls, window buttons and mirror adjuster are rather tight and awkward because of the intrusion of the arm rest. Since this is a 2+2 the front seat backs must move forward and the seat belt is tethered through a plastic guide that doesn’t return to its positions very well. Though my pretty blonde rode across town in the back seat without complaint she is rather petite. I don’t think I could even get back there. Otherwise the G37 is as fun inside as it is out. The gauges are surrounded by an eerie purple light that we can manipulate to make other colors, if we knew how. Trim is a brushed aluminum, but the brush marks are going in all directions – Washi finish, they call it. Controls are mostly intuitive. Fit, finish and quality of materials are all very good.
Our friends at Edmunds thought the steering felt a bit vague, but it felt crisp, tight and precise to me. The only problem was the way it tended to follow groves in the pavement – literally jerking itself around without input from me. Diving into a 90-degree paved country turn was a real treat. Pushing it hard resulted in just enough slippage to let the high-performance tires chirp a bit before grabbing. Pushing just as hard through the cloverleaf freeway entrance made my pretty blonde gasp and giggle without being close to the limit. It corners as flat as a Michigan sod farm. Lateral acceleration is reported to be 0.89g – not a Corvette number but mighty close. The optional four-wheel active steering system is not a steer-by-wire system but takes input from various sensors to change the steering ratio and steer the rear wheels in phase with the fronts up to 1-degree.
We loved our time with the G37.If you’re a performance sports coupe kind of guy/gal take a look at this one.
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