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2004 Infiniti G35 Coupe

by Jeff Voth
There are few cars that stir the soul of a long time sports car enthusiast such as me.

Nameplates sure to send a chill up my spine include Porsche, Acura, Lamborghini, Jaguar and Ferrari. All have a special place in my heart, due mostly to personal experiences I have enjoyed over the years. Remember the time when. on second thought, never mind.
2004 Infiniti G35 Coupe
I can now add Infiniti to my list of most enjoyable vehicles, as a recent extended test drive of the new G35 Coupe left me convinced that this is one of, if not the best, bang for the buck sport coupes on the market today.

Outwardly the Infiniti G35 Coupe is a study in simplicity. Infiniti refers to the shape of the G35 Coupe as Catamaran styling. There is nothing busy looking about the car at all. It's almost as if some highly intelligent alien being dropped a perfectly formed, streamlined miniature space ship with wheels on the road and hoped we could all jump in and enjoy the ride.

The G35 Coupe is so slippery in fact; it achieves a 0.29 coefficient of drag and zero lift front aerodynamics. With the addition of a functional rear spoiler and underbody diffusers, the G35 Coupe attains zero lift rear aerodynamics and lowers the coefficient of drag even further to 0.28.

High front fenders frame the hood to direct airflow over the car with minimal resistance. Vertical mounted headlights easily penetrate the night sky, while at the same time providing an excellent point of reference as to the car's position on the road. A deep-set hood further reduces drag and offers superb visibility.

Performance comes from a 3.5 liter V6 engine. If this sounds familiar, that's only because it is. Nissan employs this V6 engine in many different vehicles, including several within the status friendly Infiniti line-up. In the case of the G35 Coupe, it produces a hearty 280 hp at 6,200 rpm and 270 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm.

As befits a true sports coupe, the Infiniti G35 is rear-wheel drive. I say befits not to disparage any of the popular front-wheel, or all-wheel drive coupes on the market. On the contrary, the Acura RSX (FWD) and the Audi TT (AWD) are two of my favorites. But there is nothing like the sensation of throwing a rear-wheel drive car into a corner and letting the back end of the vehicle hang out a little to test the limits of adhesion.

Straight-line speed and cornering ability is exceptional, but what happens when you get it all wrong and have to stop in a hurry?

The G35 Coupe is equipped with 4-channel, 4-sensor ABS brakes that include Electronic Brake force Distribution, (EBD). EBD assists by applying additional force to the brakes where needed and bringing the car to a rapid and controlled halt. To further improve braking, the G35 Coupe offers optional BremboŽ brakes at all four corners. BremboŽ is a company synonymous for providing the best brakes to the finest automotive companies in the world.

2004 Infiniti G35 Coupe

Traction Control and Vehicle Dynamic Control also add to the mix of active safety features found in the G35 Coupe. Standard wheels consist of 6-spoke, 17" aluminum, while the 6-speed Coupe receives unique 7-spoke 18" aluminum wheels, which are also available as an option on the 5-speed automatic.

Surprisingly the Infiniti G35 Coupe weighs in at just over 3,400 lbs. This makes it over 600 lbs heavier than the aforementioned Acura RSX and 200 lbs. more than the Audi TT Quattro.

In most cases, a somewhat portly physique would have a negative impact on performance and handling. But in the case of the G35 Coupe, the extra padding translates into a positive feeling of solidity and quiet, without sacrificing drivability.

Inside, the simplicity of the design carries through. Infiniti chooses words such as modern, refined and ingenious to describe the interior. While all of these apply, my description would be businesslike. At the risk of sounding logical, a car is first and foremost meant for driving. So why then do so many vehicles try and woe us with the latest gadgets and gizmos and forget the obvious? I'm not sure.

The interior of the Infiniti G35 Coupe provides all the creature comforts we have come expect from the automobiles of today, but then takes the next critical step of getting out of the way to allow the driving experience to take center stage.

Infiniti G35 Coupe Interior
A 3-spoke brushed aluminum and black leather steering wheel houses stereo and cruise control switches. Tilt the wheel and the gauge pod adjusts with it, a commonsense but often missed feature.

The center console is also personalized with brushed aluminum and houses the heating and cooling controls, along with the standard 160-Watt, 6-speaker AM/FM cassette with stackable CD stereo system. Upgrade to the Premium package and Infiniti adds in a 222-Watt Bose® 8-speaker AM/FM 6-disc CD changer, dual-climate controls and a tinted glass power sunroof.

In a further nod to common sense, the G35 Coupe offers seating for four. In front, deep bolstered seats offer excellent hip and thigh support, while proper length seat cushions mean your legs won't fall asleep on a lengthy road trip. The driver's seat also provides a center bolster for added pedal feel, as well as power adjustments. In the back, rear passengers are treated to comfortable, tight seats, with a reasonable amount of head and leg room. Releasing the front passenger seat from behind causes it to glide forward, allowing for easy entrance and exit.

Of course power windows, mirrors, doors, etc., all come standard. Leather is available and highly recommended as it adds a refining touch to this well thought out interior package. Trunk space is very good for a two-door coupe. Given an unlimited pocket book, I would probably choose to own something from the likes of Porsche or Ferrari. However, if my choice had its price limitations, and believe me it does, the Infiniti G35 Coupe is definitely on the "A" list. It's attractive, fast, and incredibly comfortable, plus it's built by a company with a lengthy record for reliability.

Is this as good as it gets for a sport coupe? No probably not. But it sure is close enough to keep the Infiniti G35 Coupe at the top of the heap for quite some time. Now if I could just find that highly intelligent alien visitor I referred to before; I have a few ideas for a new pickup truck.

Description: Sport Coupe
Model options: Sport Coupe Leather
Sport Coupe Leather 6MT
Wheelbase: 112.2 inches
Overall length: 182.2 inches
Engine size: 3.5 liter V6
Transmission: 6MT, Automatic/5
Drive: rear drive
Braking: Power 4-disc, ABS/EBD
Air bags: 2 (front) 2 (side)
Fuel mileage city/hwy: Manual- 18/26
Automatic- 20/27
MSRP: GS Sport Coupe Leather- $ 31,800
GS Sport Coupe Leather 6MT- $ 32,700

Click here for more information on the Infiniti G35 Coupe.
For the Infiniti 2004 Model Guide : Click Here