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Infiniti G37 Coupe- Road Test Review

2008 Infiniti G37: A Car-Lover's Coupe
by Jessica Howell

For years, I've longingly caught glimpses of the tapered Infiniti G35 rear as it sped past me on the expressway. Now, cruising Seattle in a 2008 Infiniti G37, I'm reaping the sweet rewards of automotive journalism. Tucked behind the wheel of the seductively sleek coupe, I'm reveling in the feel-good speed of Nissan's luxurious brand, and enjoying the 12.5 percent horsepower boost that the feisty, new G37 coupe holds over sibling G35.

2008 Infiniti G37- 3/4 viewTake a glance at the two Infiniti models and from the outside, an untrained eye wouldn't see too great a difference even though the two share not one body panel. The improvements, which stem from the success of the sporty but sophisticated G35, add a bit more oomph to the coupe and include: a new 3.7 Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) engine that churns out 330 horsepower, new brakes (that boast mammoth rotors), new chassis, fresh interior design and a more streamlined exterior finishing. These perks, alongside improved handling, are what Infiniti is hoping will set the G37 apart from its luxury coupe competitors-most notably the BMW 3 Series Coupe and Mercedes-Benz CLK Coupe.

"This is a sexy segment," says Infiniti Senior Manager Steve Tomaso, "But it's not huge." It's for that reason that Infiniti aims to cater to these "passionate performance seekers" with plenty of luxury, power, an array of creative touches and a plethora of available packages and add-ons.

According to research, the bulk of buyers cite the most important feature of the G35 as its "fun to drive" nature. Does the G37 live up to that standard? Without a doubt. Available in three trims, the Coupe, Coupe Journey and Coupe Sport 6MT, Infiniti's all-new G37 boasts either a 5-speed automatic transmission (with DS mode and available magnesium paddle shifters) or a 6-speed manual for traditional sport driving.

Tap on the gas and the G37 springs into action, a pleasant-sounding roar from the world's first application of the new engine. Of course, the G37 follows in traditional Infiniti style offering a smooth ride with easy handling and a 36 percent stiffer platform. As we sped along the curves of Puget Sound, the coupe proved to be just what we expected-an impressive ride that is indeed fun to drive and adds another rival to the line up of luxe sports coupe competition.

Does the G37 outrank the BMW 3 Series in performance as Infiniti hopes? Not quite-but it does offer unmatched styling hands down and plenty of attitude on the road. That said, I believe that Infiniti has created the ideal car for their own unique audience.

2008 Infiniti G37- Interior Step inside the car and passengers will notice a new interior that draws from, and rises above that of the G35. Cool white and violet instruments take the place of former red and black, while a new standard color display is present in the center console, sporting the brand's signature analog clock.

Rice paper inspired aluminum trim, a nod to Infiniti's Japanese heritage, decorates the interior and successfully blends with soft leather upholstery (standard; choose wheat, graphite or stone) to create a sophisticated space for driving or riding. The optional new Infiniti Studio on Wheels by Bose punches up audio with an 11-speaker system, fully integrated iPod connectivity (an iPod charger is built in) and an audiophile quality head unit. Individual options such as a power moonroof, performance tire and wheel package, rear spoiler, genuine African rosewood trim (Journey model only) and the fore-mentioned 4WAS (Sport models only) are also available to add-on.

Complete packages include the Technology Package (Intelligent Cruise Control, pre-crash seatbelts), the Navigation Package (touch screen nav, XM real-time traffic info), Sports Package (19" alloy wheels, performance tires, sport brakes) and the Premium Package (power moonroof, Infiniti on Wheels by Bose, iPod connection, Bluetooth, etc.) Base price for the G37 Coupe is $34,250, with pricing for a well-equipped Sport6MT still coming in under $40,000. Not too bad for a car that's guaranteed to capture stares wherever it attractively zips.


Description: Mid-size luxury sports coupe
Model options: G37, G37 Journey, G37 Sport 6MT
Engine size: DOHC 3.7-L V6 VVEL
Transmission: Auto/5, Manual/6
Wheelbase: 112.2 inches
Overall length: 187.0 inches
Rear/front drive: RWD
Steering: Rack and pinion
Braking: Power 4-disc
Air bags: 2 (front), 2 (side), 4 (side curtain)
EPA: M/6: 17/26 mpg, A/5: 18/24 mpg
MSRP: G37: $34,250, G37 Journey: $35,000, G37 Sport 6MT: $35,550