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Review

2003 Infiniti G35 Sport Coupe

Interior

The Infiniti G35 Sport Coupe features a luxurious, yet sporty interior. Material fit and finish is much better than on the Nissan 350Z and compares well to other luxury makes.

The standard sport-contoured front bucket seats are comfortable and grab the driver well during cornering. They are 10-way (6-way power) adjustable for the driver and 4-way (2-way power) adjustable for the passenger.

The back seat offers much more legroom and feet room than expected, but there's a distinct lack of headroom and it's snug on the outboard side. The rear is best used for small people or as an expanded cargo area. Open the passenger-side door, flip the seatback down, and the passenger seat automatically slides forward on the tracks for easier access. An additional release lever is located in the middle of the passenger seatback, making it easy for the driver or rear-seat passenger to flip the seatback forward.

Compared to the Nissan 350Z, the G35 Sport Coupe has a proper trunk. Though only slightly more than half the size of the sedan's trunk, the coupe's shallow cargo space can be expanded by folding the rear seat flat, which forms an even cargo space with the level of the trunk. A lip on top of the rear seatback helps keep stuff from flying forward under hard braking. The pass-through is narrow, however, to allow for the rigid chassis structure. Also, the trunk lid opening is small. Nonetheless, it works fine for a big suitcase or something long.

From a safety standpoint, every Infiniti G35 Sport Coupe comes with standard dual-stage front supplemental airbags with seat belt sensors, front seat side-impact supplemental airbags, and front and rear seat curtain side-impact supplemental airbags. Also standard are seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat anchors and tether system.

Technology

Engine & Transmission

The Infiniti G35 Sport Coupe is powered by the latest and strongest version of the VQ35DE 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6, a derivative of Nissan's ubiquitous VQ-engine series, which has been recognized as one of the "Ten Best Engines" by Ward's Auto World magazine for seven consecutive years. Fully built of aluminum, this V6 has been upgraded slightly for use in the Sport Coupe to produce a total 280 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 270 lb-ft (366 Nm) of torque at 4,800 rpm, an increase of 20 hp and 10 lb-ft over the G35 Sedan. The VQ35DE features a long list of advanced systems like continuously variable valve timing control, micro-finished crank journals and cam lobes, and molybdenum coated lightweight pistons. It also features a "noiseless" timing chain for silent operation and an electronically controlled "drive-by-wire" throttle system.

The power plant is mated either to an advanced 5-speed, electronically-controlled automatic transmission with a manual shift mode or a 6-speed manual transmission.

Suspension

Based on a four-wheel multi-link setup, the G35's suspension uses two separate lower links and a long upper link up front to minimize alignment changes. A design separating the shock absorbers from the springs by locating the former inline with the wheel center, in the rear helps reduce suspension friction and wind-up motion of the axle during acceleration. Intended to provide a smoother and more comfortable ride, the suspension utilizes aluminum components for reduced unsprung weight, and incorporates "ripple control" shock absorbers with damping control lips to suppress high-frequency, micro-amplitude vibrations. The G35 Sport Coupe features more aggressive suspension tuning than the sedan and comes with 225/50VR17 tires in front and P235/50VR17 tires in the rear. 18-inch wheels with high-performance tires are optional.

Brakes

Decelerating the Infiniti G35 Sport Coupe are four-wheel vented discs, sized 11.7 x 0.9 in. (300 x 23 mm) up front and 11.5 x 0.6 in. (290 x 15 mm) in the rear. They are coupled to a 4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), to distribute the brake force depending on load condition (passengers and cargo), and Brake Assist, which senses hard or panic pedal application and to provide maximum braking capacity.

High-performance Brembo brakes are standard on models equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission.

Chassis

The Infiniti G35 Sport Coupe is based on Nissan's FM (for front mid-ship) platform, which positions the engine behind the front axle. This results in an optimized front-to-rear weight balance of 53:47, which factors in weight transfer during key handling maneuvers, such as entering and exiting corners. The FM platform also positions the wheels and tires out near the corners of the vehicle, providing an extra measure of handling stability.

Laser-welded roof- and body-side-panels and a dual bulkhead engine compartment construction improve structural rigidity and enable the entire body to function as a damper for vibrations.

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