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2003 Infiniti G35 Sedan


Imagine the early '90s. Nissan has just released one of the finest sports cars ever, the latest edition of its popular Z-Car, named 300ZX. Mazda introduces its beautiful, rotary-engined RX-7, while Mitsubishi amazes the world with its technology-laden, but heavy 3000GT and Toyota conquers the US-market with its still fabulous Supra twin-turbo.

Half a decade later, the RX-7 and 300ZX are gone. A year or two to go, and the 3000GT and Supra will have vanished, too! The only car left to enlighten the Japanese enthusiast's heart is the brilliant, but overly expensive Acura NSX, while the big companies bore us to death with a flood of their utterly reliable and oh so exciting Camrys, Accords and whatever else they are called. Great! Even better still, considering that on the other side of the Pacific just these manufacturers release one enthusiast's dream after the other. Does America want those Skylines, Type-Rs, EVOs and WRXs? Obviously, the manufacturers don't think so.

Now, here we are in Spring 2002. Subaru finally considers American consumers worthy of the WRX, Mitsubishi is about to sell its EVO VIII and Mazda plans to release the rotary-engined RX8 quite soon. Only Toyota seems to miss the trend of time, with no Supra replacement in sight.

But another Japanese player is more than willing to fill this gap. Throughout the last few years, Nissan and its luxury-division Infiniti have gathered the attention at several auto-shows around the globe with their Z-Car and XVL Concepts. Both cars are based on the same platform, featuring a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, and are intended to replace Nissan's all-time legends; the Z-Car and the Skyline. While the Z-Car should be an old fellow for most Americans, the Skyline might be more of a mystery to most. Famous especially for the several racing victories and championship-titles of its legendary GT-R version around the globe, the Nissan Skyline has always primarily been a sports-sedan, and in its latest iteration proves to be better than ever.

Time then for Nissan to give in to the begging and pleading of its American consumers, and ship the Skyline to the other side of the Pacific. Introducing the G35, Infiniti finally offers the sedan version of Nissan's flagship in Northern America, where it is to go head-to-head with the BMW 3-Series, Lexus IS 300, and Audi A4 in the highly contested near-luxury segment.


Considering the G35's role as a competitor to the BMW 3-Series, Acura TL Type-S, Lexus IS 300, and Audi A4, sportiness was an important issue during the development of Infiniti's new contender for the near-luxury class. Nissan's new FM-platform, also the basis for the Nissan 350Z and G35 Sport Coupe, should provide just the right ingredients for this venture.

Developed by Kazutoshi Mizuno, Nissan's former Le Mans and Group C team-manager and today's head of the V35 Nissan Skyline and Infiniti G35 design team, the FM (front mid-ship) -layout places the engine behind the front axle, as close to the car's center as possible, and thus ensures an almost ideal weight distribution of 52 to 48.

Providing the basis for a comparably long wheelbase of 112.2 inches (2850 mm) (longer even than that of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class), short front and rear overhangs and a low-slung bonnet, the new platform fundamentally supports the G35's bold styling.

Its aggressive and sporty silhouette make this car stand out from the crowd. The frontal appearance is dominated by distinctive, vertically oriented headlights with integrated fog-beams and turn-signals, and the characteristic Infiniti-grille. The hood (made of aluminum for reduced weight) blends smoothly into the sharply angled windshield to form a fluid side-line from the front fenders to the rear, which descends over the wide, BMW-like C-pillar to the shopped-off tail. Large windows accentuate the spaciousness of the cabin and provide good visibility from all seating positions. The rear sports BMW-inspired, L-shaped combination lamps with LED lights for bright visual recognition during braking, as well as a large trunk lid, which covers the biggest luggage compartment in this class. The optional rear-wing is aero-dynamically helpful, though optically more of a disturbance.

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