- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 19, 2003

The excitement that surrounded the new Nissan 350Z assured it would be noticed by nearly every auto enthusiast able to fog up a mirror. But what I wasn’t ready for was the exciting way the Infiniti version of the vehicle would attack the road.

But that is exactly the case with the Infiniti G35 Sport Coupe. As you would expect from Infiniti, the interior is well-designed. The exterior is also as stylish and attractive as an Infiniti should be.

Even though the G35 is based on the same platform as the Nissan, it is a much more refined vehicle.

This observation is mainly the product of the interior design and execution.

The instrument panel displays the gauges perfectly and the center stack with sound system and ventilation system is, once you are familiar with it, easy to use and matches the elegance of the car. In certain lighting conditions, some of the switches were a bit difficult to read, but for the majority of the time I spent behind the wheel I had no problem.

The navigation system screen pops up from its storage slot in the dash, so it can be hidden out of sight when not in use.

The front sport bucket seats are comfortable and hold you firmly in place. And when you tap into the exhilarating performance the G35 Coupe has to offer, you will be glad you are firmly planted in the seat.

Even though you will readily see this vehicle is equipped with rear seats, don’t even think of putting someone back there. Even with adjusting the driver’s seat to a barely comfortable position, there is no way on this Earth I could have climbed into that seat. It would best be left as the resting place of a couple of small duffel bags. Fold the rear seatbacks forward and you have plenty of room for all the luggage you and your passenger would need for an extended weekend of adventure.

Under the sleek sloping hood sets a powerful, yet smooth-running V-6 that puts its power to the job with no hesitation. Stomp on the throttle and the engine’s 280 horsepower and 270 foot-pounds of torque come to life like a freight train.

Accelerating from a stop, the G35 Coupe pulls strong and hard, shifting through the first four gears of the six-speed manual transmission. Fifth and sixth gears are for highway cruising, another exploit the Coupe does well. This is a car that is fun on country roads, yet is equally comfortable cruising highways across the country.

As you expect, this Infiniti has a wonderful sound system that will give your favorite music the unblemished treatment you would demand from your home system. But, quite frankly, I found myself turning it off to listen to the astonishing exhaust note this automobile creates.

There are very few automobiles that emit an exhaust note that reaches into your inner being to excite you; the G35 Coupe has just been added to my list.

Designers and engineers did things right in the execution of the G35 Coupe. Setting the engine as far rearward and as low as possible has accentuated the G’s abilities. Add the optional 18-inch tires and wheels, you get even better road-handling abilities. This is an automobile that will make both you and your passenger squeal with delight.

The suspension system is a compilation of various light-weight aluminum multilink components that offer the sporty handling. Brembo, the same company that provides braking components to many race teams and such exotic sports cars as Ferrari and Maserati, brings exceptionally good braking to the G35 Coupe. Ventilated rotors and massive calipers at all four corners bring the G to a quick and sure stop every time.

When Infiniti first announced it would add the G35 Coupe to its lineup, I thought it would appear wimped out and not up to the performance standards of a sport coupe. I am glad to say that I was, oh, so wrong. I was also anticipating a price tag that far exceeded the final suggested price.

My test vehicle with the added navigation system and the premium package was well under $40,000. In fact, it was below $37,000 and that, my friends, was the biggest surprise of all.

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