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2013 Infiniti IPL G Coupe Road Test And Review: Introduction
Screaming along the twisting, undulating canyon road in Infiniti's IPL G Coupe, we’re smiling broadly and thinking, "Man, Infiniti's really on to something here!"
The initialism “IPL” stands for Infiniti Performance Line, which is the unwieldy moniker Nissan’s premium brand has affixed to the cars it tweaks for higher performance. The idea is to give Infiniti buyers a step up from its Sport models while still slotting in as a more reasonably priced bridge to BMW's M, Cadillac's V, Audi's S, and Mercedes-Benz's AMG cars. Given Infiniti’s cars already offer significant bang for the buck performance-wise, tweaking them potentially adds considerable value to the proposition.
The first car to wear the violet and red IPL logo was the 2011 IPL G Coupe and frankly, the modifications do make a difference. The IPL Coupe handles better, sounds more aggressive, revs more freely, and boasts an additional 18 horsepower — along with six more pound-feet of torque.
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2013 Infiniti IPL G Coupe Road Test And Review: Models And Prices
Essentially, the IPL G Coupe is a fully loaded G37 Sport Coupe with every G37 Coupe option fitted as standard equipment. Completing the IPL package is a more powerful engine, a freer breathing dual exhaust system, more aggressive suspension tuning for even more tenacious handling, front and rear aerodynamic enhancements to keep all of that newfound power on the ground, and unique IPL badging.
Other differentiating features from the standard G37 Coupe include two exclusive exterior colors. Malbec Black, (maroon-ish black) which is combined with a Monaco Red leather interior; or Graphite Shadow exterior paint with either a black leather interior or the Monaco Red — which is a new development for the 2013 model year. Previously the only interior color choice with the Graphite Shadow paint was black.
Pricing starts at $50,500 for the six-speed manual equipped IPL G Coupe and $52,400 for the seven-speed automatic. For 2013, if you go with the six-speed manual, you’re no longer locked into the Graphite Shadow color, as you were when the model was introduced back in 2011. You can now pair the manual transmission with the Malbec Black paint.
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2013 Infiniti IPL G Coupe Road Test And Review: Design
To get from standard G37 Coupe to IPL G Coupe, Infiniti’s product planning team got together with the engineering group and came up with a new aero kit featuring new front and rear bumper/fascia designs. Highlights include integrated fog lights and black finishers; there are also sculpted side sills, a rear spoiler and chrome exhaust tips.
Rather than looking “tacked on” however, each part was shaped to both compliment and accent the standard G Coupe's already handsome and distinctive styling.
The look is crowned, (or rather “grounded” if you will) with a set of IPL exclusive 19-inch split seven-spoke graphite-finish wheels, wearing extra-sticky low-profile Bridgestone Potenza RE050A performance tires.
All told, the IPL G Coupe is posed with a confident stance and much attitude.
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2013 Infiniti IPL G Coupe Road Test And Review: Comfort And Cargo
The IPL G Coupe’s interior is designed to compliment the exterior styling. As we mentioned before, there are two color treatments – Graphite (black) and Monaco Red. Both IPL G Coupe interiors include red-stitched leather-appointed front Sport seats with power torso and thigh support adjustment for the driver. There is also a fat-rimmed red-stitched steering wheel, and Silk Obi aluminum trim. The trim is complemented by a set of aluminum pedals — including the dead pedal for the left foot.
The driver’s seat is electrically adjustable 12 ways, while the front passenger seat is electrically adjustable eight ways. The front passenger seat also features an adjustable thigh support extension (manually operated). Both front seats are heated and cooled.
When it comes to cargo space, the trunk is a bit on the small side at 7.4 cubic feet, although the rear seats do fold to permit more carrying capacity. However, since the G Coupe uses a trunk rather than a hatchback design, taller items have a tendency to challenge the Infiniti’s cargo capabilities.
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2013 Infiniti IPL G Coupe Road Test And Review: Features And Controls
The standard IPL G Coupe feature set is comprised of the top-line Infiniti Studio on Wheels by Bose premium audio system, the Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System, which also stores music for playback through the audio system. The Infiniti Voice Recognition system permits spoken interaction with the telematics system. One of the many remarkable things about the G Coupe’s telematics interface is the abundance of redundant input options; a choice of either voice, buttons on the dash, or interacting with the touch screen can operate most of its features.
There is also a memory system for storing the pre-set positioning of the driver's seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors. Driver’s aid systems include Rear Sonar. To add an airy feeling to the cabin a moonroof is also standard equipment. Of course, all of this goodness is in addition to the 2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe’s standard automatic xenon headlights, foglamps, heated mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, cruise control, and dual-zone automatic climate control.
But wait, there’s even more — you’ll also find a folding rear seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel (which, by the way, is paired with a tilting instrument cluster), and a center-mounted touch-screen color video display. There is also Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity as well as a rearview camera. The entertainment system is comprised of a six-disc CD changer, a DVD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack, and an iPod/USB audio interface.
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2013 Infiniti IPL G Coupe Road Test And Review: Safety And Ratings
The long list of standard safety and security features includes anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control and an advanced air bag system with dual-stage supplemental front air bags, seat belt sensors, and an occupant classification sensor.
The latter considers the weight of the passenger when deciding whether or not to deploy an airbag during a crash. This is to protect children from experiencing the full brunt of an airbag deployment. There are also roof-mounted curtain side impact air bags for both the front and rear-seat outboard occupants, in addition to front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags.
Additionally standard are three-point seat belts with locking retractors. The front seat belts are fitted with pretensioners and load limiters. There are also driver and front-passenger knee bolsters, front seat active head restraints, and the LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren).
The Infiniti IPL G Coupe (as does all Infiniti G Coupes) also features zone body pre-determined crumple zone construction with energy-dispersing side structures, breakaway engine mounts, and a breakaway driveshaft. There is also a slide-away brake pedal assembly to help reduce lower leg injuries in a severe crash.
In crash testing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the 2013 Infiniti G Coupe with its highest score of "Good" for frontal offset and side impact protection. The luxury-Sports coupe earned the IIHS’s second-best "Acceptable" score in roof strength.
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2013 Infiniti IPL G Coupe Road Test And Review: Engine/Fuel Economy
A 3.7-liter double overhead cam V6 engine powers the IPL G Coupe. Power output is rated at 348 horsepower and 276 ft-lbs of torque. This is up from 330 and 270 in standard G37 applications. This was achieved by recalibrating the engine management system to take advantage of the freer flowing dual exhaust system. The first true dual exhaust system to be fitted to a G Coupe, its larger diameter pipes and reworked muffler system also resulted in deeper exhaust note than the already delicious G37’s.
In addition to raising the horsepower peak of the engine to 7,400 rpm (up from 7,000) its torque curve was tuned to become more linear by the recalibrations—making the engine pull more strongly over a broader band of its rev range. The visceral result is more acceleration in the mid-range, however, as you wind the engine more tightly; it also starts to feel a bit congested near the top of the rev range.
Further, some harshness has crept into the VQ’s game when it’s run really hard. Sadly, Nissan’s highly vaunted VQ-series engine, once hailed as a paragon of smoothness and power, has seemingly reached the end of its development capabilities, as it has been surpassed by other manufacturer’s V6 engines in terms of both output and smoothness.
The EPA estimates fuel consumption at one gallon for every 19 miles traveled in the city and 27 on the highway — with the seven-speed automatic transmission. With the six-speed manual, the engine is estimated to be capable of propelling the IPL G Coupe 17 miles per gallon of premium unleaded consumed in the city and 25 on the highway.
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2013 Infiniti IPL G Coupe Road Test And Review: Driving Impressions
Thanks to the front mid-engine layout of the Infiniti’s FM platform (as well the suspension modifications incorporated to achieve the IPL spec) handling is absolutely sublime. While all-wheel drive is available for the G37 Coupe, the IPL G Coupe is a rear-drive proposition only.
Spring rates are increased by 20 percent for IPL specification; lighter weight 19-inch wheels and more aggressive shocks are also specified. The suspension revisions made to the G37 for the IPL configuration really do improve handling while maintaining the G37 Coupe’s status as a comfortable grand tourer. On the attack through a stack of back-to-back switchbacks, it’s easy to sense where the extra money was spent. Body roll is reduced significantly; the car sticks with considerably more tenacity, and booting the throttle in the middle of a turn brings the rear end around nicely and crisply.
In fact, driven one after the other, the G37 Sport actually feels floaty in comparison to the IPL G Coupe, and the G37 Sport could never have been previously described as floaty. The IPL G tracks nicely at speed on the highway and its overall demeanor inspires a great deal of confidence, regardless of the situation.
Few cars can match the alacrity of the IPL G Coupe on the road.
However, as we touched upon earlier, the 3.7-liter version of Nissan’s V6 engine as fitted to the IPL G Coupe, while delivering excellent power and torque, is one of the least delightful iterations of the engine to drive. Now this is not to say it’s terrible; it just isn’t as satisfying as earlier versions of the engine — when compared to its more contemporary competitors from other makers. Acceleration is still quite strong however, and the VQ continues to be one of the best pulling engines available.
As you might expect, the IPL G Coupe does ride a bit more stiffly than the standard G Coupe and, in fact, the G37 Sport Coupe as well. However, it is still capable of comfort and smoothness in around town situations — unless you’re really sensitive, you probably won’t mind the tradeoff much, especially if you love to corner aggressively.
The six-speed manual transmission shifts crisply, its gates are well defined and the shift lever flows from one to the other seemingly on its own. Clutch effort is a tad on the high side compared to similar V6 configurations of similar output and it engages a bit on the abrupt side, but you’ll get used to it over time. The seven-speed automatic shifts cleanly, but we never really developed a fondness for the way it works in the manual mode. Upshifts are a bit on the jerky side, although downshifts are clean, and delivered with rev-matching throttle blips.
The steering is nice and precise with good linearity; the same can be said for the braking system, which accommodates modulation quite readily. All in all, the IPL G Coupe is a delightful car to drive.
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2013 Infiniti IPL G Coupe Road Test And Review: Final Thoughts
With the IPL G Coupe, Infiniti has taken one of the nicest six-cylinder luxury sport coupes available and made it a touch more aggressive and considerably better equipped than it was previously. Interestingly, when the IPL G Coupe was introduced back in 2011, one of the big selling points was that all of its goodness could be had for under $50,000.
Well, that’s changed.
And, as much as we like the G Coupes in general, they are starting to become a bit long in the tooth. This is evidenced in no small measure by the harshness the VQ engine is starting to exhibit as Infiniti (nee Nissan) tries every standard trick to keep the engine competitive.
We won’t be terribly surprised to see a sneak peek at an all-new G Coupe sometime within the next year or two.
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2013 Infiniti IPL G Coupe Road Test And Review: Pros And Cons
• Excellent handling
• Luxuriously equipped
• Strong engine
• Wonderful exhaust note
• Abundant tech features
• Engine harshness at redline
• Platform aging (albeit gracefully)
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