When Renault took over a then-failing Nissan, CEO Carlos Ghosn inventoried the brand’s assets to determine its strengths. In so doing, he discovered Nissan’s marvelously refined VQ series V6 engine. Free winding, extraordinarily smooth, powerful, tractable and blessed with the most exquisite exhaust sound this side of a Ferrari’s, Nissan’s V6 engine was a feat of engineering deserving of its own episode of the TV show “Modern Marvels”.
Recognizing the VQ for the jewel it was, Mr. Ghosn ordered the powerplant bolted into every Nissan and Infiniti engine bay capable of containing it. The result was a lineup of some of the most desirable automobiles on the market today.
The other thing that made Nissan’s rear-drive cars standouts was the front-midship or “FM” rear-drive platform layout debuted by the company in 2001. The FM layout places the engine’s center of mass behind the front axle’s centerline, moving it as close to the firewall of the vehicle as possible. This takes considerable weight off the front suspension, thus improving agility and steering response. Additionally, distributing the overall weight of the car more evenly between both the front and rear suspension systems typically results in a 50/50 weight balance, making rapid changes of direction more easily accomplished.
Further, because the weight is distributed more evenly, engineers can place the wheels as close to the corners of the platform as possible. This widens the stance of the auto, improving its overall stability. Suddenly you have all the advantages of rear-wheel drive, plus outstanding agility, exceptional stability, and a silky smooth engine—with a beautiful sound. That’s a recipe for a highly desirable sporting automobile. And so it was the Infiniti G35 came to the North American market in 2003 in Coupe and Sedan formats, with that exact configuration, to immediately become one of the most highly desirable car lines available.
All-wheel drive and hard top Convertible versions of the Infiniti eventually appeared, adding even more luster to its already gleaming halo. The G35 sedan was sold in North America from 2003 to 2008. The G37 iteration of the sedan was introduced in 2009, while the Coupe garnered G37 status a year before, in 2008. For 2011, a lower-cost variant of the sedan appeared with a smaller engine—yet strong appeal.