BMW has its M line, Mercedes-Benz has AMG and even Cadillac has the V-Series, but now Infiniti is the latest automaker to offer a factory-tuned performance lineup with its newly released Infiniti Performance Line (IPL) models. The first model to debut this new performance is the 2011 Infiniti IPL G Coupe that was unveiled at the 60th annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Pricing has yet to announced, but the IPL G Coupe will go on sale this December.
The biggest change made to the IPL G Coupe is the fact that it now puts out numbers almost identical to the 2010 Nissan 370Z NISMO. While the base 2010 Infiniti G37 Coupe produced 330 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque from the 3.7-liter V-6, the IPL G Coupe improves these numbers to 348 hp and 276 lb-ft of torque. This increased engine output is due to the updated engine computer and a specially tuned, high-flow exhaust system that features larger diameter pipes for a 30 percent reduction of horsepower-robbing exhaust pressure. Shifting duties are done through either the six-speed manual transmission or the seven-speed automatic, and all models will likely be limited to rear-wheel drive.
'When you drive the IPL G Coupe, the first thing you notice is the surge in sound and acceleration feel. The inspiring swell of sound is in complete harmony with the acceleration feel as engine speed increases,'? said Infiniti Vice President Ben Poore. 'The sound is clean and inspiring, adding to the fun-to-drive sensation provided by the 348 horsepower under the hood.'?
Backing up the more powerful engine, Infiniti also upgraded the suspension and steering systems to give the IPL G Coupe better handling. The front and rear suspension have been stiffened up by 20 percent and 10 percent, respectively, compared to the stock G37 Coupe to give the IPL G Coupe a firm, flat ride. Infiniti also tuned the shocks to help balance the track abilities of the car with a smooth ride comfort that the car will likely see more often in everyday driving. The finishing touches for the Infiniti's initial IPL offering include a sport-tuned steering gear, a viscous limited-slip differential (VLSD) and upgraded sport brakes with aluminum four-piston (front) and two-piston (rear) calipers.
Visually, the IPL G Coupe stands apart from the standard G model thanks to a more aggressive body kit and exclusive exterior colors. Adding to the new styling of the 2011 G37, the IPL G sculpted front and rear fascias along with lower side sills and unique wheels. The IPL's unique 19-inch wheels feature a stylish split seven-spoke with a smoked, graphite-colored finish and are wrapped in staggered width (225/45R19 front and 245/40R19 rear) Bridgestone Potenza summer tires. Larger exhaust outlets and a decklid spoiler help finish off the car's exclusive look as do two new, IPL-only colors: Graphite Shadow and Malbec Black. A subtle IPL badge will also be added to the decklid and it features the 'IPL'? lettering with 'I'? accented in red and shadowed in violet - this badge will be used on all future IPL models, too.
All IPL models will feature leather interior with red-stitched accents, but on cars in Malbec Black and equipped with the automatic transmission, the IPL G Coupe will also an even more exclusive Monaco Red interior - the standard IPL cabin will feature a Graphite coloring. Aluminum foot pedals and Silk Obi aluminum trim on the instrument panel and center console will finish off the IPL's cabin. Standard equipment on all IPL G Coupe models will include a rearview camera, moonroof and Infiniti's hard-drive based navigation system with a 9.3-gigabye Music Box that plays through a Bose premium sound system.
'IPL was conceived to create a new premium performance envelope, going beyond equipment upgrades to accelerate the very soul of Infiniti's Inspired Performance,'? Poore said. 'IPL brings all the elements together, styling harmonized with performance, exhaust note with acceleration feel, ride comfort and confident handling. It's the perfect formula for unmatched driving exhilaration.'?
Although Infiniti confirmed that other models would join the IPL lineup, it did not give any specific details or timeline for new versions. Aside from the obvious IPL versions of the Infiniti G Sedan and possibly even the Infiniti G Convertible, souped-up versions of the Infiniti FX and Infiniti M would be great models to take on the Porsche Cayenne and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, respectively.