Lexus might sell more cars, but the new G35 is proof that Infiniti has a better handle on styling than Lexus does. Sedans and coupes from the Nissan-owned marque have always appeared prettier, more cohesive, and more aggressive --and the 2007 version of Infiniti's 3-series fighter is no exception. The redesigned four-door arrives in November, and although the coupe won't be redone until next year, it's almost certain to carry over a great deal of the sedan's styling cues.
The newest iteration of the G35 is again available with rear- or all-wheel drive; power is transmitted through either a five-speed automatic with Infiniti's Adaptive Shift Control programming, or a close-ratio six-speed manual. Unlike BMW's 3-series, however, the G35 offers a standard rear viscous limited-slip differential on all sport package cars, regardless of transmission chosen. It may not be enough to sway the most enthusiastic of drivers, but it's a welcome feature on almost any sport sedan, and a step in the right direction.
Under the hood, the fourth generation of the Nissan/Infiniti VQ-series 3.5-liter V-6 boasts a bumped up compression ratio, a redline that's 900 rpm higher, and refined intake and exhaust systems. Power subsequently rises to an estimated 300-plus hp. The four-wheel multi-link independent suspension has also been redesigned, and a new speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering gear comes along for the ride.
Inside, the G35's interior has been the subject of much attention, with a much warmer approach prevailing. The aluminum-alloy accents throughout the cabin have been softened in texture, and the overall feeling approaches the dedicated, "driver's cockpit" feeling of earlier BMW and Volkswagen offerings. A claimed audiophile-quality Bose stereo and real-time XM radio traffic reports are also available.
The G35 represents almost one in every three Infinitis sold in the United States, and is by far the company's volume leader. The previous-generation four-door was one of the few cars that spoke to the German competition on truly level ground, and it provided a combination of interior quality and dynamic response that few Japanese sedans had approached before. Hopefully, the Infiniti's inherent goodness won't be diluted in the attempt to further refine the car.