Nissan is launching its Inifniti luxury brand in Europe next year, where it will offer four models for sale: the G Coupe and sedan, the next-generation FX SUV and the all-new EX35. The EX35 will also be sold in the U.S., and fits into the Infiniti line right below the FX, intended as a competitor to the Acura RDX and BMW X3.
The new car is based on the G35/37 platform and also uses the 3.5-liter VQ-series V-6 engine from the G35 sedan, but here it is tuned to make over 290 horsepower. The transmission is a five-speed automatic and all-wheel drive is standard.
One of the crossover's cooler tricks is the Around View Monitor system. Four tiny cameras mounted around the vehicle provide a complete image of the car's surroundings. This is then displayed on the navigation screen using a top-down video game style viewpoint. A video from Infiniti shows the miniature cameras folding out of the car from the side mirrors and badges, Transformers style. Very slick.
Another piece of tech-geekery is the EX35's advanced paint process. The car has a special "self-healing" clearcoat, which can repair fine scratches over time. This is done by mixing a special highly elastic resin with the standard clearcoat. Sounds like a great idea, but we still plan on parking at the end of the grocery store lot.
There is no official word on pricing, but we expect the EX35 to be priced between the G and the FX - about $35,000, and you will see them on dealer lots by the end of the year. Infiniti's European launch kicks off by showing the EX at the 2008 Geneva auto show, and will continue as Infiniti opens dealerships city by city starting from the end of the year.