You could boil down the upgrades the Infiniti Performance Line gives to the G37 into three areas: the exterior design, the engine, and the suspension. Unfortunately, I’m not necessarily sure the hopped-up G37 excells in any of them.
The G37 convertible was already a gorgeous car (in both top-up and top-down states), but the addition of an aggressive front fascia and comically wide rear tailpipes skews the car’s exterior look too close to boy-racer territory.The engine is wonderful as usual, but it’s difficult to feel any power gains in a convertible hardtop with such a hefty curb weight (the IPL G convertible weighs 4189 pounds, 408 pounds more than a comparable IPL G coupe). It’s also coupled to a seven-speed automatic transmission that throttle-blips on downshifts but still prefers to be babied, not hustled. The exhaust system is louder, which is usually better, but it also lets some of the VQ-series V6’s harsher notes come through, and the stock exhaust sounded excellent in the first place.The suspension — exclusive to the IPL G Convertible — is stiffer than even the G37 convertible’s optional sport suspension, which makes for a busy ride over unkempt roads, especially with the top down. At 45 mph on a lightly bumpy road, the rear-view mirror becomes useless.
What I’m getting at is this: the IPL G Convertible’s upgrades do little to improve the G37 convertible, and are almost completely unnecessary for one reason: the G37S Convertible is all the car you need. You’ll drive a bit slower in a G37S, but you’ll also ride a bit more comfortably and enjoy the car’s audible and visual experience all the more without the distraction of IPL’s go-faster bits (and the $6350 cost). The Infiniti G37S is the pinnacle of top-down Infiniti motoring, so there’s no need to risk making it worse in by trying to make it sportier.
Ben Timmins, Associate Web Editor
Generally, in a car where the top goes down, there’s a tradeoff in the quality of the sound coming from the audio system. It’s not so bad in roadsters, but with a four-seat convertible, the stereo performance is often so bad that you may as well just have it off. So I was shocked at how great the Bose system performed in the IPL G convertible with the top down. It was as if you were inside a hardtop, even at higher speeds. Nicely done Infiniti/Bose.
Kelly Ryan Murphy, Creative Director
I took a friend out to dinner, and he couldn’t help but to notice how awful the G Convertible’s proportions were. The flowing bodywork that looks muscular on other Infiniti models comes off as bulbous here, due to the long rear deck and wide track. The roof, too, looks more like an aftermarket job than a manufacturer’s execution, with its clearly visible seams (the white paint on our tester didn’t help). Speaking of the top, it’s action is painfully slow – you’ll never be dropping the top at a stoplight – and turns the trunk into a comically small space roughly the width of an Amazon Kindle.
Like other G37 models, the IPL convertible drives well. The V-6 is enthusiastic in noise and acceleration, the transmission is smooth, and the car is still quite nimble despite the added weight from the convertible top. But it’s hard to recommend the G over something like the BMW 335i, which may not be any better looking but is much more useable.
Donny Nordlicht, Associate Web Editor
The G37 IPL may be more car – more power, more performance, more noise — than many convertible buyers want or need, but it was a big hit with managing editor Jackie Guenther’s teenage son and his friend when I parked it in their driveway on Saturday night. With the top down, the red leather interior seats on our test car contrasted dramatically with the black dash and the white exterior, and the graphite-finish aluminum wheels added to the car’s sporty appearance. With the top up, the styling isn’t as successful, but that’s a common tradeoff with hardtop convertibles, which with the top up tend to look more awkward than their softtop counterparts.
The G37’s V-6 is known for being somewhat raw, with more vibration and less refinement than the six-cylinder engines in the G37’s chief rival, the BMW 3-Series. Not surprisingly, that rawness is accentuated in the IPL, with its extra dose of power, a sport suspension, and nineteen-inch wheels. On smooth roads the G37 IPL was great fun to drive. Uneven surfaces do this car no favors, however, as the combination of a stiff suspension and low-profile tires means you can feel every bump.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor
2013 Infiniti IPL G37 convertible
MSRP (with destination): $61,495
PRICE AS TESTED: $61,495
3.7-liter DOHC V-6
Horsepower: 343 hp @ 7400 rpm
Torque: 273 lb-ft @ 5200 rpm
WHEELS AND TIRES:
19-inch aluminum wheels
225/45WR-19 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A front tires
245/40WR-19 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A rear tires
FUEL ECONOMY (city/highway/combined):
Cargo (top up/down): 10.3/2.0 cu ft
Legroom (front/rear): 43.9/27.2 in
Headroom (front/rear): 39.4/34.5 in
Moonlight White/Monaco Red
IPL sport suspension
Magnesium shift paddles
14.7:1 sport steering ratio
Sport brakes w/4-piston front and 2-piston rear calipers
19-inch aluminum wheels w/graphite finish
IPL high-flow dual exhaust
Power retractable hardtop
Leather seats and steering wheel w/unique stitching
8-way power climate-controlled front seats
Automatic dual-zone climate control
Keyless entry and ignition
Power tilt-and-telescopic steering column
Chrome front grille
Aluminum kick plates
Navigation w/traffic and weather updates
Bose Open Air sound system
SiriusXM satellite radio w/3-month trial subscription
Automatic HID headlights
OPTIONS ON THIS VEHICLE:
KEY OPTIONS NOT ON THIS VEHICLE:
Midnight Black grille- $365
Rear wind deflector- $545
The IPL G convertible has 18 more hp and 6 more lb-ft of torque than a standard G37 convertible.