Hey, it's spring, so even though it was cloudy and only 53 degrees this morning, I lowered the G37's fully automatic hard top and drove the six miles to work al fresco. It takes about 20 or 25 seconds to put down the top and about the same to bring it back up, using a well-marked button on the center console. The seat heater worked quickly, and with the two front side windows up, I was quite comfortable. Once I reached town and 35-mph speeds, I lowered all of the windows. I had no problems hearing the Diane Rehm Show, and then I switched to WKAR Classical from Michigan State University, and it was coming through nicely, too, despite the loss of a predictable acoustic environment.
As Automobile Magazine's West Coast editor, Jason Cammisa, noted after he drove the G37 droptop on the media launch event in Beverly Hills, the automatic transmission does wonders to smooth out the roughness of Infiniti's 3.7-liter V-6. I zoomed up to 100 mph and, although the G37 feels pretty heavy (it weighs 4095 pounds), this powertrain provides plenty of performance for most sun worshippers. You can bump the gearshift lever to the left to select manual mode and then shift using the steering wheel-mounted paddles, but that can get old quickly--as it does for me in pretty much any paddleshift car. I prefer standard automatic mode, which works really well here. I did my standard 100-mph acceleration run on a secluded freeway on-ramp, one that requires some quick braking before a gradual corner, and the brakes seemed well up to the task, with good pedal response.
The G37 convertible feels pretty tight and rigid, although neither door closes with a particularly good-sounding "thump"; it's more of a hollow crunch. The G37 sure does look good, in any case, and that's the main concern of convertible buyers, no?
Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor