If traffic laws were more lenient, you could easily ignite a firestorm of tire smoke with the M56 every time you pull away from a stop sign. Not that I did, Officer. The country roads that lead from the office to my house lend themselves instead to showing off the M's gobs of power, poise, and precision. Its finely detailed interior showcases the latest array of Infiniti telematics, but there are way too many buttons and no easy way to discern which controls what. Once you get your bearings, though, everything works in concert. You've also got those amazingly sinuous wheel arches at the front corners. Pure beauty.
Two features, though, had me baffled.
I never pass up air-conditioned seats when offered, but the M's might be the first. On full blast, I could feel blasts of cold air rising from the seat up toward the steering wheel. Blame it on wide, flat seats (presumably to accommodate wide, flat American bottoms?).
But the most puzzling feature has to be the "eco" setting, Infiniti's killjoy switch. Flick the dial past "standard" mode, a green light appears on the dashboard, and-in the worst party trick in history -- Infiniti takes all the fun out of driving by artificially removing the pressure from the pedal. Womp! Yes, fuel economy jumps -- I gleefully watched it suffer in "sport" mode, by comparison -- but, realistically, it's so prohibitive that I questioned its worth.
- Jeffrey Jablansky, Associate Web Editor