2011 Infiniti G37 Coupe IPL

The Infiniti G37 has always been, in essence, the best BMW 3-series money can buy, with the possible exception of a BMW 3-series. The IPL version tows the same line, only its target is the $51,100 335is. Like the sporty version the 3-series coupe, the IPL package includes a substantial, if not mind-blowing power gain (18 hp, versus 20 hp in the 335is), and a slightly more sporty suspension (unique to the IPL for Infiniti, shared with an option package on the regular 335i for BMW).

No surprise, the general feel of the IPL relative to the regular G37 is comparable to the difference between the 335is and 335i. The G37 already goes like stink, grips hard in curves, and generally feels like a true sports car, rather than a mere sporty coupe. The IPL isn't definitively faster so much as it's sharper. Engine response is bit more immediate, and the steering wheel feels a bit more connected to the front wheels. The BMW box the IPL can't check is "awesome soundtrack." The 335is, with its sport exhaust, is roll-down-your-windows good. The IPL's VQ V-6 makes due with inoffensive - an achievement considering how thrashy it is in other models. Still, it's hard to complain about the power. We complained endlessly about the manual transmission in our four-seasons G37 coupe, but in this particular example I have only praise for the precise, short shift throws.

I'd need many hours of back-to-back driving to determine whether the IPL actually beats the 335is, but it's pretty clear that it at the very least comes pretty darn close, to the point that choosing one over the other would require a heavy dose of subjectivity.

David Zenlea, Assistant Editor

Infiniti's foray into the performance sub-brand game is pretty underwhelming. While the G37 IPL offers a host of upgrades over the base G37, Infiniti backed itself into a corner with the G37 Sport that's so similar to the IPL. So instead of a stiffer suspension, opposed-piston brakes, and a limited-slip differential, the only new novelty the IPL brings to the table is 18 hp and 6 lb-ft of torque and some bodywork. Like Phil Floraday, I don't discern a significant difference in daily commuting between IPL and G37, save for a slightly choppier ride. Don't let the modest change taint your impressions though, because the G37 is a great car to begin with. It steers precisely, roars under throttle, and corners flatly. And just like the base G37, the IPL is a hell of a value. Still, the G37 IPL isn't quite as seductive, smooth, or balanced as the BMW 335is. A new V-6 -- a much more refined, freer revving V-6 -- would go a long way in delivering the performance the G37 deserves.

Eric Tingwall, Copy Editor

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