Infiniti is the luxury division of Nissan North America. The company produced its first vehicles in 1990, with the trademark Q45 and lesser known M30. Since then, the company has worked hard to compete in the same class as Acura, Lexus, and even BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Infiniti has had a relatively small and uneventful history. In 1997, an Infiniti engine was used in an Indy car, properly titled the Infiniti Indy Racer. It participated in the 1999 24 hours of Le Mans. The only other time the name Infiniti made any dent in car news was with the new Skyline. After the end of the R34, hopes were high in North America that a version of the new R35 Skyline would be produced through Infiniti. Some, including myself, refer to the new G35 coupe as the new Skyline, as long as you equipped it with some aftermarket twin turbocharger. Some say that you should just twin turbo a 350Z and be happy that you got a Z and a semi-Skyline. That's essentialy what the 2001 Nissan GT-R concept was. Oh, except that concept was ugly as hell. The concepts were all horrible. At least the new 350Z turned out beautiful. Unfortunately, the fate of the awesome GT-R is yet to be determined today. I just hope that a great car is produced, to carry on the GT-R's name, whether it's through Infiniti or not.

Anyways, back to Infiniti. Seems Infiniti has made a blip on the car news radar again, with the G35 being chosen for Car and Driver's Top 10 list of 2003, the first year of its production. After winning the honor again in 2004, it seems that the G35 may be making a BMW 3-series-esque run for consecutive titles. We'll see how it goes.

Here is a list of production Infiniti models with their production years and a short synopsis on each (all prices are suggested starting prices in US dollars: (Updated 9/2004)

Current Models:

  • G35 sedan (2003- ) $28,150
    • A comfortable sedan with a 260hp engine that kicks. Quite popular around my area, and is selling much better than its predecesor, the G20.
  • G35 coupe (2003- ) $29,500
    • Quite the sexy animal, IMHO. This car comes packed with a slightly more powerful 280hp V6 and the same sassy short throw shifter if you choose to get the 6-speed manual.
  • I35 (2002- ) $36,600
    • The lesser of the G35, IMHO. It's a bit less sporty, but still has that Infiniti style. The new heated steering wheel is cute, but quite useless in the hot desert.
  • Q45 (1990- ) $55,900
    • Ahh yes. This beautiful beast is the only model that has been in production every year of Infiniti's existence. Of course, it has undergone several body and engine modifications. The new model is sleek, stylish, powerful, and a consideration against the BMW M5 and even Mercedes-Benz S500.
  • M45 (2003- ) $43,250
    • After more than a decade, the M has finally returned, and is nicer than ever. A 0-60 near flat 6 and some of Infiniti's best luxuries are all packaged together in this pricy 340hp muscle sedan.
  • QX56 (2004- ) $37,250
    • What can I say? It's a big generic SUV. What separates this distinctly larger car from the FX series is the three rows of seating, allowing 7 adults to ride quite comfortably in 188.4 cubic feet behind a 315hp V8. Comes in 2WD and 4WD.
  • FX35 (2003- ) $34,550; FX45 (2003- ) $44,675
    • The FX hit the market here in the 3.5L 280hp V6 trim and the big 315hp V8, both engines used in other Infiniti models. The technology inside these vehicles is worth a mention, including luxurious goodies like an intelligent key, XM radio, and an 11-speaker Bose system. Both come in All-wheel drive, and the FX35 has a RWD model available.

Past Models:

  • G20 (1991-96, 99-02)
      The "Integra" of Infiniti. Unfortunately, it's not as nice or as powerful for the teenager. Anyways, its basically the American version of the Nissan Primera. (thanks sailorDR)
  • I30 (1996-01)
      The medium luxury sedan, if you didn't have enough dough for the Q45.
  • J30 (1993-97)
      An older and slightly more "luxurious" version of the I30. Definitely not as good looking. Infact, it is quite ugly; sorry J30 owners out there, it really does look like that.
  • M30 (1990-92)
      The original coupe Infiniti released in its first production years. Also came in convertible from 91-92.
  • QX4 (1997-2003)
    • Infiniti's first shot at a SUV. It turned out ok, but is basically a more expensive Nissan Pathfinder, and I guess I would recommend the BMW X5 over this any day.

Future Models:

    No information right now. Seems my informants are slacking =)

Sources:
www.infiniti.com
www.kbb.com
www.caranddriver.com
www.automotivearticles.com/infiniti-nissan/
www.supercars.net
Things that I hear and my opinions about them

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