|Infiniti FX35 Engine||Infiniti FX45 Engine||Infiniti G20 Engine|
|Infiniti G35 Engine||Infiniti I30 Engine||Infiniti I35 Engine|
|Infiniti J30 Engine||Infiniti M35 Engine||Infiniti M45 Engine|
|Infiniti Engine||Infiniti Q45 Engine||Infiniti QX45 Engine|
|Infiniti QX56 Engine|
Nissan’s luxury brand, the Infiniti, was fist sold in North America in 1989 to compete with Toyota’s and Honda’s luxury brands, Lexus and Acura. The first model was the Q45t. Its four-wheel steering, active suspension and 278-horsepower V8 engine were comparable to full-sized luxury cars of the time, but its styling couldn’t compete with that of Toyota’s Lexus LS. From 1990-3, Infiniti produced the M30 coupe to compete with the Lexus SC. The M30 contained the VG30E, a single overhead cam, 12-valve head, 162-horsepower V6 engine with 182 foot-pounds of torque. The VG30E’s low horsepower made it a poor choice for a heavy-bodied sport coupe, however.
The G20, which debuted in 1991, was an entry level luxury car based on Nissan’s own Primera. The G20 engine was the 140 horsepower SR20DE. (In the name of this engine, the “20” signifies its 2.0-liter displacement capacity, the “DE” the dual overhead cams, and the “E” its electronic fuel injection). As it redlines at 7500 rpms and is responsive to improvements, this engine has proven quite popular among compact sports car enthusiasts.
Infinitis were slow to sell, perhaps due to interior styling that eschewed chrome and wood accents and an ad campaign that didn’t show the actual cars. By the mid-1990s the Q45 handled so poorly it was nicknamed “the Japanese Lincoln.”
The J30, introduced in 1992, featured a 22-horsepower VG30DE (3.0-liter, dual overhead cams, electronic fuel infection). In 1996, the J30 became the I30, but its 190-horsepower VQ30DE engine, thought it made Ward’s Ten Best Engines list from 1995-01, left the I30 as underpowered as the M30 had been.
In 1997 Infiniti released and SUV, the QX4, which was based on the Pathfinder. This made it one of the first mid-sized luxury SUVs on the market, predating Lexus’, Acura’s, and Mercedes Benz’s models.
1999 saw the revival of the G20 which, though pitched as a sports sedan, weighed far too much for its V4 engine, and was vastly outsold by the Acura Integra.
In 2002 the I30 got a more powerful engine, the 255-horsepower VQ35DE, and was renamed the I35. Sales were unresponsive. The same year saw a redesign of the Q45
In 2003 the G35 finally reversed Infiniti’s fortunes, becoming Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. A sport tuned version, the FX35/45, was later billed as a crossover utility vehicle and received all-wheel drive in 2004. The QX56, a larger SUV, also debuted in 2004. The G35 helped brand Infiniti as “The Japanese BMW.”
2003’s M45 had a VK45 DE engine, a dual overhead cam V8 good for 240 horsepower at 6400 rpm and 333 foot-pounds of torque at 4000 rpm and featuring SFI fuel injection, variable valve timing and a variable-flow induction system, suggesting Infiniti has learned its lesson regarding engine power car size/weight ratios. Unfortunately this car used a recycled body plan that was already several years old, and sold poorly. The redesigned 2006 version, however, was Consumer reports’ best luxury sedan that year, and the M45 replaced the Q45 as Infiniti’s flagship model in 2007. 2008 saw the introduction of the G37 coupe and the EX35 compact crossover. The EX 35 contains the same 3.5 liter, 306-horsepower V6 engine found in the G35.