7

10

Model

Coupe/Convertible

Price

$75,900

The Numbers

3696cc, 6cyl petrol, RWD, 235kW, 360Nm, 10.5L/100km, 246g/km, 0-100km/h in 5.9secs, 250km/h, 1670kg

The Topgear Verdict

The G37 GT Coupe can cut it against the Germans, while the wobbly and weighty Convertible suffers from the usual folding-hardtop limitations. Commendable, but still a way to go. The Coupe, however, is fantastic, and will take the fight to the Euros.

2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe/Convertible

In the cultural dark ages, dubious quacks indulged in a practice known as ‘conversion therapy’ – the psychological eradication of so-called deviant behaviour via electric shock, drug, or hypnotic treatment.

A completely different kind of conversion therapy is needed to challenge the mindset of luxury coupe/convertible buyers who sashay straight into Germany’s waiting bosom.

Welcome, then, to Infiniti’s G37, available in three flavours – GT, S Premium (Coupe), and S Premium Convertible.

The V36 Coupe is a grey-import fave and has been around for six years, while its three-piece folding-hardtop sibling is two seasons fresher.

Even though the Murano-meets-370Z dash hardly oozes premium contemporariness, according to Infiniti, the G37 is equipped “with everything buyers expect”.

And it’s true; the kit is impressive. Equip a BMW the same way and watch prices skyrocket. Plus, lush front seats cup and caress in a most pleasing way, rear-cabin access and comfort aren’t too challenging and the shallow boot can at least be elongated via a folding backrest in the Coupe.

Most of the above also apply to the Convertible with its roof up, but once folded you’re barely left with enough luggage room for a night away, let alone a long weekend.

Both G37s have their rear wheels driven by the 370Z’s epic 3.7-litre V6 and seven-speed-auto combo, suitably hushed yet still soaring in its power delivery and epic soundtrack.

But 175kg worth of extra body strengthening means the Convertible’s acceleration isn’t electrifying.

Around town, the Convertible’s steering feels disappointingly muted, but weighting improves with speed.

On anything bar smooth roads, the body shimmies like an Outkast video extra. You can actually see the windscreen wobble. Steering kickback is another unwelcome invader. And the ride can be punishing at times.

Conversely, though, the G37 GT Coupe nails it. For starters, the V6 is far punchier with every turn of the crank, building up velocity with effortless conviction. The chassis feels lighter, more linear and keener to corner, possessing sharpness hitherto alien in the Convertible (the jarring, unsteady suspension aside).

But best of all, there’s a loping suppleness and refinement that adds an element of confidence and a relaxing swagger to the series.

So step forward, GT Coupe. Because as a kind of conversion therapy against the A5/3 Series/C-Class trio, you’re a sweet spot, displaying style, sass, and exclusivity. It’s been a long time coming.

But the roofless German rivals won’t be ruffled. The drop-top Infiniti is still in need of a bit more convertible therapy before it starts changing topless consumer mindsets.

Reviewed by: Byron Mathioudakis

Driven: January 15, 2013