27 March 2007

Infiniti and beyond

330bhp G37 Coupe will be among first Infinitis to reach the UK next year

Nissan Infiniti G37 Coupe

Say hello to the Infiniti G37 Coupe.

The name might not ring too many bells on these shores, but all that should change within the next year. See, Infiniti is Nissan's luxury brand - the same as Lexus and Toyota.

While Infinitis have never been sold in the UK before, the first showrooms are due to open in 2008. Four models will initially be available, all based on the same platform as the Nissan 350Z. And that includes the G37 Coupe.

Due to be formally unveiled at the New York motor show in April, the car's being firmly pitched as a BMW 3-Series rival. No idle boast, that.

The G37 Coupe gets a bumped-up version of the 3.5-litre V6 found in the 350Z. Bored out to 3.7 litres and capable of producing 330-odd horses, it's the first-ever application of Nissan's 'Variable Valve Event and Lift' (VVEL) technology.

Similar to BMW's Valvetronic, VVEL controls valve lift to create a flatter torque curve and improved economy.

Channelling its power to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual or five-speed auto 'box, the G37 Coupe even gets the option of all-wheel steering.

It's one of those technologies that rears its head from time to time only be swiftly dismissed, so it'll be interesting to see whether Infiniti can make it work.

And if all that wasn't enough to whet your appetite, rumours abound of a twin-turbo version appearing sometime in the next couple of years. With the Nissan GT-R out this autumn, Infiniti doesn't want to be seen lagging behind its more utilitarian brother.

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