02 December 2009

New Infiniti M: smells of forest

Japanese 5-Series rival looks curvy and smells, er, woodlandy

Infiniti M

You can’t accuse Infiniti of designing anonymous cars, can you?

This is the new Infiniti M, Nissan’s luxury rival to the BMW 5-Series and Audi A6. Launched at the Los Angeles auto show this week, it’ll be the first M to go on sale in Europe, and is expected to reach the UK in September.

Intriguing looking thing, ain’t it? That bulbous, curvy shape is good news for aerodynamics – the M boasts a drag coefficient of just 0.27 – and, hey, it’s a bit easier on the eyes than the terrifying Infiniti FX.

The launch model will be the M37, powered by the 3.7-litre V6 from the Nissan 370Z, shoving 316bhp and 266lb ft through a seven-speed automatic transmission. It’ll be followed by a V6 diesel and, likely in 2011, a hybrid version.

As with all Infinitis, there’ll be buckets of kit on board. Blind spot intervention technology will steer the car away from potential impacts, while Dyanmic Cornering Assistance applies delicate braking to individual wheels to improve steering response.

But our favourite is the new climate control system known as Forest Air, which – you guessed it – wafts the delicate fragrance of alpine woodland around the cabin. Mmm, piney.

Infiniti is yet to announce prices for the M, but expect it to be on a par with the big German saloons when it goes on sale late next year.

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