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Of Interest

2007 Infiniti Concept (The Next G35 Sport Coupe?)

Infiniti releases new concept coupe at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show

With four years and a Motor Trend Car of the Year award under its belt, Infiniti designers are busy preparing for the next release of the G35. With this in mind, Infiniti released a new concept vehicle at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show. Simply named "Coupe Concept", there is no doubt in anyone's mind that we are looking at a candidate for the next generation G35 coupe. With much fanfare, Mark Igo (V.P. and General Manager of Infiniti), presented the concept while acknowledging the great efforts of the Shiro Nakamura-lead design team.
Over the last few years, Nissan enthusiasts have been watching closely to obtain information on the latest GT-R model being designed. This culminated with the release of the GT-R prototype at the 2005 Tokyo Auto Show. While potentially having no bearing on the Coupe Concept, it should be noted that spy photo's of a possible GT-R "test mule", at the Nurburgring test track in Germany, are suspiciously close in design to the Coupe Concept.

The concept in question obviously has its orgins based on the current-generation RWD G35 Sports Coupe. Recent Nissan/Infiniti concepts have utilized large amounts of glass within their rooflines
and the Concept is no different as it uses a full-length glass panel to give the interior a more spacious feel. The same goes with the LED-based tail lights and the blue-hued LED projector headlight housings shown on the concept. Production versions of this vehicle should offer a sunroof similar to the current generation G35, slightly modified tail lights, and Xenon-based projector headlights.

The exterior has been remolded with prominent front and rear wheel bulges which affect the true width of the body in comparison to the current G35. From the front, the Concept retains similar front facia that now includes a crease to make the nose more pronounced. The brushed aluminum grille is more sharply defined, and the headlight cluster is more edgy than the current model. From a side-view, the wheel bulges allow for a more aggressive-looking lower kick panel which visually makes the bulges seem larger than they are. The doors have recessed pop-out door handles which increase the aerodynamic shape of the vehicle while also smoothing out the visual lines of the body. Similar to the aerodynamic door handles, the side-view mirrors have been streamlined and replaced with narrow rearview cameras which display on flip-up screens located on each side of the instrument cluster. Changes to the rear include more edgy tail lights, a molded spoiler, and a new lower valence which wraps around oval-shaped exhaust tips. The concept has a lower stance than the production G35, and a more aggressive wheel/tire combo utilizing 20" 9-spoke painted-alloy wheels and 225-35 Front/275-35 Rear Bridgestone tires. Finally, Infiniti gave the Concept a raw look by utilizing a special "Bare Metal" paint.

The interior incorporates Infiniti's signature "double wave" instrument panel design which includes brushed-aluminum accents that add flow and dimension from the center console to the dash and around to the doors. These specially textured accents are intended to project the image of traditional Japanese "Washi" paper while also providing an added sense of warmth to the cockpit design. The analog-style five-guage instrument cluster is large with violet-colored back-lit illumination to provide a dramatic effect and is color-coordinated with the door-based courtesy lighting. The center section of the dash starts with a 7-inch color information display which is controlled via circular-central control panel and
driven by Infiniti's Human Machine Interface (HMI) which is similar to the one recently introduced on the Infiniti M and FX series of production vehicles. This interface flows down to the center-console which include stereo controls (DVD, 6-CD, Aux inputs), an aluminum/leather-wrapped shifter, and Infiniti's signature analog clock. The leather-wrapped steering wheel includes the normal array of stereo and cruise controls, and is backed by a set of paddle shifters. The interior appointments are treated to a rich wheat-colored leather and include fully automated sport seats with headrest-mounted speakers. Igo stated: "The Coupe Concept&s interior is both dramatically elegant and appropriately understated. It is an environment where the driver can feel cosseted and in control".

No specifications were given for the engine nor drive train. A tuned VQ35DE 3.5L V6, with at least 300hp, is expected and the current RWD platform will remain. It is unknown whether an AWD option will be available.

Overall, the styling is aggressive, seductive, and precise, with delicate surface transitions, an aggressive stance and extensive use of highly detailed surface treatments. But, will they remain? That is yet to be seen. The next generation G35 Sedan will preview in April at the New York Auto Show, while the current G35 Sports Coupe will remain in the lineup for another year.

So, now we wait and see.

Author, Matthew Moody (audtatious), is a Nissan enthusiast/Administrator of and
maintains, the premire Infiniti G37 site on the internet.


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