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SPATIAL PROFILING

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, Jul 13, 2008

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

© All photos by Harvey Schwartz

SPATIAL PROFILING By Harvey Schwartz

The all-new 2008 Infiniti EX35 crossover sport utility combines a 300-horsepower V6 engine, a sculpted sexy profile, and an elegant interior offering comfort and luxury, plus new, innovative technologies to make it stand alone in the emerging midsize luxury crossover segment. The EX35's sculpted elegance expresses a timeless appeal - sleek lines that portray speed and finesse. Its layout combines the look and feel of a luxury coupe with a sport utility's flexibility. Its sporty proportions include a long hood, short front and rear overhangs, rearward cabin and smooth coupe-like roofline arching over the windows to the C-pillars. Its right-sized packaging gives it excellent around town maneuverability, while the wide rear hatch and low load floor make it a versatile performer for everyday and weekend use.

The EX35's exterior includes some signature Infiniti touches, including a double-arch grille, large L-shaped headlights with available Bi-Xenon Adaptive Front Lighting system, integrated fog lights, flared fender openings, distinctive LED taillights and its dynamic arch profile. Other exterior features include a high-mounted rear hatchback spoiler, chrome strip surrounding the greenhouse and lower doors, big chrome door handles, chrome-finished dual exhaust tips, an available power tilt-sliding sunroof with one-touch activation and optional roof rails and crossbars which extend its storage possibilities. A standard puddle lamp is integrated in the driver's-side-view mirror as part of the hospitality light concept. One of the unique features of the new EX35 is Scratch Shield, a special 'self-healing' clearcoat paint, which is designed to maintain its gloss-level over time. The paint repairs fine scratches such as fingernail scratches under door handles, restoring the EX35's surface close to its original state. The process, which takes anywhere from one day to one week (depending on the surrounding temperature and the depth of the scratch), is accomplished through the use of a special highly elastic resin. This resin is combined with a conventional clearcoat to increase the paint's flexibility and strength by raising the resin density. Matching the exterior's sculpted shapes is the driver-focused 'wave-inspired' cabin layout featuring an Infiniti signature 'double-wave' instrument panel, easy-to-read high-contrast gauges with white-and-violet illumination and hospitality lighting with a pin LED light mounted over the center console and Infiniti-signature analog clock. The instrument panel also features a 7in. color display with Infiniti controller for the trip computer and additional vehicle information, including the available Infiniti Hard Disk based Navigation System with 9.3GB Music Box hard drive for music storage and playback. Like all Infiniti vehicles, the EX35 was conceived to offer a reinvigorating and engaging interior environment - one that is both indulgent and inspiring.

Other technology systems include available Bluetooth Hands-Free Phone System, standard Infiniti Intelligent key with push button start/stop, and XM Satellite Radio. Available technology features include RearView Monitor (available separately, or as part of the Around View Monitor system), front and rear sonar system, Intelligent Cruise Control, and Bose Premium Audio System with Burr-Brown 24-bit DAC, 11-speakers including two subwoofers, 6-CD in-dash changer and iPod connectivity. The comfortable interior is offered with cloth or leather-appointed seating surfaces. A special Black Lacquer trim comes standard on the center console and center stack, and door panels (replacing Black Lacquer and aluminum respectively). There is also a leather and aluminum shift knob, and leather-wrapped steering wheel with controls for audio, cruise-control, chrome, aluminum and real wood trim pieces, voice commands and Lane Departure Prevention (if equipped). Dual-zone automatic climate control is also available. An 8-way power driver's seat with 2-way manual lumbar support and a 4-way power passenger's seat are standard. A driver's seat memory system is also offered, along with available heated front seats and 8-way power front passenger seat, this option comes with an easy entry/exit function whereby the seat slides back when you shut it off and returns to its set position when you turn vehicle on. Also available is a 60/40 split power-folding 2nd row seat that is operated from the front or rear hatch area.

The only drawback inside is the less-than-comfortable rear seat legroom of 28.5in. which is OK for children but really not enough knee comfort for adults, unless, of course, you have the front seats pushed forward. Other than the short rear legroom, the interior is superb. Standard equipment inside not mentioned above includes auto dimming rearview mirror with compass, trip computer, overhead console with sunglass holder, front sun visors with dual illuminated vanity mirrors, grab handles above each door, power windows/door locks with front express up/down, front dual cupholders, center storage bin, rear folding armrest with dual cupholders, locking glove box with light, map pockets in doors and front seat backs, theater lighting, rear foot heater ducts, remote keyless entry, outside temperature display, 12-volt power point in ashtray, and thick-pile carpeting/front/rear floormats. Under the EX35's dramatic body is an equally advanced platform and powertrain based on the latest Infiniti performance technology. Its advanced FM (front/midship) platform provides the same high levels of handling precision and balance as it does for all Infiniti vehicles. The EX35's rigid and torsional frame and chassis features corrosion resistant and high-strength steel, with aluminum hood, deck lid and door structures to lessen weight. Every EX35 comes standard witH a fourth-generation VQ35HR 3.5 liter V6 engine rated at 296hp and 253lb.ft. of torque, that is mated to a smooth shifting 5-speed automatic transmission with manual mode, DS sport mode and Downshift Rev Matching, and Adaptive Shift Control to make your drive even more enjoyable and exciting. The aluminum engine block features ladder frame construction, variable exhaust cam timing, asymmetric piston skirts, twin knock sensors and Iridium spark plugs. Its symmetric twin ram air intake system helps reduce airflow resistance, while the dual exhaust system has been designed with equal length exhaust manifolds and reduced muffler exhaust pressure that helps with engine breathing. Both are tuned to create authoritative harmonies, helping enhance driving pleasure, an exciting engine sound and expected improvements in emissions and fuel economy.

This fourth-generation VQ engine design also includes continuously variable valve timing control system, a noiseless timing chain for quiet operation, an electronically controlled 'drive-by-wire' throttle system, micro-finished crank journals and cam lobes, and molybdenum coated lightweight pistons. The EX35's tuning strategy features a refined balance of quick acceleration that builds continuously to the redline. It's a deepening pleasure that keeps getting better as you drive. Precise handling and a smooth ride is assured because every EX35 utilizes a subframe-mounted independent front double-wishbone suspension with aluminum-alloy upper and lower links, high-performance dual-flow pass shock absorbers and stabilizer bar. The rear suspension is an independent multi-link design with aluminum-alloy upper and lower links and axle housing, high-performance dual-flow pass shock absorbers and stabilizer bar. The coupe-like response is enhanced with a vehicle speed-sensitive power-assisted rack & pinion steering system that gives instant response to your inputs at the wheel. Keeping you on your chosen path is a standard Vehicle Dynamic Control with Traction Control, while an advanced Intelligent Cruise Control with Preview Braking is optional. Quickly and safely slowing the EX35 down from speed are large, power-assisted, steel disc brakes. Up front are 12.6in. vented discs clamped with dual-piston calipers, and 12.1in. solid discs in the rear clamped with single-piston calipers. These powerful brakes are enhanced with standard ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist. Available tire and wheel combinations include standard 17X7 aluminum-alloy wheels wrapped with 225/60R17 summer tires, or optional 18X8in. aluminum-alloy wheels wrapped with 225/55R18in. Dunlop high-performance summer tires.

The front engine/rear-wheel drive EX35 is also offered with an intelligent all-wheel-drive system. EX35 AWD models feature Infiniti's ATTESA E-TS (advanced total traction engineering system for all electronic torque split) all-wheel drive system. The system utilizes an active torque distribution management system with an active center clutch designed for smooth starts and better traction and maneuverability on snowy roads than conventional all-wheel drive systems, plus minimal compromise of rear-wheel drive performance characteristics on dry roads. If you live in a cold climate I would suggest that the AWD system be ordered to increase traction and safety in adverse weather conditions. The EX35's advanced technology design is highlighted by two systems that are among the first production versions available that make driving and parking the EX35 easier and safer: the Infiniti Around View Monitor and the Lane Departure Prevention system. The Around View Monitor utilizes small front, side and rear-mounted cameras to project an all-around view of potential objects on every side of the vehicle-helping reduce blind spots when parking. Conventional mirrors, no matter how carefully you use them, just can't provide a view around the vehicle that the Around View Monitor's four-camera system can. Rear bumper sonar sensors help detect objects behind a vehicle, but again can't give the view of the space around the vehicle that the AVM does, it's amazing! The Lane Departure Prevention system builds on the Lane Departure Warning system that is currently available on the Infiniti FX. Rather than just use an audible/visual warning system to alert you of unintentional vehicle movement outside the designated lane, the LDP system uses the vehicle's Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system to help assist you in maintaining lane position if the vehicle inadvertently starts to drift outside the lane.

Both LDP and LDW systems use a small camera installed behind the windshield to detect visible lane markers in front of the vehicle and calculate its position relative to lane markers and warn you of lane drift (pending lane change without the use of the turn signal), with a visual display and audible buzzer. At the same time, the LDP system assists you by using gentle control (generating part of the necessary yaw movement), using the VDC's brake actuator to control the brake pressure of each individual wheel to generate the intended movement. Infiniti has taken a leadership position in offering the first production Lane Departure Warning systems for production vehicles, and is poised to continue the development and refinement of this technology with the EX35's Lane Departure Prevention system. Every 2008 EX35 also features the Infiniti Advanced Airbag system with dual stage supplemental front airbags with seat belt and occupant classification system, driver and front passenger side-impact airbags, roof-mounted curtain side-impact and rollover supplemental airbags for front and rear seat outboard occupant head protection, and a tire pressure monitoring system. Also standard are 3-point seat belts, for all five seating positions and front pretentioners/load limiters with adjustable upper anchors, front seat active head restraints, and LATCH system for child seats in the rear. Also enhancing safety in the event of a collision is Infiniti's advanced Zone Body Construction with front and rear crushable zones to help disperse crash energy around the passenger compartment. The all-new 2008 EX35 is an extraordinary vehicle providing a personal reward to those who drive and own it. With power and agility available on demand, personal luxury offered inside like more expensive crossover vehicles, it's a perfect fit for buyers looking to add a little excitement and versatility in their everyday lives. Base prices start at $34,500.00 all the way up $44,015.00 for the loaded rear-wheel drive model that I tested.

© Words and pictures by Harvey Schwartz SUMMARY JUDGMENT Arguably, the EX35 represents the state-of-the art in the compact near-luxury crossover SUV field. For more information about Infiniti products, go to www.infiniti.com More photos from Harvey Schwartz can be found at www.autofotos.com

SPECIFICATIONS Name: 2008 EX35 RWD Journey Price: $34,850.00 base/$44,015.00 as tested Engine: 3.5 liter, DOHC VVT V6, aluminum block/heads Horsepower: 297 at 6,800rpm Torque: 253lb.ft. at 4,800rpm EPA mileage: 17mpg/city, 24mpg/highway Drive configuration: Front engine/rear-wheel-drive/optional all-wheel-drive Transmission: 5-speed automatic with semi/automatic shifting Front suspension: Subframe mounted, independent, double-wishbone, dual-flow pass shocks, stabilizer bar Rear suspension: Independent, multi-link with aluminum-alloy upper/lower links and axle housing, with stabilizer bar Wheels/tires: 18X8 alloy wheels/225/55R18 all-season radials Brakes: Front: 12.6 in. vented discs clamped with dual piston calipers Rear: 12.1 in. solid discs clamped with single-piston calipers ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Brake Assist Total length: 182.3 in. Total width: 71 in. Total height: 61.9 in. Curb weight: 3,790 lbs.

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