INFINITI’S BEAUTIFUL SUN-TANNING MACHINE
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 31, 2011
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
By John-Fredrik Wright A convertible in Southern California can only mean one thing: Sunburn. Okay, it also means great drives on some of the classic roads nearby. But cruising Pacific Coast Highway (AKA PCH) is not only a great way to spend the day, it’s also a great way to get sunburn—especially if you’re in a convertible. Any convertible will do for the sunburn. And almost any convertible will do well on PCH, but to do both in style without going overboard on the price sticker, you’ll be hard pressed to do better than the Infiniti G37 convertible.
The team at Infiniti deserves a lot of praise for being able to walk the fine line between comfort and sport. The G37 convertible is very sporty, but it still has all of the convenience features and luxury appointments that you expect from a real car as opposed to the stripped down sport coupes and convertibles that all too often end up not being enjoyed as a daily ride. On the sporty side, however, the G37 convertible leaves little to be desired. For starters, the 3.7-liter V6 engine gives off a great rumble, as the 325 horses come out from hiding. The tires seem to stick to the asphalt as if they’ve been glued to it, and the power is nicely put to work. As for rigidity, this being a convertible, the G37 hold up fairly well. Yes, I can feel and see that the roof (when it’s up) doesn’t always move exactly with the rest of the car, but that is part of having a convertible—especially one of this size. When the frame comes under heavy strain, the metal will move. This is physics, and I assume that not even Infiniti is able to mess with physical laws. Since the movement is so little, it does not bring down the overall feel of the drive. Plus, if you have a convertible, why is the roof up anyway?
Yeah, fold that roof away! Holding down a button will do it, and it takes only a few of seconds. Before you know it, you’re on your way again. Wind in your hair, the smell of fresh air (given that you aren’t downtown) in your nose and the great sound of music coming from the stereo system. For even with the top down and all that wind noise, you will definitely be able to hear the music. And not so much because you’ll turn it up, but because there are speakers bulging out from the headrests courtesy of the Bose Open Air Sound System, bringing the music to your ear. This makes turning up the volume to insane levels only necessary for those who want to make sure nobody misses it (showoff!), or for those times when someone pulls up in a pimped-out low-rider playing rap music. That’s a good time to play some Beethoven. As for the interior, Infiniti misses nothing. The front seats are comfortable, luxury-like, but with a touch of sportiness. Some might say they keep your butt-cheeks together, but I would say they keep you from sliding around in the car. There is the added bonus of the pullout leg-rest that extends the seat further—making for great sitting on those longer, scalp-burning, rides.
Just as the seats are snug, the transmission is tight. Getting used to a sporty manual is always a fight. But once you’re up and running, the car can either float forward (if you’re just out for a cruise), or sprint forward with amazing accuracy (if you’re doing more than just cruising). This is one great transmission. It redlines at 7500 RPM, which makes every gear seem like it can go on forever. And with a great rumbling noise coming from the engine, and the feel of the raw power, it is quite the thrill to floor it in this masterpiece. The hardtop convertible is very convenient. It lets you have a real car when you don’t want a real convertible (or the other way around which might be a more accurate description of the problem). Unfortunately the trunk space, as with most convertibles, disappears when the top is down. This may not be all that much a problem if you use the G37 Convertible like most topless cars—i.e., for around-town errands and cruising PCH (this time, with a long-sleeve shirt and a hat). For longer trips, or for that trip to the airport, I wouldn’t mind having the top up and the bags in the back. Besides, driving with the top down can get somewhat loud if you were to go for hours at freeway speeds.
Exterior-wise, the G37 blazes with style. The way the headlights swoop outwards, it makes the nose look even wider than it is. The rear end attractively brings it all together. The top, when it is up, does not ruin the G37’s look; this is one of the few convertibles where it looks great no matter if the top is up or down. Albeit, the lines are further accentuated with the top down. Classy, and yet with a dash of sportiness. So, for a two-seating (the back seat is, as in most convertibles, somewhat small—especially with the top up), road-hugging, fantastically fun convertible, the Infiniti G37 has it all. You can go from a leisurely Sunday drive or easily turn up the heat for the more asphalt-kicking drives. The ride is smooth when you want it to be and sporty when it’s called for. And the feeling you get when rolling up to your destination in this convertible is hard to beat. For more information about Infiniti products, go to www.infinitiusa.com
SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2011 G Convertible 6MT Price: $49,450 (base) $50,325 (as tested with destination charge) EPA fuel economy rating: 16 mpg (city) 24 mpg (highway) Engine size and type: 3.7-liter (3,696cc) 24-valve V6 engine, aluminum-alloy block and heads. Horsepower: 325 @ 7,000 rpm Torque: 267 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm Transmission type: Close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission with short-throw shifter Drive configuration: Rear-wheel drive Steering (type): Speed-sensitive variable-assist power steering Suspension (front and rear): Front independent double-wishbone with coil springs over Dual Flow Path® shock absorbers, stabilizer bar Rear independent multi-link with coil springs over Dual Flow Path® shock absorbers, stabilizer bar Brakes and tires: Aluminum 4-piston opposed front calipers with 14.0 x 1.3-inch ventilated discs/2-piston opposed rear calipers with 13.8 x 0.8-inch ventilated discs; 4-wheel, 4-channel ABS 19 x 8.5-inch, split V-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels with 225/45R19 W-rated summer performance tires (front), 19 x 9.0-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 245/40R19 W-rated summer performance tires (rear) Dimensions: Length: 183.3 in Width: 72.9 in Height: 55.1 in Curb weight: 4,103 lbs