Learn more about the Infiniti M and how it progressed from a Nissan side project into something far more substantial for the Japanese company.
Originally created as a two door GT coupe in 1990, the Infiniti was launched from the Nissan production line along with its sister car, the Q45 in order to fill the gap in between the creation and development of new models. In effect, the Infiniti was a left-hand drive Japanese Nissan Leopard which contained luxury features as well as an adapted engine, suspension and transmission.
The early features in the car consisted of a CD player and a mobile cell phone and its engine was heavily modelled on Nissan’s VG30E, a 3.0 litre engine able to produce 162 horse power.
Known originally as the Infiniti M30, the car underwent sporadic changes during the early part of its existence after initial criticisms about the engine’s front wheel drive and its weak chassis and suspension, which were part of the reasons as to why the car’s sales suffered. However, by the time the second generation of the Infiniti was launched in 2003, the car had changed beyond recognition.
Like the original Infiniti, the second generation was modelled in Japan but at a different base and offered a five speed automatic transmission as opposed to the original four speed RE4R01A transmission of the first generation model. The car was powered by a 4.5 litre V8 engine which offered a better economy of sale in relation to the engine’s costs.
Despite this the second generation lasted barely two years before the Infiniti was given a complete revamp as a mid size luxury sports car. The new model came as a five speed or seven speed automatic transmission and with a front engine rear wheel drive or a four wheel drive. The rethink of the design which led to the third generation of Infiniti allowed for the Infiniti to claim a host of awards at the expense of mid range luxury car competitors such as the BMW 545i/550i, the Acura RL and the Lexus GS.
A refreshed design in 2008-09 paved the way for the fourth generation Infiniti M which was rolled off the production line in 2011. The car currently features a seven speed automatic transmission, is offered with a range of engines from 2.5 litre V6 through to 5.6 litre V8 engines and has been styled along the line of the Jaguar and Maserati luxury cars.