Aug 312012
 

Every so often a car comes around that totally changes the direction of the future landscape in car styling. We recently saw this with the introduction of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata. It totally changed how we look at the $20k sedan and put the other car makers on alert that edgy styling and family sedans can be synonymous. This week’s Car of the Week is also one of these cars. For this week’s choice, I decided to take a look back at the sport touring coupes available in the 2003 model year. 2003 first sticks out for me because of my 2003 Acura CL Type-S, but if  you look at a slide show of all the coupes available in that model year, you notice that one coupe in particular stands out. This week’s Car of the Week is:

2003 Infiniti G35 Coupe

Why?

Image courtesy of CarandDriver.com

The introduction of the Infiniti G35 Coupe meant the introduction of a sport touring coupe that departed from the “long” coupe styling that we had long been accustomed to (Oops, did I do that?!) You know the styling I’m talking about, long wheelbase, long doors and a long trunk. Then came the G35. Once you took a look at it, you thought you were looking at a straight up sports car (or was that only me?) The move to the shorter body length, which Nissan calls its “Front Midship” platform, changed how the engine and other components would be located within the car. With all of this done it still has usable rear seats and some trunk room. The trunk is compromised a bit when compared with a “long” coupe at 7.8 cu. ft. vs. the Acura CL’s 13.6 cu. ft., but I’ll make that sacrifice any day for the sleek styling of the G35.

About the Car

The 2003 Infiniti G35 Coupe was available with only engine, the legendary, music-to-our-ears Nissan VQ35. There are different versions of the VQ35 offered among the various Nissan/Infiniti models, but the one used in the G35 generates 280 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. The G35 Coupe was available in either automatic or manual transmission and only in a rear wheel drive configuration. The “Front Midship” platform provided for improved handling through better front to back weight distribution.

The 2003 Infiniti G35 Coupe clearly changed how coupes were going to be styled going forward. Cars like the Audi A5 and Honda Accord Coupe have clearly followed suit. It took years for these and other car makers to catch up. Unfortunately, still others got left in the dust (like the Acura CL and Toyota Solara.)

Other Resources

Edmunds.com Features and Specifications page
Wikipedia – Infiniti G-series (to be taken with a grain of salt, of course)
G35club.org owners club
Road & Track road test of the G35 coupe 

Chuck can be followed on Twitter @ChuckWhatTheF where he tweets about cars and other things “dudebros” are talking about.

Some photos in this article are freely sourced from Google. If you take issue with the usage of any image, please contact us and we will remove it.

Mar 052012
 

Note: This review was originally published on August 14, 2010.

I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for a sporty wagon. A lot of people turn their noses up at the stodgy reputation of the family station wagon, and there are certainly plenty of cars deserving of that rebuke. But I love a car that can haul a lot of stuff just as well as it hauls ass. Volvo’s 850 Turbo Sportswagon and the BMW 5-series wagon were, to my mind anyway, the pinnacle of the genre, which, sadly, peaked in the ‘90s. They were fast, handled exceptionally, and could take your Siberian husky to the vet without a second thought.

The rise in popularity of the SUV, though, signaled a death knell for the family station wagon. Sure, some examples persisted (Volvo and BMW both continued to offer exceptional wagons), but popularity waned considerably and most of the major manufacturers scratched them from their lineups in favor of the lumbering, fuel-sucking four-wheel drive behemoths the American public had become obsessed with.

Fast forward the better part of a decade, however, and we find that most Americans have realized that bingeing on SUVs wasn’t really such a good idea. The reasons for this (running through several prehistoric era’s-worth of fossilized remains in less than ten years, for instance) have been aired ad nauseum in the automotive press, so there’s no need to rehash them here. The result, though, has been a surprising renaissance for the station wagon. Albeit one with a twist. Continue reading »