• Oct 9, 2008

2009 Infiniti M35 – Click above for high-res image gallery

We slid behind the wheel of the 2009 Infiniti M35 S last week in Napa, California. It was a quick jaunt, but we wanted to try out the newly revised powerplant under the hood. Yes, even thought the nomenclature remains the same, the Japanese automaker has swapped out the mass of aluminum up front for something a bit more updated and powerful. Find out how the 2009 Infiniti M35 S did after the jump.



Photos Copyright ©2008 Michael Harley / Weblogs, Inc.



Since its introduction, the M35 has featured Nissan's familiar VQ35DE 3.5-liter V6 rated at 275-hp. For 2009, Infiniti has replaced it with the newer VQ35HR 3.5-liter V6 rated at 303-hp (it's the same "VVi" engine found under the hood of the '08 G35 sedan). While horsepower is up, torque is down slightly to 262 lb-ft (it was 268 lb-ft). We hardly think '09 M35 owners will care, as the new engine comes with a new slick-shifting seven-speed electronically-controlled transmission that should decrease 0-60 times by a couple of tenths, especially with its new Drive Sport shift mode. Best of all, fuel economy is up from 16/23 (city/highway) to 17/25 for 2009. Interestingly enough, the all-wheel drive M35x will get the new engine, but it retains last year's five-speed automatic and fuel economy stays the same. The V8-powered M45 carries forward without significant mechanical changes.

You are probably wondering why the '09 M35 didn't get the 328 hp VQ37VHR 3.7-liter like its slightly smaller sibling, the '09 G37 Sedan. We are betting that there is an all-new M Series replacement on the horizon (2010 model maybe?) set to debut as the M37. In addition, had Infiniti dropped that sweet engine under the hood now, it would have been stepping on some toes -- namely those on the foot of the V8-powered 325-hp M45. Then Infiniti would have needed to bump that car up to the M50... ah, you get the picture. The automaker has chosen to hold off for now and keep us all waiting.

In our brief spin around wine country, the M35 "S" (the Sport Package adds rear active steer, sport suspension, 19-inch wheels, etc...) proved comfortable and competent. Our seat-of-the pants accelerometer said it was quick, and it handled with confidence, but it was far from being as sporty as Infiniti's G lineup. The new transmission does make a difference in the driving experience as shifts are smooth and perfectly timed. Overall, the M35 still competes strongly in the segment against the BMW 535i, Mercedes-Benz E350, and Lexus GS 350. In addition to the aforementioned engine and transmission transplants, all '09 M models receive auto speed-sensing door locks and Infiniti's Scratch Shield "self-healing" paint. Infiniti will offer the M Series in four flavors for 2009: M35 RWD, M35x AWD, M45 RWD and M45x AWD. You can check out the new M35 in showrooms this month.



Photos Copyright ©2008 Michael Harley / Weblogs, Inc.


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  • 40 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      another $40-50K vehicle..great. they sure want those 600.00 a month cks.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Since they are moving up in sizes, they need to up the size of those tiny wheels. Lexus and Inifinti have these huge boat cars with these tiny 17" narrow wheels. Just looks odd driving next to one. It's like a girl, lifting her dress to tiptoe. Give those fenders some flare, and drop in some wider rubber.
      • 6 Years Ago
      where are the interior shots? will this have the same level of trim as an EX35? I'm spoiled with mine, but greatly disappointed in the appointments for the G35. All infinitis need to have the level of luxury found in the EX.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Like Mel said, it's much more spacious and luxurious. The EX was the first of the "new" quality level. They are gradually updating the other models as new versions are introduced. Take a test drive in the M45 too if you get a chance. It is a riot, muscle car in luxo-cruiser skin.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How come its not an M37 ?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I agree with above poster... this thing has not aged well... looks tired already.
        • 6 Years Ago
        yea... i do. thats why I said it looks tired and has not aged well. It has only been out for what... 3-4 years? Its in NEED of a rework.
      • 6 Years Ago
      hihihi
      • 6 Years Ago
      Great! I like this car . . . I would like to blog this one.

      http://bid4goodies.com
      • 6 Years Ago
      Honestly...in this day and age, what is the point of a car like this?

      F'ing pointless other than catering to guys with pretty small members.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Noz, it must be nice to to be bothered by facts or reality. I'd bet part of your hostility comes from the fact you're upset you couldn't afford one.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Pointless like your post? You feel pretty smug huh?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not this car in specific, but people who brand-buy luxury cars for a badge or bragging rights are those who find their identity by what they drive and what they own. It probably is a very good car, but it says something that the regular 'just a nissan' won't do - gotta have the Infiniti!
        • 6 Years Ago
        If you couldn't wait for your free trial of extenze, you wouldn't buy an M35. This car isn't going to get you laid, Mr. Big or not.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Rob, I bet what bothers Noz even more is that he has a tiny little one AND he can't afford the car :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        • 6 Years Ago
        I see the guys with small members ran out of the wood work to defend their egos...lol.

        Made my point...thanks Rob!
        • 6 Years Ago
        A 165mph fat cat sedan.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "F'ing pointless other than catering to guys with pretty small members."

        Oh, I guess you know how it feels then?
      • 6 Years Ago
      This design is looking long in the tooth. It looks like a much older car somehow. I can't put my finger on it... It's like it has too much junk in the trunk or something. Maybe it is all that sheet metal aft of the C-Pillar.

      Nissan should throw the 3.7L motor and just drop the V8 completely. If the 3.7 is going to kick out 325 horsepower then the V8 is pretty pointless. Even among the "sort of rich" fuel economy is gaining importance and let's face it, the really rich aren't buying Infinitis.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why do you think that a turbo V6 will have better fuel economy than the V8?

        M35 - 16 mpg/23 mpg
        M45 - 16 mpg/21 mpg

        I highly doubt that sticking a turbo that'll boost the engine by say 70 - 80 HP will give it better MPG than the V8... But you'll get all the negatives that come with a turbo, like lag and an abrupt torque curve. A V8 is powerful and resposive. In such a big heavy vehicle a turbo V6 will not give any improvement over a well tuned V8 with proper gearing.

        The way to go is make smaller V8, say 3.4L - 4.2L with twin low-pressure turbos. That will make better HP than a turbo V6 or a "big" V8 and save a couple MPGs in the process... something along the lines of the new BMW TT 4.4L V8.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nissan should really bring over turbo + direct injected engines.
        but I imagine they would have to put that into the GTR first.

        300hp VQ25 DI twin turbo?
        450hp VQ37 DI twin turbo?
        Now that would make a nice Z.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If you'd be reading... the 3.7 will be in there later on. And what makes you think the 4.5 v8 variant won't get an update?

        The 3.7 in the G Coupe pumps out 330hp. The 5.0 in the FX pumps out 390 (mind you, it's tuned more for torque than HP for a crossover/suv application). I'd hardly say it's pointless.

        A more constructive suggestion would be to ditch the v8s entirely and offer v6s with forced induction to provide more power and maximize efficiency. Nissan isn't exactly new to forced induction. It's strange that they haven't gone that direction and taken it to the max.
      • 6 Years Ago
      waiting anxiously for a 2009 demo in Florida, dealers are claiming "late November" delivery, does anyone have any better info on when the new M35 makes it to Florida?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wish people would stop whining about the size and weight of cars already. It is tired and old. Some of us prefer large, powerful cars, so the automakers buld them for us. Get over it.

      Also, it would be nice if other people would keep their obsession about the size of other men's private parts to themselves and not ruin every single article about pickups, big cars, and supercars by posting about their favorite subject (the size of other men's private parts).

      Anyway, this is a nice sexy car. I like the soft, feminine curves! I am still very upset with Infiniti for dropping the Q45, but this makes up for it a little.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm waiting for the "M50". That's going to be the heat. The FX50 is a riot.
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