Up until recently, Infiniti wasn't entirely sure what its brand was all about. But since its latest reboot, the brand has staked a claim as an unabashedly Japanese performance luxury automaker – in essence, the anti-Lexus.
Today, it's taking another step in that direction with the introduction of the Infiniti Performance Line and unveiling the first vehicle to wear the new badge: the IPL G Coupe. And anyone expecting an answer to BMW's M division or Mercedes' AMG line might be slightly disappointed.
Like most in-house component offerings, Infiniti is putting an emphasis on style, performance and OEM-level fit and finish, beginning with new front and rear fascias, side sills, rear spoiler and 19-inch seven-spoke graphite wheels. Matching the Graphite Shadow or Malbec Black exteriors are a new set of sport seats with thicker bolsters, manual thigh extenders (ala BMW), torso and thigh support adjustment, along with de rigueur contrasting red stitching.
Far more important is what's been done under the hood and at each wheel well. A new high-flow exhaust partners with a recalibrated ECU to raise output to 348 horsepower (at 7,400 rpm) and 276 pound-feet of torque (at 5,200 rpm), an increase of 18 hp and six pound feet over the standard G37. Channeling that additional grunt to the ground is a close ratio six-speed manual with a short-throw shifter (a seven-speed auto is available with paddles), a viscous-type limited slip differential and Bridgestone Potenza RE50A summer rubber sized 225/45 in front and 245/40 in the rear. A retuned suspension is also included, increasing spring rates by 20% in the front and 10% out back, along with slightly upgraded brakes.
Infiniti hasn't released an MSRP for the IPL G Coupe yet, but considering the performance components and litany of standard features, we're hoping the price premium isn't excessively high for what's essentially a glorified sport package. Get all the details in the press release after the jump.
– G Coupe Derivative is First in a New Line of Vehicles Crafted for High Performance -
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (Aug. 12, 2010) – Infiniti today announced its rumored specialty-performance vehicle collection, the Infiniti Performance Line™. The first production vehicle from this group, the 348-horsepower 2011 Infiniti Performance Line G Coupe, debuts tomorrow evening at an exclusive event at the 60th annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It joins the Infiniti line of performance luxury vehicles at Infiniti retailers nationwide in December.
The Infiniti Performance Line, or IPL, offers a new level of premium performance for Infiniti vehicles, focusing not just on engine power and acceleration, but also on redefining total vehicle performance. IPL promises unique driving attributes with exclusive designs, different from other Infiniti models in each selected Infiniti line. The 2011 IPL G Coupe is the first of what is expected to be a range of IPL performance vehicles in the future.
Infiniti Performance Line vehicles are targeted at buyers seeking performance luxury vehicles that express a greater degree of individual style. The limited production IPL vehicles begin with Infiniti's legendary emotional design and Japanese craftsmanship – and then heighten the luxury and performance levels through modifications to the exterior, interior, engine tuning and suspension.
"IPL was conceived to create a new premium performance envelope, going beyond equipment upgrades to accelerate the very soul of Infiniti's Inspired Performance," said Infiniti Vice President Ben Poore. "IPL brings all the elements together, styling harmonized with performance, exhaust note with acceleration feel, ride comfort and confident handling. It's the perfect formula for unmatched driving exhilaration."
IPL models will be identified by a special engine cover and trunklid badging. The IPL emblem is designed to reinforce the strong message and spirit of IPL. The letter "I" features a red insert representing sporty spirit, while the Infiniti-violet "shadow" behind the letter appears like an Infiniti flag to indicate the brand's Inspired Performance promise.
About the IPL G Coupe
The 2011 IPL G Coupe builds on the foundation of the second-generation Infiniti G Coupe rear-wheel drive model with extensive modification throughout the vehicle. The IPL G Coupe's unique exterior includes a dramatic front and rear bumper/fascia design with integrated fog lights and black finishers, sculpted side sills, rear spoiler and chrome exhaust tips. Each part is shaped to accent the G Coupe's aggressively seductive styling. Combined with the exclusive 19-inch IPL split 7-spoke graphite-finish wheels and low-profile W-rated Bridgestone Potenza RE50A performance tires, the IPL G Coupe projects a confident stance and road-ready attitude. The IPL G Coupe is offered in just two exterior colors: Graphite Shadow and Malbec Black.
The IPL G Coupe interior is designed to harmonize with the exterior styling, offering two color treatments – Graphite and Monaco Red (red interior only available with the Malbec Black exterior and 7-speed automatic transmission). All IPL G Coupe interiors include red-stitched leather-appointed front sport seats with manual thigh extension and driver's power torso and thigh support adjustment, red-stitched steering wheel, Silk Obi aluminum trim, and aluminum pedals and footrest.
Other standard interior features include Infiniti Studio on Wheels by Bose® premium audio system, Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System, 9.3GB Music Box® Hard Drive, Infiniti Voice Recognition for audio navigation, memory system for driver's seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors, RearView Monitor, Rear Sonar and moonroof (these items are optionally available on non-IPL G Coupe models).
The IPL G Coupe's enhanced performance comes from the synergetic effects of three technology areas – engine tuning, dynamic tuning and sound quality/acceleration feel tuning. Engine performance modifications were selected not only for increased horsepower and torque levels, but also for acceleration feel and exhaust sound without compromising fuel economy or noise standards.
The IPL-tuned high-flow exhaust is a full dual exhaust design with independent left and right large diameter pipes. The muffler's inner structure and materials have been maximized to reduce pressure and provide an appropriate performance exhaust note. The result is a 30% reduction in exhaust pressure versus a base G Coupe's Y-pipe exhaust system design.
The IPL G Coupe's advanced VQ37HR 3.7-liter V6 engine management system has been recalibrated through air-fuel mixture and ignition timing optimization, raising the maximum horsepower output point to 7,400 rpm (from 7,000 rpm). To obtain a natural acceleration feel, the torque curve from low revs to the maximum torque point (5,200 rpm) was tuned for linearity. As a result of both the exhaust system and engine management changes, the IPL G Coupe generates 348 horsepower – an increase of 18 horsepower over the non-IPL models – and 276 lb-ft of torque (+6 lb-ft).
"When you drive the IPL G Coupe, the first thing you notice is the surge in sound and acceleration feel. The inspiring swell of sound is in complete harmony with the acceleration feel as engine speed increases," said Poore. "The sound is clean and inspiring, adding to the fun-to-drive sensation provided by the 348 horsepower under the hood."
Equally inspiring is the IPL G Coupe's dynamic vehicle performance, which focuses on providing confident handling, flat ride and smooth ride comfort. The IPL suspension tuning and damping management philosophy is designed to optimize each aspect of the suspension, effectively connecting the driver to the road surface while removing uncomfortable vibrations. Front spring rates have been increased 20% over the base G Coupe and rear spring rates increased 10%. Shock tuning has also been adjusted to reach a new premium performance standard.
The IPL G Coupe also offers a sport-tuned steering gear and large 4-wheel sport brakes with aluminum-alloy opposed calipers (4-piston front/2-piston rear) and Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD).
2011 IPL G Coupe Key Features and Specs
IPL-tuned 3.7-liter DOHC 24-valve VQ37HR V6
348 horsepower @ 7,400 rpm
276 lb-ft torque @ 5,200 rpm
IPL-tuned high-flow dual exhaust
Close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission with short-throw shifter or 7-speed automatic transmission with solid magnesium paddle shifters
IPL-tuned performance suspension with independent front double wishbone / independent rear multi-link, front and rear stabilizer bars
19-inch IPL split 7-spoke graphite-finish wheels (19x8.5" front / 19x9" rear)
P225/45R19 front / P245/40R19 rear W-rated Bridgestone Potenza RE50A summer tires
14.7:1 sport-tuned steering gear
4-wheel ventilated disc sport brakes with aluminum-alloy 4-piston opposed front brake calipers / 2-piston opposed rear calipers
Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VSLD)
IPL aerodynamics with front and rear fascias, side sills and rear spoiler
Unique IPL emblem
IPL engine cover
Red-stitched sport front seats and steering wheel
Aluminum pedals and footrest
Interior colors: Monaco Red Leather and Graphite Leather
Infiniti Studio on Wheels by Bose® premium audio system
Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System with XM NavTraffic® with Real-Time Traffic Information, XM NavWeather™ with Real-Time Weather and 3-day forecast (XM® subscription required, sold separately), Zagat® Restaurant Guide and 9.3GB Music Box® Hard Drive
Rear Sonar System
Exterior colors: Malbec Black and Graphite Shadow
IPL, the Infiniti Performance Line, promises unique performance attributes and exclusive designs, providing a new level of premium performance in Infiniti vehicles. The 2011 Infiniti Performance Line G Coupe is currently planned for the North American market; availability in other markets is under evaluation.