Before the rise of the internet and long before social-media reminders of anniversaries and birthdays, INFINITI swiped right on coupes. The passion still burns.
As INFINITI celebrates its 31st year as a luxury automaker, we look back at the coupes that swooped in to steal hearts and stoke passions among enthusiasts worldwide. (It helped that they all have sexy exteriors and smart interiors if we're honest.)
In the brand's early days after its launch in 1989, the two-door INFINITI M30 coupe was 50% of the nascent automaker's lineup and complemented the stately and curvaceous Q45 sedan.
New to buyers in the U.S., the INFINITI M30 was powered by a sequential multi-port fuel-injected, 162-horsepower V-6 and a four-speed automatic transmission. Power was shifted to the rear wheels and an available "Sonar Suspension II" smoothed fussy roads to cement its status as a boulevardier cruiser. Bose™ audio and a power moonroof coddled driver and passengers inside, and the M30's interior was hushed, critics said at the time.
The M30 was quickly joined by a convertible version but with a twist. All M30 vehicles left the factory as coupes and were converted to droptops once they hit American shores by an aftermarket company.
The long-legged M30 was well-received in its time and now is even prized among '80s collectors, enthusiasts and drifters.
What came next only stoked passions further.
The INFINITI G35 launched in 2002 was a milestone for the brand for its looks and its performance and challenger status for the adolescent automaker 13 years into its existence. The G35 was a two-door revelation for its luxurious interior, intoxicating performance and dynamic looks. Again, a scintillating V-6 was tapped for power, this time an aluminum VQ-series engine under hood that eventually produced nearly 300 horsepower by the end of the G35's life.
The G35 amassed nearly as many awards as it did fans: It was MotorTrend's 2003 Car of the Year® and made Car and Driver's 10Best list, among other accolades.
Just across the showroom floor, another new INFINITI coupe would get just as much attention.
The INFINITI FX arrived in early 2003 and heralded a new form for the burgeoning crossover class. Although the FX was a tall-riding four-door crossover, its sleek profile and long nose suggested something different. The dramatic and adventurous shape of the FX was an instant hit and a harbinger of things to come from INFINITI, which had built a reputation for attention-grabbing style. The form of the FX eventually created the crossover coupe class that nearly every other major automaker would crowd with their offerings, and the FX set the stage for another INFINITI coupe heir coming later.
With the low-slung G35's renowned run, a successor was inevitable. The G37 coupe shared with its predecessor a luxurious interior, captivating rear-wheel-drive dynamics, and V-6 engine power. Variable Valve Event and Lift and Continuously Variable Valve Timing and Control Systems pushed the G37's redline to a howling 7,500 rpm. A folding hardtop convertible was available, and a high-performance Infiniti Performance Line coupe and convertible joined the class.
INFINITI also followed up on the original FX with a second-generation coupe crossover with available 5.0-liter V-8 power, up from the 4.5-liter V-8 available in the first generation. It capitalized on its performance pedigree with available Active Steering, Continuous Damping Control, and Rear Active steer.
The stunning Q60 followed in the G37's footsteps and, for the first time, planted a red-hot 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 making up to 400 horsepower under the coupe's hood. The Q60 has justifiably taken the mantle as INFINITI's sleekest, sexiest low-slung coupe on sale
In October, INFINITI unveiled the QX55 concept crossover coupe that follows in the footsteps of the original FX. It returns INFINITI to the crossover coupe class it created when the FX went on sale in 2003 and shares a similar passion for drama: the QX55's unapologetic proportions, sweeping roofline and styling echo the brand's past, but its innovative 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and immersive connectivity capabilities look ahead.
And for INFINITI, that future is almost certainly going to include a sleek profile, beautiful shapes, and daring style. It's practically written into the brand's DNA.
PASSPORT INFINITI OF ALEXANDRIA
160 South Pickett St.
Phone: (703) 763-0636