The Infiniti M is a line of mid-size luxury (executive) cars from the Infiniti luxury division of Nissan. From 2013 (model year 2014) on it has been marketed as the Infiniti Q70, reflecting the company's new naming scheme.
Fourth generation 2011 Infiniti M37
|Also called||Infiniti Q70 (2013–present)|
Nissan Fuga (SWB; 2009–present)
Nissan Cima (hybrid LWB; 2012–present)
|Assembly||Tochigi, Japan (M35/45, M37/56/35h/30d)|
Musashimurayama, Japan (M30 coupe/convertible)
Saint-Petersburg, Russia (SKD, 2012-2014)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Platform||Nissan FM platform|
|Successor||Infiniti Q70 (renamed to)|
The first iteration was the M30 Coupé/Convertible, which were rebadged JDM Nissan Leopard. After a long hiatus, the M nameplate was used for Infiniti's mid-luxury sedans (executive cars). First was the short-lived M45 sedan, a rebadged version of the Japanese-spec Nissan Gloria. The next generations, the M35/45 and M37/56/35h/30d, became the flagship of the Infiniti brand and are based on the JDM Nissan Fuga.
First generation: 1990-1992Edit
|Infiniti M30 (F31)|
|Also called||Nissan Leopard|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Mid-size car/Executive car|
|Body style||2-door convertible|
|Engine||3.0 L VG30E V6|
|Transmission||4-speed RE4R01A automatic|
|Wheelbase||2,616 mm (103.0 in)|
|Length||4,796 mm (188.8 in)|
|Width||1,689 mm (66.5 in)|
|Height||1,321 mm (52.0 in)|
|Curb weight||1498 kg (3302 lb) (coupe)|
1622 kg (3576 lb) (convertible)
|Successor||Infiniti G37 Cabrio|
The Infiniti M30 was a 2-door coupe based on the Japanese market Nissan Leopard (chassis code F31). It was launched alongside the flagship Q45 in 1989 for the 1990 model year, and was intended as a stopgap until the later introduction of the G20 and J30 sedans.
The Infiniti M30 was powered by a 3.0 liter SOHC V6, and 4-speed automatic transmission. Standard equipment included a driver's airbag, anti-lock brakes, an anti-theft security system with an engine immobilizer, Nissan Sonar Suspension II, and leather upholstery. Other standard equipment included a 4 speaker Nissan-Bose audio system with a cassette player and an electric mast antenna, automatic climate control, cruise control, a power moonroof, power windows, power locks, and power mirrors. Infiniti emphasized comfort and luxury, as well as simplicity. Although dealerships offered an in-car cellular telephone and in-dash CD player as accessories, the M30 had no factory options.
A convertible was introduced for the 1991 model year. All convertibles originated as coupe models, and were shipped to California and converted by American Sunroof Corporation (ASC). The electric canvas top featured fully automatic push-button operation. Unlike the coupe, the M30 convertibles utilized manual climate controls, and a standard Active Sound audio system. The convertible model was never officially sold in Japan, and was exclusive to the US market, although convertibles have been imported to Japan in the last few years by collectors.
The M30 was discontinued after the 1992 model year following a production run of approximately 17,000 cars. It was replaced in the Infiniti lineup by the J30 sedan, which used a DOHC V6, and was based on the Japanese market Nissan Leopard J. Ferie (chassis code Y32).
For the 1991 model year, the cable-type speedometer became electric, instrument cluster typeface changed to match that of the Q45, and fuel and coolant temperature gauges were switched. The driver's and passenger's side door keyhole and interior dome light would illuminate upon pulling the outer door handle while the vehicle was locked. Selective door lock logic allowed unlocking of the passenger door from the driver's keyhole by turning the key twice.
All 1992 models gained the addition of a central locking switch next to the Sonar Suspension II selector, and the intake plenum cover changed to display the Infiniti logo, rather than the Nissan logo and the "V6 3000" script on 1990 and 1991 cars.
Power came from Nissan's 3.0 VG30E V6, which produced 162 hp (121 kW; 164 PS) at 6000 rpm, and 180 lb⋅ft (244 N⋅m) of torque at 3500 rpm. All M30s were equipped with a Jatco RE4R01A 4-speed automatic transmission. The differential was a Nissan open R200 unit. Although most Nissan Leopards were equipped with a DOHC V6, offered in 2.0 liter, 3.0 liter, naturally aspirated, and turbocharged forms, the M30 was only offered with the SOHC VG30E. Although it was a smooth powertrain, which Infiniti touted in its brochures for the M30, the 3,302 lb (1,498 kg) coupe and convertible were generally received as overweight and underpowered. Infiniti marketed the car as a luxury sports coupe, and its relatively low power output, combined with the absence of a manual transmission, hampered its performance and sporting image.
Like the Nissan Maxima, the M30 was equipped with Nissan's Sonar Suspension II. Using a sonar sensor mounted underneath the front bumper that scanned the road surface ahead of the vehicle, it would instantly change damping based on varying road surfaces, using individual actuators on each shock absorber. A center console-mounted switch allowed drivers to choose between Comfort (soft) and Sport (firm) suspension modes.
The M30 has a small cult following, similar to that of the Nissan Leopard F31 built in Japan. The car shares many similarities with more successful and capable Nissan sports cars, such as the 240SX, 300ZX and early-generation Skylines. As such, more powerful engines, manual transmissions, suspensions and limited slip differentials from these cars can be swapped into the M30 to create a much more capable car. In both the U.S. and Japan, the M30/Leopard has been used for drifting. This is more so in America based on the drifting trend. The Nissan Leopard as well as Infiniti M30 are highly prized in Japan.
Drifting with an M30 was an idea started in 2003 on the Fresh Alloy forums. At the time, drifting was starting to catch on in the North America. One of the most popular platforms was the S13 Nissan 240SX, and enthusiasts wanted to find a different platform that would take similar parts, but would also be rigid, and different enough to stand out from other drift cars. The interest in drifting began with an article from Option and Drift Tengoku, of L-Evolution/Locc-on. It demonstrated the possibilities of the F31 chassis as a drifting platform.
In Japan, drifting is not routinely performed with the F31 chassis. There are a few track cars with mild tuning, but are still street legal. Many JDM Leopard owners focus on maintaining the Nissan Leopard and Infiniti M30, as they have become somewhat of a classic car. The scarcity of parts (due to Nissan discontinuing production) and rise in Shaken (tax) and inspection have given many people a reason to not pursue an F31.
It is generally regarded among M30 enthusiasts that the downgraded powertrain, weak suspension, and lack of factory options was a mistake on Infiniti's part, and perhaps to blame for the lackluster sales. The M30 was a Japanese car designed for the Japanese market. When it came to America, there was very little change in the F31 platform, such as interior room, and ergonomics. The M30 used a left-hand drive version of the angular dashboard from the R31 generation Nissan Skyline, rather than the rounded Kouki dashboard in the 1989-1992 Leopard.
Second generation (2003–2004)Edit
|Infiniti M (Y34)|
|Also called||Nissan Gloria|
|Body and chassis|
|Engine||4.5L VK45DE 340 hp (254 kW) V8|
|Wheelbase||2,799 mm (110.2 in)|
|Length||5,009 mm (197.2 in)|
|Width||1,770 mm (69.7 in)|
|Height||1,463 mm (57.6 in)|
The 2003 Infiniti M45 was designed in 2000 at the Nissan Technical Center (NTC) in Atsugi, Japan; was manufactured in Tochigi, Japan; and is based on the Y34-series Nissan Gloria. In contrast to the Japanese models, which were available only with 6-cylinder engines, the M45 was powered by Nissan's VK45DE V8, producing 340 hp (254 kW) and 333 lb⋅ft (451 N⋅m) of torque, which it shared with the Infiniti's flagship Q45.
In addition to the difference in powertrain with the Y34 Cedric/Gloria, the Y34 M45 has a completely different instrument panel design, similar to the F50 Q45. Other differences includes a completely different rear multi-link suspension design. The Y34 Cedric/Gloria's rear multi-link suspension design is similar to Z32 300ZX, and S14/S15 Silvia/200SX/240SX where the rear spring is mounted on the strut. The rear suspension design on the Y34 M45 is very much like the rear suspension design on the Z33 350Z, where the spring is mounted independent of the shock/strut, and sits directly on the lower arm, in a spring cup.
The front suspension design carries over from the Y33 Q45, with a one-piece strut/upright. In place of the stamped steel front lower arm, the Y34 M45 has a cast aluminum lower A-arm.
Third generation (2006–2010)Edit
|Infiniti M (Y50)|
|Also called||Nissan Fuga|
|Designer||Michinari Chiba (2002)|
|Body and chassis|
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive / Four-wheel drive|
|Platform||FM-L "enhanced FM"|
|Engine||3.5L 280 hp (209 kW) VQ35DE V6|
3.5L 303 hp (226 kW) VQ35HR V6
4.5L 325 hp (242 kW) VK45DE V8
|Transmission||5-speed automatic; 7-speed automatic|
|Wheelbase||2,901 mm (114.2 in)|
|Length||2006-07: 4,892 mm (192.6 in)|
2008-2010: 4,930 mm (194.1 in)
|Width||1,798 mm (70.8 in)|
|Height||1,509 mm (59.4 in) (M35 & M45)|
1,511 mm (59.5 in) (M35 & M45 Sport)
M35x: 1,524 mm (60.0 in)
Infiniti released a completely redesigned M for the 2006 model year to compete directly in the mid-size sport luxury class, against such class stalwarts as the BMW 5 Series, Lexus GS, and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The Infiniti M was released in February 2005, almost exactly at the same time as the new 2006 Lexus GS.
The Infiniti M uses a much more rigid version of the G35/350Z/FX Nissan FM platform and was available with the common VQ-series 280 hp (208 kW) 3.5 L V6 in the M35, or the Q45's 335 hp (249 kW) 4.5 L V8 in the M45. This generation of the Infiniti M was sold in Japan as the Nissan Fuga.
While being 177 mm (7.0 in) shorter on the outside than the last flagship Q45 at 5,069 mm (199.6 in), the M boasts more interior space, greater performance, a superior rear multilink suspension and front double wishbone, and friendlier ergonomics due to its 30 mm (1.2 in) longer wheelbase. The Q45 was no longer imported from Japan after the 2006 model year, making the M45 the flagship car of the Infiniti marque.
The automotive press awarded the Y50 Infiniti M several best-in-class awards in direct comparisons against its competitors in the midsize luxury segment. For instance the M45 fared well against the BMW 545i/550i, Acura RL, Mercedes-Benz E500/E550, and Lexus GS 430/450h. Reviewers cited the M35 and M45's driving involvement and handling dynamics over the GS and E-Class while having superior ergonomics to the 5 Series; furthermore the M was equipped and priced competitively against its German rivals., while the M35 also received strong reviews. Despite entering a very crowded, competitive segment in which almost every member has been recently redesigned, the M managed to claim several key distinctions. The M is near or at the top of its class of every interior dimension, actually breaking into the United States Environmental Protection Agency "large" category depending on which option packages are selected.  The M35x won Consumer Reports top luxury car pick for 2006, taking the top spot from the 2005 Lexus LS 430.
Despite the positive press accolades, the Infiniti M did not manage to gain a significant market share in the mid-luxury market, which was dominated by the Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series. The Infiniti G37 sedan and coupe, competing in the entry-level luxury sport category, accounted for half of the marque's sales as of 2009. Out of that year's 81000 Infiniti cars sold, only 10000 were of the M nameplate. Furthermore, the 2009 update left M35 and M45 in awkward positions of the Infiniti lineup, as though they were the flagships of the marque, they were out-powered by the VQ37VHR engines fitted in the 2009 G37 coupe and sedan. For that model year while the G Series received 7-speed automatic transmissions across the lineup, only the M35 RWD was upgraded to a 7-speed automatic while the rest of the nameplate retained the aging 5-speed automatic.
2008/2009 Mid-generational refreshEdit
For the 2008 model year, the Infiniti M received a minor model update. The M45 gets optional all wheel drive (M45x), all models get new front and rear fascias, slightly revised tail lights, and redesigned blue-and-white gauges (as opposed to the previous orange ones). Infiniti also offered an S type version for the M45/M45x similar to the previous Sport model. Other new features on the 2008 model include touch screen hard drive based navigation, iPod integration, and a music hard drive.
For 2009, the M35 received a new V6 engine producing 303 hp (226 kW) and 262 lb⋅ft (355 N⋅m) of torque and a 7-speed automatic transmission. The 2009 M35x, M45, and M45x retained the five-speed automatic.
Fourth generation (2011–present)Edit
|Infiniti M / Q70 (Y51)|
Infiniti M37 S (Europe)
|Also called||Nissan Fuga|
Nissan Cima (LWB)
Infiniti Q70 (2013–present)
Infiniti Q70L (LWB; 2015–present)
Mitsubishi Dignity (LWB)
|Designer||Hideo Komuro (2007, 2008)|
|Body and chassis|
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive / Four-wheel drive|
|Platform||FM-L "enhanced FM"|
|Engine||2.5L V6 VQ25HR|
3.0L V6 V9X turbo diesel
3.5L V6 VQ35HR hybrid
3.7L V6 VQ37VHR
5.6L V8 VK56VD
|Wheelbase||2,900 mm (114.2 in)|
3,051 mm (120.1 in) (Q70L)
|Length||4,945 mm (194.7 in)|
5,131 mm (202.0 in) (Q70L)
|Width||1,845 mm (72.6 in)|
|Height||1,509 mm (59.4 in)|
The Y51, designed by Hideo Komuro during 2006 and 2008 under the supervision of Shiro Nakamura, took on a more organic look. It is a resurrection of a 1960s and 1970s appearance called "coke bottle styling".
The 2011 Infiniti M was previewed at the 59th Annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, and introduced to the public at a media event in Beverly Hills, California in December 2009, to coincide with the LA Auto Show in Los Angeles. The production version went on sale across the world starting in the spring of 2010 as a 2011 model. It went on sale in the US on March 1, 2010. It was launched in Europe at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.
A driving mode selector knob has been installed as standard equipment on all models, situated below the transmission gear lever and between the heated and ventilated front seat controls, providing four selections labeled "Standard", "Sport", "Eco", and "Snow", allowing the 7-speed transmission, engine and various systems to optimize driving based on varying conditions. To minimize exhaust noise intrusion into the passenger compartment from the engine at low rpms, "Active Noise Control" has been installed. Double-piston shock absorbers, developed by Kayaba Industry Company, have replaced the ones previously supplied by Hitachi.
The 5.6L V8 VK56VD in the Infiniti M56 makes it competitive with other V8 mid-luxury (executive) cars such as the BMW 550i and Mercedes-Benz E550. The 5.6L V8 is not shared with its Japanese domestic market counterpart, the Nissan Fuga, as Nissan opted instead to have the hybrid version as the performance option. The extended length version of the Fuga, known as the Cima, is offered as the Infiniti Q70L beginning from model year 2015.
The M37 and M56 will have all-wheel drive optional, badged as M37x and M56x, respectively.
Safety technology has also been introduced, such as Lane Departure Prevention, which uses a small camera mounted above the rearview mirror to gauge distance from the lane markers, and will lightly tap selected brakes when necessary to help ease the car back into the correct lane. It will allow for unimpeded lane changes when the turn signal is used, and will yield control to the driver at all times. Blind Spot Intervention System uses sensors to provide a visual warning in the side view mirror. If the car senses that movement towards the obstacle is occurring, it will provide an audible warning and will apply opposite side brakes to guide the vehicle into the correct lane.
The third generation Infiniti M models were given a "Top Safety Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) by earning a "Good" score for all four IIHS crash tests while also featuring standard stability control to help avoid accidents altogether.
|M25||2011-||2,495 cc (152.3 cu in) V6 24-valve (VQ25HR)||218 hp (163 kW; 221 PS) @ 6,400, 186 lb⋅ft (252 N⋅m) @4,800|
|M37||2010-||3,696 cc (225.5 cu in) V6 24-valve VVEL (VQ37VHR)||330 hp (246 kW; 335 PS)@ 7,000, 270 lb⋅ft (366 N⋅m) @5,200|
|M56||2010-||5,552 cc (338.8 cu in) V8 32-valve VVEL direct injection (VK56VD)||420 hp (313 kW; 426 PS) @ 6,000, 417 lb⋅ft (565 N⋅m) @4,400|
|M35h||2011-||3,498 cc (213.5 cu in) V6 24-valve (VQ35HR)||303 hp (226 kW; 307 PS) @ 6,800, 264 lb⋅ft (358 N⋅m) @ 4,800|
|electric motor||59 PS (43 kW; 59 PS)@? 199 lb⋅ft (270 N⋅m) @?|
|M30d||2010-2014||2,993 cc (182.6 cu in) V6 24-valve Turbo diesel (V9X Engine)||240 hp (179 kW; 243 PS) @?, 406 lb⋅ft (550 N⋅m) @2,501|
M35h (Hybrid version) (2011–present)Edit
The Infiniti M Hybrid, to be sold as the Nissan Fuga Hybrid in Japan where it is the top performance trim there, will introduce Nissan's first in-house developed electric hybrid technology, and the carmaker claims it will double the fuel economy of its gasoline-powered version. Nissan also announced that the Nissan Infiniti/Fuga Hybrid, together with the Nissan Leaf, will include its new Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians system to alert pedestrians, the blind and others to their presence when the hybrid is operating at low speeds in all-electric mode.
The hybrid includes one electric motor and two clutches to allow the 3.5L V6 (302 hp (225 kW) and 258 lb⋅ft (350 N⋅m)) gas engine and electric motor to drive the rear wheels simultaneously. The lithium-ion battery pack will come from the Infiniti Essence. The VQ35HR 3.5 L V6 Hybrid utilizes the Atkinson cycle. The electric motor, installed in parallel between the engine and the transmission, produces 68 PS (50 kW; 67 bhp) from 1.3kWh lithium-ion batteries that are expected to have a service life of 10 years. The batteries are installed upright behind the rear seats. The main sacrifices are that the luggage compartment space is reduced, the hybrid's rear seats are fixed in place and cannot fold down, and all-wheel drive is not available. One benefit of the battery placement though, is that it leaves the hybrid with a 51/49 front to rear weight distribution.
The combined power output of the M35H's hybrid power-train is 360 hp (268 kW; 365 PS) at 6500 rpm, and an estimated 391 lb⋅ft (530 N⋅m) of torque at 2000 rpm.
Reviewers have considered the 2012 Infiniti M35h, along with the 2011 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid which also debuted in the same calendar year, as among the best executed hybrid performance luxury cars. The M35h and Panamera S Hybrid are the first hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles with an automatic transmission to return frugal fuel economy figures and retain the acceleration/handling characteristics of its gasoline-only counterparts. Earlier hybrids such as the Lexus 2007 GS 450h used a CVT for fuel economy at the cost of driving dynamics, while the 2010 BMW ActiveHybrid 7 which has an automatic transmission did not feature significantly improved mileage over its gasoline counterpart. The M35h's fuel economy is superior to the M37, and it is almost as fast as the M56 while providing a more balanced, near 50/50, front/rear weight distribution.
On August 23, 2011, the Infiniti M35h set an official Guinness world record for the world's fastest accelerating production full hybrid. The feat took place at the United Kingdom's Santa Pod Raceway, where CAR magazine journalist Tim Pollard drove the vehicle down the quarter-mile dragstrip in 13.896 seconds. The M35h averaged 13.9031 seconds for all runs, reaching speeds over 100 mph. Guinness adjudicators were present to witness the run and certify the record. The official claimed 0-100 km/h (62 mph) time for the Infiniti M35h is 5.5 seconds.
M30d (Diesel version) (2010–2014)Edit
In 2010, at the Geneva Motor Show, the Infiniti M was introduced with a diesel engine for the first time. It will be sold across Europe starting in September 2010. The V9X diesel engine produces 240 hp (179 kW) and 406 lb⋅ft (550 N⋅m) of torque at 2,500 rpm. In western Europe, this V6 performance diesel will be offered as a high performance option in lieu of the M56 V8. The M30d will not be sold in the US or Canada.
Awards and recognitionEdit
- 2010 Ward's Auto Interior of the Year
- 2011 Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Award- "Top 10 Cars of 2011" (Top Luxury Pick).
- 2011 Infiniti M received Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick.
- 2011 Infiniti M35h sets official Guinness record for world's fastest production hybrid (certified by the 2013 Guinness Book of Records edition)
Sales by calendar yearEdit
|Year||U.S. Sales||Canada Sales|
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