Against the Grain - 2011 Infiniti M56 Long-Term Road Test

2011 Infiniti M56 Long-Term Road Test

2011 Infiniti M56: Against the Grain

June 01, 2011

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It's my third time in our 2011 Infiniti M56. I'm sitting at a stoplight, still amazed by the car's acceleration in Sport mode and mystified (or is it mist-ified?) by the Forest Air feature. Then I look to my right and realize that the Japanese white ash center console is roughly as big as my coffee table. Granted, this plank is beautiful and it's the real thing. The finish is amazing and the grain begs for a caress.

But I find myself wondering why there's so damn much wood in this car. In addition to the console, why is there a ribbon of ash encircling the cabin, suggesting the prow of a chariot? Why is a car that's nominally about 21st century power and technology paneled in a material that's better suited to the top of a George Nakashima table?

What do you think? What effect are designers trying to invoke with this generous helping of forest product?

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @10,967 miles

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