2007 Infiniti G35 Sport: This is a Genuine Muscle Car
July 23, 2007
The Infiniti G35 Sport is not for wimps. This is a 306-hp car, and it's not fooling around. You can lean hard on it through the corners and it won't go limp, as the suspension is sufficiently controlled to keep the Bridgestone RE050s under the car and the brakes are up to the task of burning off the speed without catching fire. And the preference of G35 program engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno for a slightly forward bias for weight distribution gives the sedan a clean, predictable, intuitive feel as it turns into fast bends, when you're doing more work with the balance of the chassis than the action of the steering wheel.
Most of all, this is a genuine muscle car. It feels heavy and thick through the controls, more like a BMW 5 Series than a 3 Series. Considering the power coming from the engine, the shift action is remarkably clean and precise (better than any BMW, in fact), but you can't expect to flick it from gear to gear like a Honda S2000. And the clutch action (documented ad nauseum elsewhere), is genuinely difficult, with a strong over-center action and not much feel at engagement. The added complication of light-effort throttle action (with too much power too soon), plus no audible feedback from the quiet V6 inevitably leads to occasionally stalling the car or smoking the clutch. After more than 700 miles in the G35 Sport over the course of three days earlier this summer, I still found myself making these mistakes.
But, hey, this is a difficult car. Maybe that's why I like it. I tend to like difficult things. The G35 just isn't for everybody, and I like that. While it's possible to mystify the G35 Sport's failings just as people have long mystified the hidden evil of the early Porsche 911 or the truculence of the Ferrari GTB Daytona, it might be that the most memorable cars are the difficult ones.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor @ 6990 miles