All-new for 2006, the Infiniti M35 and M45 sedans fill the gap between the G35 and Q45 sedans. The M sedan is based on the rear-wheel-drive FM (Front Midships) architecture that’s used on the G35 and the FX35 and FX45 sport utility vehicles, but with some 60 per cent of the components enhanced for the new M.
The M is available in four models: the rear-wheel-drive M35 Luxury, M35x Luxury all-wheel-drive, and the RWD M45 Luxury and M45 Sport.
The M35 uses a 3.5-litre V6, while the M45 has a 4.5-litre V8. All come with a five-speed automatic transmission with short-throw performance shifter and manual-shift mode.
To optimize handling, the engine is positioned behind the front axle for better front-to-rear weight balance, while the large-diameter wheels are pushed out to the corners. The suspension is independent double-wishbone in front and multi-link independent rear. Rear Active Steer adjusts the geometry of the rear suspension, according to steering input and vehicle speed, to enhance low-speed manoeuvrability and high-speed stability.
Standard features on the M35 sedans include heated and cooled leather seats, ten-way power driver’s seat, six-way power passenger seat, Intelligent Key with pushbutton ignition, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, six-CD/MP3 Bose stereo, vehicle information system with seven-inch screen, xenon headlamps with adaptive front lighting, and power sunroof.
All-wheel-drive models use Infiniti’s “intelligent” system, called ATTESA E-TS (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All Electronic Torque Split). It’s also found on the G35x; it automatically transfers optimum torque to specific wheels depending on road and driving conditions.
Optional features include surround sound with 14 speakers, DVD-based navigation system with eight-inch colour monitor, DVD entertainment system, laser-based intelligent cruise control, and Infiniti’s new Lane Departure Warning system, which recognizes lane markings and beeps to warn the driver of a pending, unintended lane departure. Yes, it should just knock the cell phone off your ear, but they haven’t invented that one yet.
The M45 Luxury model shares the M35’s features, but also makes the DVD entertainment system and surround sound audio standard equipment.
The M45 Sport model receives 19-inch split five-spoke alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension with Rear Active Steer, sport front seats, sport steering wheel and aluminum interior accent trim.