2011 Infiniti M
2011 Infiniti M. Click image to enlarge

Manufacturer’s web site
Infiniti Canada

Join Autos’s Facebook group
Follow Autos on Twitter

Article and photos by Gerry Frechette

Find this vehicle in Autos’s Classified Ads

Photo Gallery:
2011 Infiniti M

Beverly Hills, California – One of the manufacturers not exhibiting at the Los Angeles Auto Show earlier this month was Nissan/Infiniti, but that is not to say that they had nothing new to show in California. At a hotel in Beverly Hills, the new 2011 Infiniti M was revealed.

Infiniti’s top-of-the-line sedan, which is scheduled to go on sale in late March 2010, will be available in two model designations – the Infiniti M56 with an all-new 420-horsepower 5.6-litre Direct Injection gasoline V8 and the Infiniti M37 with a 330-horsepower 3.7-litre V6. Both engines are designed to deliver more power and increased fuel efficiency versus the previous generation M’s smaller V8 and V6 engine offerings. The M56 and M37 will be offered in a choice of rear-wheel drive or Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, and all models are equipped with a standard seven-speed automatic transmission.

2011 Infiniti M
2011 Infiniti M. Click image to enlarge

It barely needs mentioning in this day and age, given that it is almost expected in this sort of luxury car, that the level of technology built into the new Infiniti M models is all-encompassing compared to what was offered even a few years ago. Be it active or passive safety, comfort, infotainment or performance, there is a computer somewhere in the car working for the benefit of its occupants.

Claimed to be a world’s first is Blind Spot Intervention, which enhances the existing Blind Spot Warning system by helping the driver (or, one could say, taking control of the car) to return it back toward the centre of the lane of travel, away from the vehicle in the blind spot area. Selective braking is applied to one side of the vehicle to change its direction.

Other technologies are new to Infiniti. Active Noise Control uses sound to delete noise, generating “cancelling” sound from four door speakers to reduce unpleasant engine harmonics. The cabin noise levels are monitored by two microphones located in the M’s ceiling.

2011 Infiniti M
2011 Infiniti M. Click image to enlarge

The new Forest Air system recreates (in Infiniti’s wording) “the refreshing climate and natural breezes of a relaxing forest setting.” System sensors automatically open and close air intake ports to reduce the intrusion of dust, exhaust or unpleasant odours into the cabin, while the grape polyphenol filter and Plasmacluster air purifier help filter allergens, mould and viruses out of the cabin. Humidity control prevents the over-drying of air from the air conditioner, while the breeze mode provides a natural airflow feeling, gently and subtly varying the airflow from the upper and front air vents.

The Infiniti Drive integrated control system, when set in “Eco,” will provide feedback directly through the accelerator pedal, giving a slight pushback if the car is being driven inefficiently. To get away with liberal applications of throttle, the driver had better have the system set to “Sport” mode.

Other safety technology already seen on Infiniti cars includes Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Prevention systems, which essentially keep the car on the straight-and-narrow. Through visual display and audible buzzer, it warns the driver. If action is not taken, LDP applies the brakes.

2011 Infiniti M
2011 Infiniti M. Click image to enlarge

So, the M has all sorts of technology, and as expected, to get some or all of it beyond what is standard, one has to choose from among the various optional packages available. The Sport Package, offered with M37 and M56 rear-wheel drive only, adds 20-inch wheels and tires, sport suspension and bigger brakes, Four-Wheel Active Steer (4WAS), magnesium paddle shifters, sport seats, aluminum pedal accents, stitched synthetic leather meter hood, sport steering wheel and shift knob, unique front fascia with dark finish grille and dark headlight housings.

In Canada, the Sport Package includes the Premium Package (the contents of which are all standard on M56 models in any case), the Sport Touring Package and the Technology Package. That gets you such niceties as Hard Drive Navigation System with Voice Recognition, 9.3-GB Music Box Hard Drive, climate-controlled front seats, Bose Studio Surround sound system, semi-aniline leather trim with unique quilted seat pattern and contrasting piping, real White Ash wood trim enhanced with real silver powder, Forest Air, all the electronic safety gear, and much more.

The other available 2011 M option choice is the combined Touring and Technology Package, without all the performance equipment of the Sport Package. Needless to say, with such a plethora of features, the prospective M buyer will need to have a serious consultation with a dealer representative.

2011 Infiniti M
2011 Infiniti M. Click image to enlarge

All of the technology is surrounded by (again, in Infiniti’s words) “a multi-layered body design, which was conceived to mirror reflections from different angles to create a sense of mystery and magnetic allure.” In other words, there are no straight lines to be seen on this very curvaceous big sedan. The new M is longer, lower and wider than the last generation. Of particular note is its outstanding coefficient of drag of only 0.27 with zero lift front and rear, thanks to a series of aerodynamic enhancers including front tire deflector, engine under cover (front and rear), centre floor cover, rear tire deflectors, exhaust cover, floor side fairings and rear diffuser. We can expect to see much more such attention paid to the underside of cars, in the quest of aerodynamic efficiency.

The 2011 Infiniti M will go on sale in the spring of 2010. Pricing has not been announced.

Connect with Autos.ca