2013 Infiniti G37xS coupe
2013 Infiniti G37xS coupe. Click image to enlarge

DBDR: 2013 Infiniti G37xS coupe

Manufacturer’s web site
Infiniti Canada

Review and photos by Chris Chase

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2013 Infiniti G coupe

Practicing restraint behind the wheel of a powerful car is not always about keeping my own driving in check. Twice during the week I had this Infiniti G37xS coupe, other drivers expressed their frustration (not verbally or violently, thankfully) with the fact that I wasn’t driving this car flat-out at all times.

The first was the guy in a Mazda3, apparently late for an appointment at his bank (which I only know because it was quite near to my destination); I can only assume the other individual, in a half-rusted Pontiac Montana minivan, also had time-management issues.

The problem in both cases was that there’s a time and a place for driving a sports car the way it was designed to be driven, and a residential neighbourhood, especially one quite literally full of young kids, is not that place, at any time.

But in the right time and place, Infiniti’s G37 is always an agreeable car for a blast of quick acceleration, a corner taken quickly or a (not terribly egregious) high-speed highway run.

2013 Infiniti G37xS coupe
2013 Infiniti G37xS coupe
2013 Infiniti G37xS coupe
2013 Infiniti G37xS coupe. Click image to enlarge

You know it’s an interesting time in the auto industry when you can look at the specs for Infiniti’s 3.7 L V6 – 330 horsepower, 270 lb-ft of torque – and consider them to be quite ordinary in many ways. With a “premium” car like this, however, it’s not just about the numbers (well, not to everyone, anyway); it’s about how those numbers translate into actual performance. Flatten the throttle and little is lost in this translation: the car is quick (if not blindingly so) and acceleration is accompanied by a fantastic exhaust note that, while notable in volume, seems less obnoxious – at least from inside the car – than the distinctive sound Infinitis are known for.

While not a torque-beast like the turbocharged motors some of Infiniti’s competitors use now, the three-point-seven delivers power from impressively low revs, and keeps it coming close to the engine’s 7,500 rpm redline. It’s a smooth engine, and sounds, as it should in a $45,000-plus car, like it enjoys whatever you ask it to do.

Infiniti offers a six-speed manual transmission in this car, but it’s a $2,500 option (over the car’s base price) that can only be had along with the sport package. All other G37 coupe models, like my G37xS tester, use a seven-speed automatic transmission. I’ve never driven a G with a manual transmission, but based on my experience with a variety of automatic-equipped models, the seven-speed is very well-suited to the car. It shifts smoothly, responds willingly to throttle input and makes good use of the engine’s power.

I suspect Infiniti only offers a three-pedal transmission in the G because it feels it has to in order for the car to properly compete with the 3 Series’ and A4s of the world. It’s a suspicion based on the only underwhelming aspect of the automatic transmission’s operation, its manual-shift mode, accessible through the shift lever (a slide to the left engages sport mode, and toggling the lever forward and back puts the car in manual mode, where it stays as long as the shifter is left in that gate) or steering column-mounted shift paddles. The paddles themselves are quite nice – long enough to make them easy to use at moderate steering angles – but any way you slice it, the transmission doesn’t work as well when it’s being told what to do. Shifts are less crisp, and the delay between input and response, while fairly brief, is long enough to be annoying: when you tell a car you want it to change gears, the car needs to change gears right now. On the plus side, manual downshifts are accomplished with an automatic blip of the throttle to smooth the transition.

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