What is it?
This is the closet thing to an Infiniti performance car that we’ll have from the UK launch of the brand. It’s a low and reasonably lean front engine, rear-drive 2+2 coupe, powered by the impressively versatile 3.7-litre V6 that is also used in the G37 saloon and EX37 crossover.
Infiniti claims the G37S coupe is a natural competitor for the BMW 330i coupe, which has a similar price.
Infiniti’s gameplan counters the current lack of image for its new-to-Europe brand by offering more power – and an impressive array of standard kit. Japanese-built Infinitis already sell well elsewhere in the world, including both the US and Russia.
What’s it like?
Keen drivers will gravitate to the performance package of the G37S which gets stiffer suspension rates, bigger brakes, a clever active rear-steer system that sharpens both low-speed response high-speed stability, plus a viscous coupling limited slip differential.
The G37 Coupe styling has strong echoes of the saloon, and looks faintly like a bigger version of the Nissan 370Z – but it shares no panels with either. Aesthetically it’s modern, balanced, purposeful – and Japanese (an important Infiniti brand ‘cornerstone).
The squat coupe proportions mean that front seat occupants sit considerably lower than they do in the saloon, which encroaches on rear seat space: it’s a classic 2+2 rather than a true four-seater.
On the road, the G37S comes across as a very good driving machine, almost in the BMW mould and arguably even better put together.
But nothing about its strong performance (155 mph top speed, 5.8 seconds 0-62 mph) undermines its practicality. The strong, zesty V6 is as happy trundling at 1500rpm as it is attacking the 7600rpm redline.
The short-throw gearshift delivers transmission ratios which perfectly suit a life on Europe’s give-and-take road, the brakes are strong but the pedal isn’t especially heavy. The ride is firm, but the Coupe is very sweetly damped, so it stays flat over the most disturbing ruts.
The innovative rear-steer system also works impressively well. Nissan-Infiniti claims that it has over two decades of expertise with similar systems – originally fitted to the Skyline – and the experience shows.
The system makes the steering feel higher geared at low speed, by adding opposing lock, but stabilised in long, high-speed bends where it steers in the same direction as the front wheels.
The best thing about this Infiniti is the uncorrupted nature of its rear-drive responses. It’s a car you can settle into for a long, quick drive.
Turn the radio off, listen to the engine, concentrate on making small, well-timed control inputs, and you’ll be effortlessly fast.
Should I buy one?
It’s a tough call, recommending such a car over a product as well proven and deeply impressive as a BMW or Mercedes coupe.
But if you can afford to be an early investigator of Infiniti residuals, the G37S Coupe makes a fresh, imaginative choice. The driving characteristics certainly won’t cause you any disappointment.