Handsome and great to drive, but the brand needs to prove itself

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.

‘S’ spec also brings comfortable and supportive sports seats with adjustable side bolsters.

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.

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Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

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infiniti 30 September 2009

Re: Infiniti G37S Coupe

Beg to differ there. I am very fortunate to be working at the ONLY Infiniti dealership in the UK. and our residual values are running at the same % points as BMW. Better than Mercedes and Audi for that matter. The only car that is a few points above us is the BMW 3 series coupe, and well if you want to be part of the other 425 000 people that own one, then join them!!

Why don't you come and have a look at our showroom and have a drive?? It will certainly change your perception of them!



rosstopher 15 October 2008

Re: Infiniti G37S Coupe

It'll depreciate faster than pretty much anything the competition has, wait and get a year old one for less than 20 grand IMHO

sewa 15 October 2008

Re: Infiniti G37S Coupe

...and it looks way better that any BMW nowadays...