Fuga suggests Infiniti M will challenge the XF, 5-series and E-class
Seven-speed paddleshift and downshift blipping give sporting edge
V6 engine is the same as in the Nissan 370Z
Sports suspension is perhaps too taut
Sleek, athletic shape is slightly shorter than XF, but taller and narrower
3.7-litre petrol V6 offers 328bhp and 268lb ft of torque
There are hints of chintzy trad Japan styling
Interior is sumptuously appointed
What is it?
Infiniti will launch a renewed assault on the usual German premium suspects in Europe next September, with the new M37 sports saloon.
The Nissan Fuga, the car you see here, is essentially the Japanese-speaking version of that car. Out now in Tokyo, it's every inch a rival for the XF, 5-Series and E-Class in terms of spec, size and outlook.
What's it like?
The Fuga has a sleek, athletic shape and, while it seems big in the metal, at 4945mm long, it's actually a touch shorter than an XF, as well as taller but slightly narrower.
Inside, the Fuga works well for comfort and space and comes sumptuously appointed. There are clear instruments and plenty of kit, but still hints of chintzy trad Japan to the overall decor that ex-Cedric owners may relish.
Dynamically, this top grade Fuga 370GT Type S (with the same V6 engine as the 370Z), is fast and fluent, with fine body control and a sportingly firm yet well controlled ride. In short, it's a car high on driver appeal that could also give the XF a run for its money.
While the Infiniti M37 will also offer a V6 diesel in EU trim, here today, the Z-based 3.7-litre V6 makes a powerful statement. It's not the most refined engine around but is strong, goes hard and working with a seven-speed paddleshift auto with downshift blipping, gives the Fuga a real sporting edge.
On big 20-inch rims, the Fuga corners and grips keenly too. This Type S gets the works in terms of tech, including Active 4WS, and combines XF-class agility and poise with quick, accurate steering. Ride quality is taut (maybe too taut at speed) but then this the full-on sports suspension package.
Should I buy one?
There's no question, the Nissan Fuga is a bold effort - perhaps bold enough to ruffle a feather or two when it arrives in September 2010.
The price will be key, too, and the standard kit list - if transferred to Europe - suggests the car is also going to be good value.