04 November 2013

To Infiniti and Beyond

Test vehicle: Infiniti FX37 – 3.7L Petrol

Roderick Eime

One year into Nissan's premium brand Australian relaunch and already prices are falling.

The mysterious Infiniti brand of luxury automobile may be familiar to globe-trotting car-spotters as it's reasonably common on the streets of the USA. Remember back in 1989 when a smart new species of luxury limousine appeared on our streets as if out of nowhere? Yes, I'm talking about Lexus. And while the badge never made it to our shores, the sleek and futuristic Acura vehicles materialised on US and Canadian roads about the same time.

It's all about perception. Toyota needed to be taken seriously as a builder of ultra-premium cars and move out of the 'trusted and reliable' headspace of Corolla and Corona. Enter Lexus. Same with Honda. Now Nissan are back in the fray with a relaunch of their own prejudice-busting brand, the big-ticket Infiniti.

“Relaunch?” I hear you ask. Yes, you could be forgiven for forgetting Infiniti's first foray into the Australian market in 1991 when the Q45 full-size V8 luxury sedan was briefly here. It was meant, like Lexus, to go head-to-head with the big German brutes like the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series, but with a $140,000 price tag, the offensive withered.

Now with Infiniti revisiting the UK market, a range of RHD models became available for export and we now have the G coupe and convertible, the M large sedan and FX mid-sized SUV. The cars all share the 'FM' platform, short for 'front midships' as in use for Skyline and 370Z sportscar.

The futuristic-looking and boldly styled FX SUV is available with a whopping 290kW V8 as well as the more economical 3.7l V6, which we tested on an extensive, sealed road drive out to Mudgee. The low profile tyres and massive 20 x 8.0-inch alloy wheels mean offroad is not really an option for this SUV. That said, the on-demand all-wheel-drive system and 7-speed auto is brilliantly stable and confidence inducing. If you want to bush-bash, get a Nissan Patrol.

The 90-litre petrol tank didn't need refilling, so with careful highway driving, fuel consumption below 10l/100kms is achievable and quite remarkable for a two tonne petrol powered beast. City dwellers, however, can expect closer to 17l/100. The V6 is responsive and zesty with DOHC, variable timing, 4-valve technology putting out a respectable 235kW and 360Nm of caravan-lugging torque.

Some of the driver assisting aids can be a bit hard to get used to with the audible lane guidance a bit like a nagging spouse until you know the secret to disabling it. Otherwise, the interior is immaculate, featuring keyless ignition, supremely comfortable multi-adjusting electric seats with leather trim and oodles of boot space. For the driver, there's a virtual armoury of electronic aids from ABS to advanced traction and dynamic control that tames this beast.

And in a consumer-friendly footnote, Infiniti has just announced substantial price cuts across the range, lopping $7500 off the FX37 pricetag to $76,400.

For details, see www.infiniticars.com.au

23 July 2013

Lexus IS350 F Sport in the Yarra Valley

On location in the Yarra Valley for next issue of Lexus Magazine. Print images by Nathan Duff.

Source: Pacific Magazines
Lexus magazine embodies the Lexus brand values of innovation, refinement and excellence in execution. Balancing understatement with aspiration, Lexus magazine offers rich editorial content and award-winning photography which invigorates the mind and feeds the soul. Lexus magazine is stylish, smart and intriguing - in words, design and imagery.

The content of Lexus reflects its reader's lifestyles and interests, encompassing travel, culture, food, technology and more. We introduce readers to the world's most exciting new ideas in design, and interview high achievers from diverse fields who share the Lexus commitment to excellence. Using leading writers and photographers, we create dynamic front covers, captivating content and stunning visuals that engage our readers and sustain their interest. And above all, we inspire, inform and entertain.

Frequency: Tri annual

Circulation: 28,095 (1 October 2011 to 30 September 2012)

Readership: 56,190

Content Target: Lexus owners predominantly aged between 40-59 years

03 June 2013

On assignment again for Lexus

Frequency: Tri annual
Circulation: 28,095 (1 October 2011 to 30 September 2012)
Readership: 56,190
Content Target: Lexus owners predominantly aged between 40-59 years

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