Infiniti Looks Back on 31 Years of Automotive Design
This year, Infiniti celebrates both its 31st anniversary and the upcoming release of its latest model, the QX55. Here’s a retrospective of where the company has been — and where it’s planning to go.
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The early years
Infiniti got its start back in 1989, with a lineup of just two models: the M30 coupe and the Q45 sedan. The M30 was a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, powered by a V6 engine with 162 horsepower. This sporty coupe boasted an available feature called “Sonar Suspension II,” along with a Bose sound system and a power moonroof — which was all pretty fancy at the time. Critics praised the model for its smooth and quiet ride.
The M30’s popularity prompted the automaker to create a convertible version of the model for the U.S. market. The company achieved this in sort of a roundabout way — the cars left the factory as coupes, but were then modified into droptops by an aftermarket company. Those vehicles became collector’s items, beloved by 80s enthusiasts in particular.
The early 21st century
In 2002, the company reached its 13-year anniversary and debuted the Infiniti G35. This coupe also sported a V6, but this dynamo delivered a maximum of 300 horsepower. Over its lifetime, the G35 racked up a number of awards, including the honor of being MotorTrend’s 2003 Car of the Year, and earning a spot on Car and Driver’s 10Best list.
The G35 even spawned a predecessor, the G37. This model sported performance-enhancing features like Variable Valve Event and Lift and Continuously Variable Valve Timing, and offered a folding hardtop model.
This era also brought us the Infiniti FX, which hit the streets in 2003. It was one of the earliest examples of a luxury crossover, and served as a major influence in the auto industry. The second-gen FX offered a more powerful engine along with Continuous Damping Control and Active Steering.
Recently, Infiniti revealed the newest addition to its lineup — the QX55. It’s meant to be a spiritual successor to now-retired FX model, and it’s powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter dynamo. Plus, it’s slated to have tons of modern connectivity and comfort features.
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The 2022 Infiniti QX55 is expected to release in the spring of 2021.
Kimiko Kidd is a native Daytonian. She graduated from Wright State University with degrees in environmental science and sociology. She loves her trusty old Honda Civic, but dreams of owning a 1974 Ford Falcon XB with a custom paint job and a vintage Kawasaki Z1000. In her free time, Kimiko can be found watercolor-painting, baking muffins, collecting rocks, playing old-school Nintendo games, writing her novel, sewing stuffed animals, and cosplaying as her favorite Mad Max characters. See more articles by Kimiko.