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The pre-G35 era of Infiniti vehicles were a tough sell but the brand bounced back with its rear-wheel-drive sport sedan in 2002. Can the next generation of Infiniti sports sedan repeat its past glory?


Prior to the G35, Infiniti had a luxury sedan called the G20. It hardly raised pulses with its front-wheel drive lay out and non-descript looks. Making around 140-hp during its 12-year run, the G20 was a luxury car first, with a focus on equipment. In 1990 things like power windows, power locks, power mirrors, four-wheel disc brakes and a brand name audio system were still considered premium options, yet the G20 had them all as standard.
Extra add-ons including heated mirrors and leather trim were additional extras, but there was hardly any reason to jump ahead to the sport, or touring models. However, those looking for a bit more of a sporting personality would love the limited-slip differential which the non-base trim packages get.
“The G20 was a front-wheel drive, badge-engineered Nissan Primera,” states Dave Sullivan, product analyst at AutoPacific. “Nothing to get excited about.”

It was 2002 when Infiniti did a 180 on its sport-sedan strategy. The next generation G moved the drive wheels to the back and stuffed two-extra cylinders in the engine bay. And while we know it as the G35, that car went by a far more impressive name internationally: Skyline. Nissan Skylines have a reputation for being the ultimate in Nissan’s product line, featuring impressive performance and technology. For the luxurious Infiniti brand, there was no better car to start with.

“Nissan has had a strong history of performance vehicles and this was Nissan’s way of developing Infiniti’s brand,” says Sullivan.
The effect was immediate. “Nissan dropped some serious power into a RWD vehicle and the G finally got some respect and sales traction,” he says.
Using a platform and engine that was shared with Nissan 350Z coupe, the V6 made 261 hp and 258 lb-ft in the G35 sedan, and 282 hp and 269 lb-ft in the coupe, which was available with either a six-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive models were only available with an automatic. The car immediately gained traction with enthusiasts and car fans.

Read the complete story on the history of the Infiniti Q50 at

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To be honest, the G20 was just a gussied up Nissan Sentra. I wonder why the author didn't use the I30 as an example. It was really a Maxima in fancier clothes, but it was a much more stylish car.
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