1 Sep 2012
ARRIVING in Australia in late 2012 as luxury car sales were sliding, Infiniti’s M sedan was a stab at a BMW 5 Series competitor.
Infiniti hoped to provide a point of difference with the M as it was a fresh new brand not weighed down by a long history like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and even Lexus that appealed to older buyers.
Being an unknown quantity made the M a hard sell, as did the pricing at launch that ranged from $85,000 all the way up to just under $100,000 for the range-topping M35h GT hybrid, which Infiniti claimed was the fastest-accelerating hybrid production car on the planet.
Powered by a 225kW/350Nm 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine that got assistance from a 50kW/270Nm electric motor – providing peak combined power of 268kW – the M35h accelerated from 0-100km/h in just 5.5 seconds.
The barnstorming hybrid managed official fuel consumption of 6.9L/100km on the combined cycle.
A Renault-sourced 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 powered the M30d model and achieved 7.5L/100km.
Standard equipment included a seven-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch alloy wheels, ‘self-healing’ paint, adaptive headlights with self-leveling function, double-glazed side windows, side mirrors that dipped when reversing, heated exterior mirrors, rain-sensing wipers and a polished aluminium gearknob.
S Premium models additionally got magnesium paddle shifters, sports-tuned suspension, 20-inch alloys, sports seats, a power rear window shade, 16-speaker Bose sound system, blind-spot intervention and active cruise control.