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Infiniti Q45, page #2

Infiniti Q45 Price Analytics

About Infiniti Q45

The Q45 was a car of firsts for Infiniti. As well as being one of two debut cars for this luxury brand's American introduction for 1990, the Infiniti Q45 was also the first rear-drive luxury car from a Japanese automaker to directly compete against European sports sedans. The "Q" featured firm suspension tuning, a powerful V8 engine, a quick-shifting automatic transmission, an inviting cabin and a distinctively bold demeanor. Although mostly a critical success, its sales never challenged those of its Japanese rival or the other segment leaders, as consumers were put off by odd initial advertising, muted styling and a lack of prestige associated with the brand.

Following several years of dwindling sales numbers and a questionable second-generation version that emphasized comfort over performance, Infiniti attempted to restore the car to its athletic roots for the third generation. The heart of these Q45s was a specially designed 4.5-liter V8 burbling with 340 horsepower and 333 pound-feet of torque. These numbers put the Q in good company alongside other premium luxury sedans, and a standard adjustable adaptive suspension allowed drivers to tailor the ride for more control around corners or more cushion on the highway. Although the third-gen Infiniti Q45 was certainly capable and comfortable for long-distance travel, it wasn't a match for more performance-oriented competitors when the road turned twisty.

The Infiniti Q45 was discontinued after 2006, but a fourth-generation model is rumored to be in the works. As a used model, the Q still might be worth a look, especially for shoppers interested in an alternative to the luxury sedan status quo. Sales were never great, however, and it will likely take a little extra effort to locate one of good standing.

Most recent Infiniti Q45

The third-generation Q45 was sold for the 2002-'06 model years. It featured a 340-horsepower V8 running through a more sophisticated five-speed automatic transmission. This third-generation Q45 arrived with distinctive "Gatling gun" HID headlights and much sharper styling than the previous Q.

The interior of the late-model Infiniti Q45s was airy, light and spacious. Furnished with vast tracts of wood, brushed aluminum accents, leather and a simple instrument cluster, it surrounded its occupants elegantly. Passenger room was ample throughout, and the power-adjustable driver seat never ceased to provide both comfort and support behind a power tilt/telescoping wheel that accommodated various driver postures with ease. Regrettably, though, many of the Q45's features were controlled by a joystick-based interface that must have seemed good to Infiniti's designers in principle but was clumsy to use in the real world.

Despite generally favorable reviews, however, sales remained poor over the years. In 2005, fewer than 1,200 were sold in the entire United States. For that reason, those shopping for a unique and satisfying performance luxury sedan you won't see on every block -- or any block -- are apt to find the third-gen Q an outstanding value on the used car market.

Minor evolutionary changes carried the Q45 through the years until 2005, when it received a freshening with restyled front and rear sheet metal, new headlights/foglights and LED taillights. Inside, there were new contoured, double-stitched seats, white luminescent gauges, chrome accents and dark maple trim. Underneath, there was a recalibrated transmission and new 17-inch alloy wheels.

In its final year, the 2006 Infiniti Q45 went out with a flourish: A new Sport variant featured active rear steering, performance-oriented suspension tuning and 19-inch alloy wheels. The active steering system monitored vehicle speed and steering input, and used motor-driven controls to adjust the rear suspension geometry to improve handling performance and response. Other changes this year included further revision to the five-speed automatic transmission (now with downshift rev-matching), Bluetooth connectivity and the addition of a lane departure warning system to the optional Premium Package.

Past Infiniti Q45 models

The first Q45 came to market in 1989 as a 1990 model, impressing those who valued distinctive style and performance, thanks to its 278-hp, 4.5-liter V8. In fact, it was one of the first Japanese luxury sedans to blend better-than-average performance with luxurious trimmings and simple-but-elegant styling. It's not an overstatement to say the Q helped redefine the modern luxury sedan.

The Infiniti Q45 offered two flavors initially -- base and Q45t. The Q45t touring package had chassis upgrades, a rear spoiler, BBS alloy wheels and HICAS four-wheel steering. The 1991 Q could also be had with a semiactive suspension (the Q45a). Due in part to a notoriously suspect, product-free initial advertising campaign, however, there weren't enough potential buyers turning into actual buyers. The Q45a model was dropped in 1996. (If you do find yourself looking at a Q45a, know that its active suspension components are complex and will require additional maintenance.)

In an attempt to increase sales and profitability, the second-generation Q45 adopted a more sober philosophy and moved to a new mainstream platform in 1997. Along for the ride were a more conventional appearance and a smaller, less-inspiring 4.1-liter V8 producing 266 hp. The original car's all-multilink suspension morphed to include struts up front, and was further tuned for a comfort bias. But none of this did much to help the car's sales, as they remained far below its competitors.

The sedan's appearance evolved again in 1999 with restyled sheet metal, HID headlights up front and an analog clock again gracing the dash; 17-inch wheels and an electronically adjustable suspension were standard on the Q45t. All Q45s of this era included a leather-lined cabin with exotic wood grain trim, Bose/CD audio and driver-seat/steering wheel position memory; a sunroof and heated seats were also available. The 2000 Q45 Anniversary Edition trim level was the flagship of the line, and the anniversary model was replaced by a Luxury trim in 2001.

At the time, we said that the second-generation Infiniti Q45 offered luxurious appointments, stylish sheet metal and a relatively low price. A Q of this vintage will probably work best for those drivers primarily interested in a luxury sedan that can provide a quiet and comfortable highway ride.

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Infiniti to get Leaf-based electric sedan after all

Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:45:00 EST

Infiniti suffered a huge blow a few weeks ago when CEO Johan de Nysschen jumped ship after two years on the job to take the helm at Cadillac. As boss, he spearheaded change within the Japanese luxury brand and was among the biggest champions of the Q50 Eau Rouge. However, the company is far from sunk. Plans put in place prior to de Nysschen leaving are still on the table, according to Nissan product planner Andy Palmer to Automotive News, and that could mean a rosy future for the once AWOL LE sedan (pictured above) and other models.
Back in 2012, Infiniti promised that it would have the LE on the market as a premium electric sedan by 2014. It was supposed to share the battery pack with the Nissan Leaf but with a more powerful, 134-horsepower motor. But have you seen one on the road recently? The luxury EV was eventually shelved, but de Nysschen pledged the idea wasn't dead. Maybe now is a better time for it. According to Automotive News, the LE is rescheduled to launch in 2017 or 2018. The latest version would use the Leaf platform but with a more potent, next-gen battery to give it a range over 90 miles.
Of course, the LE isn't the only thing on the way from Infiniti; it also appears to be planning a two-pronged approach for small cars. Palmer recently tweeted that the company would build the forthcoming Q30 hatchback and QX30 crossover in the UK in 2015. Additionally, the automaker is firing up a new joint venture factory in Mexico with Mercedes-Benz; building compact models there starting in 2017. According Automotive News, the Mexican-built models will be more US-focused while the UK-built ones will appeal more to Europeans.

Nissan recalls 226k vehicles over airbag inflators

Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:45:00 EST

Nissan and Infiniti are the latest automakers to issue recalls involving faulty airbag inflators from Takata. The Japanese automakers have announced campaigns covering about 226,326 units from seven models built in the early 2000s because they contain the bad part in the passenger-side, front airbag. The affected vehicles include the 2002-2004 Nissan Sentra, 2002-2003 Pathfinder and 2002-2003 Maxima, and it also covers the 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4, 2002-2003 I35, 2003 FX45 and 2003 FX35.
Like the other vehicles with the faulty inflators, it's possible for the part to rupture during airbag deployment and spray metal shrapnel at occupants. Nissan and Infiniti have even included vehicles with replacement airbags in this campaign because those parts also could have been defective. Both companies were also part of the earlier regional campaign to fix cars in high-humidity climates where the problem has been found to be the worst.
As is the usual response, Nissan and Infiniti will notify owners of the affected vehicles and will make the repair at no charge. According to the filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these fixes will commence around August 11. Scroll down to read the report from NHTSA, or read the full defect notice as a PDF, here.

2016 Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Prototype [w/video]

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:57:00 EST

It only takes about half a lap of the Millbrook Proving Grounds for me to become convinced that Infiniti must build this car.
The sedan I am piloting around the English circuit is a working prototype of the Q50 Eau Rouge Concept that made its world debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show earlier this year. As a refresher, the exquisitely painted, burgundy metallic, four-door show car is based on the production Q50, enhanced with Infiniti Red Bull Racing-inspired carbon-fiber bodywork, aerodynamic upgrades and - as we would come to learn at the Geneva Motor Show a few months later - fitted with a beastly twin-turbocharged engine shared with the parent company's spectacular Nissan GT-R.
Despite lacking the concept's gorgeously expensive paint, the vinyl-wrapped red prototype seen here is much more appealing than the static concept, as it is mechanically complete - it can be driven - thus explaining why I have traveled one-third of the way around the world to test this enthusiast-tuned, one-of-a-kind machine at one of Europe's premier testing facilities.

Weekly Recap: New bosses try to jump-start Cadillac and Lincoln

Sat, 26 Jul 2014 12:00:00 EST



Both of America's domestic luxury brands seem to be stuck in neutral.
It's ironic that Cadillac and Lincoln got new bosses within days of each other this month. It's also a commentary on the fact both of America's domestic luxury brands seem to be stuck in neutral.

These are the top luxury cars bought by people entering the segment for the first time

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:30:00 EST

Let's say you just got a big promotion at work or the kids are moving out of the house, and you finally have some extra money. You decide to blow it all at once and treat yourself by upgrading your ride. Naturally, you look to a luxury automaker. What do you choose?
Models like the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class may be tailor-made to introduce buyers to the premium segment, but a new study finds that they don't garner the highest rates of non-luxury customer conquests. It turns out that a Volvo leads among folks moving up to a premium brand, and it isn't even one that's made anymore, at that.
A recent study by Polk and IHS Automotive looked at what models had the highest rates of buyers upgrading from a non-luxury segment. The information comes from its new vehicle registration data through April 2014. All ten top models boasted conquest rates of over 50 percent, but the Volvo C70 led the field with 68.01 percent of its customers coming from non-premium brands.

Cadillac snags de Nysschen from Infiniti, names him new president

Fri, 11 Jul 2014 10:59:00 EST

Johan de Nysschen, the (now former) president of Infiniti, has officially jumped ship. The 54-year-old, who also spent time as the chief executive for Audi USA, has taken the position of president at Cadillac, following a two-year stint at the Nissan-owned luxury brand. In his new role, the 54-year-old will be responsible "for all aspects of Cadillac globally," according to a statement from General Motors.
"Johan brings to our company vast experience in the development and proper execution of luxury automotive brands," said GM President Dan Ammann, de Nysschen's new boss. "With over 20 years in this exact space, especially in the development of the Audi brand, his track record proves he is the perfect executive to lead Cadillac for the long term."
"I have for some time now been impressed by how the new General Motors has been transformed into a formidable force in the industry," de Nysschen said in a statement. "The combination of strong corporate leadership and exceptional engineering resources presents the perfect combination to restore Cadillac to its place among global premium brands."

Infiniti's Palmer announces QX30 small crossover production

Mon, 30 Jun 2014 10:55:00 EST

The name of the game these days in the luxury marketplace is premium compacts. BMW has the 1 Series and 2 Series, Mercedes the A-Class, B-Class, CLA and GLA, Audi has the A1 and A3, even Lexus has the CT 200h. Among the last to get in on the action is Infiniti, but that's all about to change.
Nissan's luxury brand has been working towards a premium compact for some time, revealing the Q30 concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year and signing a new deal with Daimler to help develop and produce it. Now it seems that both it and a crossover version have been approved for production.
The news comes from Andy Palmer, Nissan's UK-based COO, chairman of Infiniti and one of the company's top executives under CEO Carlos Ghosn. Late last week Palmer tweeted the following:

Mercedes and Infiniti confirm joint production in Mexico [w/video]

Mon, 30 Jun 2014 08:45:00 EST

It's official, folks: After initial reports last week indicated that Mercedes-Benz was preparing to begin assembly at the Nissan plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico, the two parent companies have announced just that. Only instead of using the existing Nissan plant at the site (in operation since 1992), Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance have announced a joint venture to build a new one alongside it.
The latest stage in the growing French-German-Japanese collaboration is part of a new collaboration that will see Infiniti and Mercedes jointly develop and build a line of compact premium vehicles, with the first Infiniti models set to roll off the assembly line in 2017 and the first Benzes to follow a year later. Neither party announced exactly which models that would encompass, but Mercedes already has a robust line of small vehicles (including the A-Class, B-Class, CLA and GLA), and Infiniti has long been toying with the idea of slotting in something smaller below the Q50.
The billion-euro project, split evenly between the two industrial giants, is set to create 5,700 new jobs in Mexico. In addition to the Aguascalientes project, Infiniti and Mercedes are also undertaking joint production of four-cylinder engines (initially for the C-Class and Q50) in Decherd, Tennessee, from which they will be exported around the world. By the time the new factory in Mexico reaches full capacity in 2021, it will have the capability to produce 300,000 vehicles annually. That's on top of the 850,000 vehicles the existing facility is capable of handling.

Airbag recall widens to include BMW, Chrysler, Ford and Toyota

Mon, 23 Jun 2014 15:45:00 EST

The recall of faulty airbag inflators supplied by Takata has exploded today to grow to seven automakers. In most cases, only models in certain high-humidity regions were affected because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found in its investigation that moisture played a roll in determining whether there would be a problem. However, some companies opted for national campaigns. The exact number of affected models for these campaigns isn't yet known at this time.
BMW is recalling an undisclosed number of 325i, 325Xi, 330i and 330Xi models from the 2001 through 2005 model years and the 2001-2006 model year versions of the 325Ci and 330Ci for the driver side and passenger side inflators. Only vehicles currently registered in Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands are covered under this recall.
Neither Chrysler's filing with NHTSA nor its press release list the specific models affected, but a company spokesperson told Autoblog that at this time it only covers the driver and passenger side inflators for the 2006 Dodge Charger in Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands

US-built Infiniti Q50 engines to go into Euro-only cars

Thu, 12 Jun 2014 13:28:00 EST

Back in March, Infiniti announced that it would be adding a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder to its Q50 line for European and Chinese buyers. Now, we know where that engine will be built.
Nissan's Decherd, TN facility will receive the $319-million investment, which will see a separate, dedicated line for the Infiniti engines. According to Automotive News, this is more than a line running alongside the Nissan operations - the Infiniti facility will sport its own unique architecture and interior lighting, in a bid to distinguish the premium line from its mass-market parent company.
The logistics of all this do seem, on the surface, quite screwy. Building a new engine on one continent for a car built on another that will eventually go on sale on a third doesn't seem too bright, although there is a catch here. The new engine will also find its way into the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which will kick off production in Vance, AL later this year.