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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 previews a new... something

Tue, 19 Aug 2014 18:00:00 EST

Sometimes we get a teaser image and accompanying statement where we can at least surmise what the automaker is up to. This is not one of those times.
The automaker, in this case, is Infiniti, and the teaser image shows only a grille with a similar shape to what you'd find on most of the company's products, albeit with a curvier mesh. Which isn't much to go on, really, and the accompanying statement (which you can read below in its forty-word entirety) doesn't give us much more. All it says is that the vehicle in question - which we'll wager is a concept car instead of a production debut - has "style and substance" embodied in a "vision... on a scale not seen before" from Infiniti.
Given the French peppered into the release and the encroaching chronological proximity of the Paris Motor Show, we'd guess that's where Infiniti will reveal this latest but of inspiration, but just what form it will take is still a mystery.

Infiniti expanding lineup by 60% over next five years

Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:30:00 EST

Johan de Nysschen had only been at the helm of Infiniti for two years when he left for a position atop Cadillac. But in that time, he indeed left his mark on the brand. Most visibly, there was the drastic Q-ification of the company's vehicle naming strategy, but beyond that were big plans to beef up the Infiniti brand with the goal of making it a fully competitive luxury automaker.
Autoblog spoke with Michael Bartsch, vice president of Infiniti Americas, during Monterey Car Week, and he confirms Infiniti's brand direction is "still exactly as Johan presented it." Over the next five years, the company's portfolio will expand by 60 percent, and that will be aided with additional engine and transmission plants, most notably the recent collaboration with Daimler to build 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines.
Infiniti's lineup will grow to include eight sedans/coupes and five crossovers/SUVs.

Pebble Beach Concept Car Lawn adds class to the grass

Sun, 17 Aug 2014 14:30:00 EST

While Pebble Beach is traditionally thought of as the refuge of the pristine and pricey vintage vehicles of the world, there's no shortage of newer vehicles on display. And when we say "new," we mean really new. As in, not even in production new. This is the concept car lawn, and it's home to an eclectic group of vehicles from past and present.
Of course, calling it the "concept car lawn" is a bit of a misnomer this year (as it has been in previous years, too). Production models like the Alfa Romeo 4C were on display, alongside known quantities like the Hennessy Venom GT and modified versions of already-on-sale models, like the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Waterspeed Collection.
There were a few concepts on display, though. Toyota debuted the critically acclaimed FT-1 Concept in a new shade, while BMW's Beijing Motor Show stunner, the Vision Future Luxury, was also parked on the expensive grass. Also appearing were the Nissan GT-R in sheep's clothing, the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge, and the recently debuted McLaren P1 GTR.

Chrysler, Nissan looking into claim that their cars are industry's most hackable

Sun, 10 Aug 2014 14:35:00 EST

A pair of cyber security experts have awarded the ignominious title of most hackable vehicles on American roads to the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, 2014 Infiniti Q50 and 2015 Cadillac Escalade.
Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek are set to release a report at the Black Hat hacking conference in Las Vegas, Automotive News reports. The two men found the Jeep, Caddy and Q50 were easiest to hack based not on actual tests with the vehicles, but a detailed analysis of systems like Bluetooth and wireless internet access - basically, anything that'd allow a hacker to remotely gain access to the vehicle's systems.
Considering this lack of hands-on testing, the pair acknowledge that "most hackable" could be a relative term - they point out that the vehicles may actually be quite secure.

Infiniti Q50 Active Lane control is scarily self-driving

Wed, 06 Aug 2014 11:31:00 EST

Occasionally, we post videos that require us to tell you not to try something at home. They usually involve some unsafe activity that requires a high-degree of skill and planning to achieve. This video, though, gets a more interesting disclaimer: Don't ever try this. Ever. Never ever. Period. Seriously, don't try it.
Some clowns in Germany decided to put the Infiniti Q50's Active Lane Control system to the test. For those not in the know, ALC can make small adjustments to keep the vehicle in the correct lane, a feature that's just starting to pick up steam. Instead of using it the way you're supposed to - with both hands on the wheel - these guys not only take both hands off the steering, but at one point climb out of the seat while traveling at freeway speeds, just to see how automated the combination of ALC and adaptive cruise control really are.
Yes, we've seen this sort of stunt before, but it was done in extremely controlled circumstances that didn't put the cars, the driver or any other motorists at risk and probably had appropriate emergency personnel on hand should the worst happen.

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.