Every year when I get the opportunity to drive the Infiniti M, I like the car even more than the year before; you might say that it’s a car that grows on you.
Given an all-new design in 2011, the rear-wheel drive Infiniti M has a sporty aerodynamic look, with a long, low hood and a high rear deck, highlighted by the deep body shape of the fenders and light-weight aluminum doors. The luxury sedans get only minor refinements for 2012, along with the addition of a new stable mate, the Infiniti M Hybrid.
New additions include a new 18-inch wheel package, the combining of the previous M56 Sport and Sport Touring Packages into a single Sport Package; and the availability of the Graphite interior for models equipped with the Deluxe Touring Package (a total of four interior colors – Stone, Java, Wheat and Graphite – are offered, depending on model).
As in 2011, the Infiniti M is offered in both M37 and M56 models. The M37 comes with a 330-hp 3.7-liter V-6 engine, while the M56 has a 420-hp 5.6-liter V-8. Both engines have Infiniti’s advanced VVEL (Variable Valve Event & Lift) system and all models are equipped with a standard seven-speed automatic transmission. The M56 engine also uses Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) technology.
The M37 and M56 are again available in rear-wheel drive and with Infiniti’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system. The special Sport Package, offered on rear-wheel drive models only, offers four-wheel Active Steer (4WAS), sport-tuned suspension, Sport Brakes and 20-inch wheels and tires.
The 2012 Infiniti M also continues as a showcase for Infiniti’s advanced, user-focused technologies, including:
*Infiniti Drive Mode Selector, a four-mode driver-selectable control of throttle and transmission mapping that helps optimize vehicle
*Active Noise Control to reduce undesirable engine noise and provide a quieter cabin.
*Blind Spot Warning (BSW) to alert the driver if another vehicle is detected in the blind spot area.
*Blind Spot Intervention (BSI) to provide selective braking if the vehicle approaches an adjacent lane while another vehicle is detected in the blind spot area.
*Forest Air system to help reduce the unpleasant odors in the cabin.
*Eco Pedal to give driver feedback and encourage eco-driving behavior.
*Active Trace Control that adjusts engine torque and the control of braking at each of the four wheels to help enhance cornering performance.
*Double-piston Shock Absorbers that control damping force according to frequency of input from the road surface.
The 2012 M also offers a next-generation the Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System, Bose Studio Surround premium audio system and Intelligent Cruise Control.
Pricing on the Infiniti M luxury sport sedan starts at $47,700.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.