2011 Infiniti M

Production Cars 16 Jan 2010
2011 Infiniti M

The third generation Infiniti M flagship sedan will be launched in the European market for the first time. The brand’s halo car is to be released in the US first and poised to take on its German rivals in their home market from September 2010.


Infiniti M Infiniti M is the luxury flagship saloon that will step up its game to take on the European market for its third iteration.

With that in mind Infiniti emphasis that this executive class auto is a more exclusive alternative to the usual 5-Series and E-Classes.

The front-mid mounted V6 petrol, diesel and later hybrid with rear wheel drive doesn’t sound much different to most of the competitors, but, this setup works so well in this market sector.

The features that will please the “indie” crowd will have to come from elsewhere.

Could the difference come from its gadgets, or is it just the names of these new toys? 

At Infiniti, automatic air conditioning is to be known as “Forest Air”, which claims to promote alertness and relieve stress with the subtle scent of forest.

There is a long list of equipment including such highlights as; Blind Spot Intervention, drive mode selector, Active Noise Control and Downshift Rev Matching.  As this sort of gadgetry is to be expected at this level, the real differentiation needs to be in the design.

Design

Infiniti MAt first glance the form has a certain individuality, expressed in its flowing lines featured on the Essence coupe concept seen earlier this year. Another hint of coupe aspirations is exhibited in the sloping roofline and muscle car cola bottle shoulder.

Proportions are weighted nicely with a short front overhang and a decent distance from the front wheels to the cabin, thanks to the engine position. 

Equally the long wheelbase ensures the DLO doesn’t overstretch the centre line of the rear wheels, keeping the visual and real mass well distributed.

The overall character is completed with a decent rear overhang, that’s rescued from overt heaviness via the rear lights stretch on to the side profile and the enhanced sill lines along the bottom.

Infiniti MSurface detailing also aids with the stance, most characterised by the beltline, which against mainstream thinking doesn’t automatically raise directly skywards.

Instead it curves along the car with the classic bulge over the rear wheels as if to spell out to its audience exactly where its power is transferred to the tarmac. 

This lends the car an air of relaxed performance that is echoed in the deep sculpted forms of the hood sweeping back from the unusually bulgy grill.

Despite this, the emphasis up front is to stay dynamic with the very low slung grill and wide inlet that flows down from above, features that create interest and individuality.

Infiniti MOver the top and on to the rear there is good interaction with the sloping roofline creating a well resolved small rear spoiler.

However, less inspiration is to be found in the licence plate surround that simply mirrors the chubby front grill and the lights that are less distinctive than those of its predecessor. 

There’s also very little to entertain below this, where the heavily sculpted body gives way to a rather blunt rear bumper section, generating a miss placed highlight with the unfortunate effect of pinching the car inwards at the bottom.

Inside, the dashboard has a very technical, Japanese car feel with buttons and dials split down the stepped centre console.

Infiniti M InteriorThe small rectangular analogue clock doesn’t manage to soften the effect of all the technology, especially the dominant screen above.  The attention to the finish of the aluminium and swathes of ‘powdered silver mirror finish wood’ does lend a warm ambiance though.

There is a certain driver focus as well, mostly afforded by the instrument binnacle cover swooping over the display, a theme that continues throughout the rest of the interior with great attention to detail. 

This sumptuous quality is best illustrated by the sports seats and the doors with their overlapping sculpted, almost organic forms of quilted leather.

Together, all the interior elements make an intriguing cocktail of unashamed functionality with warm luxury and a small twist of sport. 

This blending of multiple styles could also be applied to the exteriors dynamic yet relaxed styling. For this the Infiniti M feels a bit like a ‘Mash-Up’ album, that will appeal to the alternative market and turn out some unexpected hits.

(Source: Infiniti)

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