Infiniti released details and artwork regarding its 2008 M45 sedan, and new M45x, which will get the company's all-wheel drive system. The system, known as ATTESA E-TS (advanced total traction engineering system for all electronic torque split — gesundheit) can adjust front/rear torque distribution from 50/50 to 0/100. It's the first time the company's offered the system on the top-line model. What's entirely new is Infiniti's lane departure warning system, hard drive navigation with 9.3-gig music storage and a sport package that includes a body kit, interior trim, Rear Active Steer (RAS) and 19-inch sport wheels. The company also says its coming European entreé will include the G coupe, EX and FX SUVs, and — following next decade — the next M series, which will get a new diesel, developed with Renault, that it'll share with the next Nissan Maxima. Will the land of Bimmers and Mercs cotton to an interloper? Yeah, why not.
2008 Infiniti M Receives Major Upgrades, Including First Available Production Lane Departure Prevention System
Just two years after its highly successful introduction, the Infiniti M receives major upgrades for 2008 that include the first-ever availability of Infiniti's intelligent ATTESA™ E-TS all-wheel drive system on the 4.5-liter V8-powered M45. The new model, designated M45x, joins the M35x to provide buyers with two choices in all-climate AWD performance.
Other enhancements for 2008 include revised interior and exterior styling and added luxury amenities and technologies, including the production debut of Infiniti's newest safety technology, the Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) system.
The exterior enhancements for 2008 include revised front and rear fascia, grille, rear fender panels, rear decklid and taillight design, new chrome accents and new 18-inch and 19-inch sport aluminum-alloy wheels.
Inside, the new 2008 Infiniti M includes an upgraded Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System with touch-screen, 9.3GB Music Box hard drive for digital music storage and playback and available XM NavTraffic® (requires active XM® subscription, sold separately), as well as new white instrument panel lighting with violet accents and white and violet interior lighting, standard XMâ Satellite Radio (requires XM® subscription, sold separately) and a revised Stone colored interior.
Also for 2008, the previous M35 and M45 Sport models have been replaced by an available Sport Package, which includes significant visual differentiation from non-Sport Package models - including unique exterior and interior styling, Rear Active Steer (RAS) and 19-inch sport wheels and tires.
In addition to the advanced navigation system, other available M technology includes Bluetooth? Hands-free Phone System, an Infiniti Information Display with 7-inch LCD screen and easy-to-use controls, Infiniti voice recognition and RearView Monitor.
"The Infiniti M is an expression of power, refinement, technology and design - all the things that make Infiniti owners' hearts pound," said Mark Igo, vice president and general manager, Infiniti. "The M captures the soul of the Infiniti brand, expressing it in invigorating, forward thinking ways."
Refined Exterior and Interior Designs For 2008
From a design standpoint, the Infiniti M optimizes both luxury and sport styling to create a dynamic visual appeal. The revised exterior styling for 2008 includes a new front grille and bumpers, lower air intake, fog lamps and side sills. In the rear, the new M features revised fenders, taillights, deck lid and a new optional rear spoiler design. There are also new chrome bodyside accents. Sport Package-equipped models have greater visual differentiation than in previous years, including unique front and rear bumpers, headlight color and side sills.
What hasn't changed is how the M's expressive grille and crystal-look headlight clusters, which offer a luxurious appeal, while large 18- or 19-inch wheels and low profile tires, stable posture with wide track, and short overhangs contribute to the sportiness of the design.
The Infiniti M's long wheelbase and short overhangs provide a roomy interior and sporty exterior dimensions. Wide front and rear tracks add to handling stability, while the overall width enhances interior and trunk volume. Also featured are lightweight body components, including aluminum-alloy inner and outer door panels, hood and decklid panels.
"The M's low, aggressive hood line, which flows into the anchored shoulders and fluid roofline contribute to the sporty, powerful silhouette," said Igo. "There's a solid, muscular look to the design, fitting of its vibrant performance, yet a refined, high quality feel worthy of an Infiniti flagship."
The M's interior design engages the senses in invigorating ways, combining a driver-oriented cockpit with a graceful, Infiniti level of luxury and design detail.
For 2008, the M features a new interior look with new "Fine Vision" electroluminescent gauges, new "gear-like" rings on the instrument cluster meters, a revised center console, new aluminum trim surface texturing, new wood trim and door trim and a new full gray interior color. Sport Package-equipped models receive unique steering wheel and shift knob stitching, unique front seat designs and aluminum-trimmed pedals.
For 2008, the interior also offers an upgraded Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System with touch-screen, 9.3GB Music Box hard drive for digital music storage and playback and available XM NavTraffic® (requires active XM® subscription, sold separately).
These changes enhance the M's modern, intuitive interior feel and layout, which focuses on purposeful simplicity. Interior features include genuine Rosewood or aluminum trim, leather-appointed seats, "Fine Vision" electroluminescent gauges, climate controlled front seats, standard XM® Satellite Radio (requires active XM® subscription, sold separately) and available features such as heated power reclining rear seats and advanced Bose® Studio Surround™ sound system with digital 5.1-channel decoding and 14 speakers including two personal speakers mounted in the shoulders of each front seat. The interior also offers an array of driver and passenger-oriented technology features, including the Infiniti Intelligent Key system with Push Button Start, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, RearView Monitor and Intelligent Cruise Control.
Vibrant Performance with Available AWD and Rear Active Steer
When the Infiniti M went on sale as an all-new 2006 model it captured essential elements of both a luxury performance sedan and an award-winning sports sedan. Its performance is equally engaging in the V8-equipped M45 or V6-equipped M35.
The M45 continues to offer a powerful DOHC 4.5-liter V8, shared with the premium FX45. It is rated at 325 horsepower and 336 lb-ft of torque. The engine design includes titanium valves, modular cylinder heads, microfinished crankshaft, lightweight pistons and super-silent single stage cam drive chain to help optimize performance. In addition, the VK45DE is outfitted with a variable length air induction system and Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) to enhance the engine's power delivery and operation efficiency.
The M35 utilizes an advanced DOHC 3.5-liter V6 rated at 275 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque. The V6 is part of the award-winning VQ engine series also found in the G35 and FX35, and includes aluminum-alloy block and heads and electronically controlled "drive-by-wire" throttle system. Both engines are mated to a standard 5-speed automatic transmission with performance shifter and manual shift mode with downshift rev matching.
Every Infiniti M utilizes an enhanced next-generation FM (Front Mid-ship) platform also used on the G35 Sedan, G37 Coupe and FX premium crossover SUV.
The refined FM platform positions the engine behind the front axle. This positioning results in an optimized front-to-rear weight balance, which factors in weight transfer during key handling maneuvers.
The M suspension is an independent double-wishbone design in front and multi-link independent system in the rear, along with front and rear stabilizer bars.
The Infiniti M's large diameter wheels and tires are positioned out near the corners of the vehicle, helping to further enhance handling and driving excitement. For 2008, the M features new split 5-spoke 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with titanium finish and new, unique split 5-spoke 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels for Sport Package-equipped models. Aggressive low-profile tires, sized 245/45VR18 and 245/40WR19 (Sport Package only), are standard.
The M also utilizes standard 4-wheel power-assisted vented disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). The steering system is an electronically controlled vehicle-speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion design. Every Infiniti M also features Infiniti's advanced Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS). VDC adjusts brake pressure and engine torque automatically in understeer, oversteer or slippery road surface situations, helping the driver keep the intended path.
For drivers seeking the enhanced all-climate performance of all-wheel drive, the M35x and M45x models feature the ATTESA E-TS™ (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All Electronic Torque Split) all-wheel drive system also utilized on FX45 and FX35 AWD. It uses an advanced torque split control strategy that automatically transfers optimum torque to the wheels according to road and driving conditions.
The ATTESA E-TS™ system provides sports car-like handling and cornering capability due to optimum torque distribution between the front and rear wheels (50:50 up to 0:100). ATTESA E-TS™ also provides high starting traction performance and smooth, stable acceleration, especially in snow-covered or off-road situations with a 50:50 torque split at standing start. Combined with the vehicle's VDC system, each wheel receives the appropriate amount of torque when needed.
"We're proud to add the new M45x AWD model to the M lineup for 2008," said Igo. "It's ideal for areas of the country that experience inclimate weather conditions, as well as for drivers seeking the added handling and control benefits of all-wheel drive."
The handling and stability of the Infiniti M Sport models is further optimized by Infiniti's Rear Active Steer system. Unlike passive rear steering systems, this design features precise, electronic motor-driven control. This system helps improve the M Sport's handling performance by adjusting the geometry of the rear suspension according to steering input and vehicle speed.
The system's electronic control unit calculates the desired vehicle dynamics from a series of sensors, including vehicle speed and steering angle, and directs the system actuator to change rear geometry by moving both rear suspension lower links. The result is sports car-like agility, combined with luxury sedan stability and ride quality.
New Lane Departure Prevention System
Another major advancement for the 2008 Infiniti M is the availability of the advanced Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) system. The LDP system makes its worldwide production debut on the 2008 M and the upcoming 2008 Infiniti EX35 luxury crossover SUV.
LDP takes Infiniti's existing Lane Departure Warning system (currently implemented on the FX and previously on the 2007 M) one step further by utilizing the Vehicle Dynamic Control to apply slight brake pressure to the wheels opposite the side of the lane departure direction to help prevent the M from inadvertently traveling out of its intended lane.
Like Lane Departure Warning, the LDP system uses a small camera installed behind the windshield to detect lane markers in front of the vehicle and calculate its position relative to lane markers and warn the driver of lane drift (pending lane change without use of the turn signal) with a visual display and audible buzzer. If the driver does not return the vehicle in the direction of the center of the travel lane, the LDP system assists the driver by using gentle control (generating part of the necessary yaw movement), using the VDC's brake actuator to control the brake pressure of each individual wheel to generate the intended movement.
"Infiniti extends it leadership position in offering the first Lane Departure Prevention system for production vehicles with the new M and the new Infiniti EX35," said Igo." More than 55 percent of fatal auto accidents in the United States are caused by lane departures, including single vehicle and head-on accidents. With the LDP system, Infiniti continues to advance vehicle safety technology."
Other safety features include an Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage front supplemental air bags with Occupant Classification System and roof-mounted side-impact curtain air bags, 3-point ALR/ELR seat belts (driver's seat ELR only), front seat belt adjustable upper anchors with pretensioners and load limiters, front seat Active Head Restraints and available brake operated front pre-crash seat belts, which tighten under emergency braking in anticipation of an evasive maneuver or crash.
Every 2008 M also includes Zone Body construction with energy-dispersing side structure, LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tether for Children) child seat anchorage system and Zone Body platform design with front and rear crumple zones.
Four Fully Equipped Models
For 2008, the Infiniti M is offered in four models: the M35 (V6 rear-wheel drive), M35x AWD (V6 all-wheel drive), M45 (V8 rear-wheel drive) and M45x (V8 all-wheel drive). The M35 and M45 are also offered with a comprehensive Sport Package with Rear Active Steer, unique suspension tuning, 19-inch wheels and tires, sport-bolstered and trimmed front seats, sport steering wheel, aluminum pedal accents and unique body styling.
Other option packages include the Technology Package, Advanced Technology Package, Premium Package, Wood Interior Trim (standard on RWD and AWD models, optional with Sport Package models), Xenon/AFS (M35x only, HID xenon headlights with Adaptive Front Lighting System are standard on all other M models) and Infiniti Mobile Entertainment Package.