The renowned Infiniti Q45 marks its tenth year of production in 1999 with a long list of enhancements designed to keep the flagship of the Infiniti line on the leading edge of the luxury performance sedan class.
The changes for the new model year range from revised front and rear exterior styling to new comfort and convenience amenities, along with a new electronically modulated suspension with driver selectable settings and 17-inch wheels and tires for the sporty Q45 Touring Package model (Q45t).
"The Q45, like Infiniti itself, has undergone continuous refinement throughout the past decade in our effort to provide the very best driving and ownership experience," said Tom Orbe, vice president and general manager, Infiniti Division. "The 1999 Q45 is the best Q yet, an absolutely stunning vehicle in terms of styling, luxury amenities and in its stirring performance. In that sense, it's just like the original."
For 1999, a number of subtle and not-so-subtle changes have been made to the front and rear of the Q45. The chromed surface area of the grille has been reduced slightly, while new headlights, with two round projector beam bulbs per side mounted within a rectangular frame, add a strong visual sense of power.
The headlights themselves are a new high intensity discharge (HID) type with Xenon gas bulbs and crystalline lenses. In the rear, the combination lamps have been revised and the license plate finisher is now body-colored to provide a more integrated, elegant look.
Other exterior changes include a new power glass sunroof with tilt/slide feature and sunshade, replacing the previous full metal sunroof. The sunroof also offers a "one-touch" open feature for ease of operation. The Q45's body-color, power remote-controlled and heated outside mirrors now have an anti-glare coating. A new power closure assist has been added to the trunk.
The rest of the Q45 exterior continues with the strong, elegant shape introduced in the 1997 model year, with its distinctive horizontal "bone" character line running the length of the vehicle near the top of the beltline.
The new model year introduces several previously unavailable exterior colors among eight total colors: Hunter Green, New Warm Gray, Aspen White Pearl and Titanium. Three interior colors are offered.
Most notable among the changes to the Q45 interior is the return of the popular analog clock after an absence of two years. The classically styled clock, located in the middle of the instrument panel, was a signature item in the original Q45. Other additions for 1999 include a power-operated rear sunshade, retained accessory power for the sunroof and windows, height-adjustable rear outboard head restraints, steering wheel-mounted audio switches, a revised audio faceplate and a reduced application of the wood-tone trim to the center instrument stack.
The newest Q45 continues the Infiniti tradition of combining a true driver oriented cockpit with a seemingly endless list of luxury amenities. Standard features include 8-way driver and front-passenger seats, leather seating surfaces, driver's entry/exit system with two-position memory (with side mirrors added for ‘99), power windows, trunk and fuel filler door releases, automatic temperature control with microfiltration ventilation and rear air conditioning/heater ducts, power door locks with selective unlocking, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver and dual cupholders front and rear. All Infiniti models in 1999 offer standard Bose® audio systems, including the Q45's 200-watt, 8-speaker AM/FM/cassette and in-dash CD player. Every Q45 is pre-wired for both an optional 6-disc CD autochanger and Infiniti cellular phones.
The Q45's standard 4.1-liter 32-valve DOHC V8 remains one of the most advanced designs in its class. The engine was developed to meet the everyday demands of around town driving, including responsive acceleration, smooth and quiet operation and low maintenance, yet still appeal to performance minded drivers as an exceptional higher speed tourer when the call of the open highway beckons. The Q45 also delivers responsible fuel economy of 17 mpg City / 24 mpg Highway.
The engine, rated at 266 horsepower and 278 ft-lbs of torque, is mated to an advanced electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission. A viscous limited-slip differential is also standard on every Q45, along with Infiniti's Traction Control System (TCS). TCS provides excellent all-condition driving performance, automatically engaging when any one of the ABS wheels are slipping to enhance stability and control.
The Q45's refined suspension utilizes front MacPherson struts with coil springs and is designed to enhance handling and stability by minimizing camber change during cornering. The rear suspension is an independent multi-link design, using three links (instead of the typical two-link design) to provide maximum tire contact with the road and superior body roll control, even under extreme driving conditions.
The new Active Damper Suspension, available as standard equipment on the Q45t, offers electronically modulated shock valving control with SPORT and AUTO driver selectable settings.
The system uses real-time, independent 4-wheel shock absorber damping force regulation in response to input from vertical G-sensors and steering angle sensors. Signals from these sensors are sent to the system's computer control unit, then matched with vehicle speed. "Instruction" data is then sent back to actuators above each individual shock absorber, which immediately adjust shock absorber damping force.
The system helps eliminate excessive body movement, such as in hard cornering, braking or acceleration. It also helps improve tire-to-road surface contact for greater stability and enhanced handling control. With the two adjustable settings, drivers can chose between a softer, more comfortable ride or a firmer ride with more road feel, depending on road surface, traffic and climate conditions or personal preferences.
Braking is provided by standard 4-wheel power-assisted vented disc brakes with 3-channel/4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). Vehicle speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering is also standard.
The Q45 comes equipped with 16-inch luxury style aluminum-alloy wheels with 215/60R16 all-season radial tires. The Q45t offers 17-inch 5-spoke performance style aluminum alloy wheels with 225/50R17 tires.
For 1999, the Q45's standard front-seat supplemental side-impact air bags deploy to provide coverage of both head and chest and the rear center seat belt is now a three-point design. Other standard safety features include driver's and passenger's side air bags, three-point seat belts with front seat belt pretensioners with load limiters, child safety rear door locks, child seat anchors, front and rear crumple zones, energy-absorbing steering column and knee bolsters.
The standard Infiniti Vehicle Immobilizer uses an electronically coded key which is recognized by the ignition system. Without the correct code, the engine will not start.
The Q45 is offered in a choice of two models, the fully-equipped Q45 and for buyers seeking the ultimate in sporty looks and performance, the Q45t. In addition to the 17-inch wheels and tires and electronically modulated suspension, the Q45t includes a blackout grille, blackout headlight treatment, performance style steering wheel and performance-tuned suspension. It also features special "t" badging on the rear decklid.
With the Q45's long list of standard features, only a few options are offered: 6-disc CD autochanger, heated seats and the Infiniti Communicator™ in-vehicle communications system (IVCS), which provides one-touch calling for emergency or roadside assistance, as well as remote door unlocking, security system notification and stolen vehicle recovery.
Like all Infiniti models, the Q45 is protected by some of the best warranties in the industry: a 4-year/60,000-mile Basic New Vehicle Limited Warranty; a 6-year/70,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty (protection for major engine and driveline components); a 5-year/50,000-mile New Vehicle Emission Control Limited Warranty; and a 7-year/unlimited mileage Corrosion Limited Warranty.