With its award winning 255-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, elegant styling, standard 17-inch wheels and tires, available Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) stability system and luxurious interior appointments, the Infiniti I35 made a major impact on the mid-size luxury class when it was introduced as a 2002 model. For its sophomore season, the I35 continues to offer an unmatched combination of refined luxury and performance with enhancements ranging from expanded wood tone trim on the center console to satellite radio compatibility.
"With the addition of the G35 sport sedan in spring 2002, we've been able to focus the I35 on buyers who lean a little more toward the luxury aspects of the luxury/performance equation," said Mark McNabb, vice president and general manager, Infiniti Division. "The combination of I35 and G35 gives buyers two distinct choices – both strong performers, both pure Infiniti."
Under the elegant I35 skin beats the heart of a refined performance sedan, starting with its 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 producing 255 horsepower and 246 lb-ft of torque. The 3.5-liter V6 is part of the VQ engine series that has won acclaim as one of the "Ten Best Engines" from Ward's Auto World magazine for nine consecutive years. The engine's advanced design includes continuous variable timing control, a silent timing chain and electronically controlled throttle.
The engine also features microfinished crank journals and cam lobes, molybdenum coated lightweight pistons, Nissan Variable Induction System (NVIS), digital knock control, six individual coils (one per spark plug) and double platinum-tipped spark plugs with a 100,000 mile tune-up interval. An equal-length tuned exhaust with a variable capacity muffler enhances power production and gives I35 a quiet, yet throaty, sound.
Standard on all 2003 I35s is a smooth 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. Every I35 also features standard Traction Control System (TCS), which aids traction in off-the-line starts and slippery road surface situations.
I35 provides a balance of ride and handling with a strut and coil spring front and rear Multi-Link Beam™ suspension, which minimizes camber changes during cornering. Large diameter front and rear stabilizer bars and speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering help give I35 a smooth, controllable ride. A higher level of handling and stability is available with the sport-tuned suspension on Sport Package-equipped I35s.
Braking is provided by power-assisted 4-wheel disc brakes with standard 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). The I35 brake system also includes two advanced systems - Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), which optimizes brake force depending on passenger and cargo load, and Brake Assist (BA), which reduces pedal effort to aid the driver in hard or panic braking situations.
Sport Package-equipped I35s come with Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), a stability control system adopted from the Q45 sedan. VDC controls individual wheel brake pressure and engine torque automatically in understeer, oversteer or slippery road surface situations. Using a steering sensor, g-sensor, wheel speed sensors and brake pressure sensors, VDC can control individual wheel brake pressure and engine power to help directional stability in potentially dangerous situations.
A Refined Exterior
The I35's large, Q45-style horizontal grille, standard High Intensity Discharge (HID) xenon headlights and large fog lights combine function and style. The side view of the I35 is dominated by large 6-spoke 17-inch luxury or available 8-spoke sport design aluminum-alloy wheels. Side sill extensions are included with the Sport Package (optional on Luxury Model). The rear end features a smoothly styled trunk lid design, jewel-like combination lamps, large badging and low-restriction exhaust with chrome finishers. A rear spoiler is optional on Sport Package-equipped I35s.
One new exterior color is offered for 2003 – Diamond Graphite.
A Luxurious Interior
The 2003 I35 features a highly luxurious interior with seats appointed with Sojourner leather, the signature Infiniti clock, gated automatic transmission shifter with wood-tone gearshift knob, an electroflorescent fine-vision meter cluster with multi-function trip computer, expanded wood-tone accents on the center console and a wood-tone and leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel. For 2003, embroidered Infiniti logos have been added to the front seats. Heated front and rear seats with "high" and "low" settings, heated outside mirrors and leather-wrapped heated steering wheel are offered with the Cold Weather Package.
Standard equipment includes a Bose® 200-watt, 7-speaker premium audio system with AM/FM, in-dash 6-disc CD autochanger, steering wheel audio controls, vehicle-speed-sensitive volume control and Radio Data System (RDS) function. The I35 also includes popular features like an 8-way power driver's seat with two-position memory and automatic entry/exit assist, 4-way power passenger's seat, remote keyless entry with key fob-operated front window down feature and automatic anti-glare rearview mirror with integrated digital compass.
The 2003 I35 is available in three interior colors: Willow, Beige and Graphite.
Optional again in 2003 is the power-operated dash-mounted flip-up Infiniti Navigation System. This navigation system includes the three-dimensional Birdview™ map display and voice guidance system. New this year is the availability of integrated satellite radio, with a choice of XM or Sirius service providers.
Safety and Security
I35 comes with a full complement of standard safety features, including dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors and front seat side-impact supplemental air bags, 3-point ALR/ELR seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters (driver's side ELR only) and front seat belt adjustable upper anchors. Also included are standard front-seat active head restraints to help reduce neck injuries that may occur in rear end collisions. Additionally, I35 is equipped with a rigid bar child seat anchorage system called LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tether for CHildren), child safety rear door locks, a trunk-mounted first aid kit and an emergency inside trunk-release.
Also standard is the Vehicle Security System with Infiniti Immobilizer, which uses an electronically coded key recognized by the ignition system.
Models and Availability
The 2003 Infiniti I35 Luxury Model is available with three option packages, allowing I35 customers to tailor the vehicles to their exact tastes. The Sunroof and Sunshade Package adds a power sliding glass sunroof with tilt and sunshade, linear position pre-select sunroof switch and rear power sunshade.
The Cold Weather Package includes heated front and rear seats with two settings, heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and heated outside mirrors with timer.
The Sport Package adds a sport-tuned suspension, unique 8-spoke champagne-tinted 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, P225/50VR17 V-rated all-season performance tires, Vehicle Dynamic Control and side sill extensions. Available on Sport Package-equipped I35s is the Chrome Wheel Option and a rear spoiler.
Options include the Infiniti Navigation System; side sill extensions and a full-size spare tire with matching aluminum-alloy wheel.