The Infiniti FX, Infiniti's dramatic venture into the crossover SUV field, enters the 2005 year with new state-of-the-art safety enhancements – including the revolutionary Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system that helps alert drivers to an unintended movement of the vehicle out of a designated traffic lane. The LDW system, which utilizes a small camera, speed sensor, an indicator and an audible warning buzzer, is offered on all 2005 FX45 and FX35 models. It is the first production car application of LDW in North America.
In addition to LDW, all 2005 Infiniti FXs are now equipped with standard roof-mounted curtain supplemental curtain air bags with rollover protection for front and rear outboard seat occupants.
Other enhancements to the FX lineup include the addition of dark chrome grille, headlight and taillight accents to the FX45 (also available as part of the V6 Sport Package on FX35 models), a new key fob design for the Infiniti Intelligent Key system and two new exterior colors, Sapphire and Sheer Platinum. Interior changes include a new standard etched aluminum trim.
"Since its introduction, the FX has served as a showcase for Infiniti's technology and engineering leadership," said Mark Igo, vice president and general manager, Infiniti Division. "For 2005, the addition of the first available production car Lane Departure Warning System continues the tradition of innovations with clear benefits for the driver and occupants."
Again for the 2005 model year the FX is available in two designations, each offering the practical utility of a SUV with the heart of a sports car. The FX45 is offered with a standard 4.5-liter V8 engine and all-wheel drive, while the FX35 comes with a standard 3.5-liter V6 and all-wheel or rear-wheel drive.
Aggressive Styling, Dynamic Platform
In creating the FX, its designers sought what they called a "cool fusion" – the blending of a substantial, SUV lower body with the sleek, elegant upper body more reminiscent of a classic sports car or sports GT.
The FX exterior features a wide, aggressive stance with a long, sleek hood, sleek roof and a "taut canopy" greenhouse. The short front and rear overhangs provide SUV-level approach and departure angles, while also helping accentuate the long wheelbase, wide track and large tires (18-inch on FX35, 20-inch on FX45). The wide yet narrow headlights and taillights give the FX an "in-motion" look, with the taillights extending past the body slightly to help create aerodynamic downforce. The exterior design also includes a large Infiniti signature grille, standard fog lights, xenon headlights and large, split dual tailpipes with chrome finishers.
A special palette of exterior colors (eight total) was chosen to highlight and, at times, contrast the aggressive nature of the FX, ranging from dazzling Sapphire, signature Liquid Copper to a deep Beryllium 16 and cool Brilliant Silver.
All FX models utilize a modified version of the advanced FM (Front Mid-ship) platform, which positions the engine behind the front axle. This results in an optimized front-to-rear weight balance of 52:48 (V6 RWD), which factors in weight transfer during key handling maneuvers, such as entering and exiting corners.
The FM platform's rigidity has been enhanced for use specifically with the FX by increasing plate thickness of the front side members, side sills and rear wheel housing. A similar, less modified version of this platform is also found in the Infiniti G35 coupe and sedan.
The FX's long 112.2-inch wheelbase and wide track (62.7-inches front, 64.6-inches rear) combine with large wheels and tires (standard 20-inch on FX45) to provide a stable foundation for on- or off-road driving – as well as a large interior for both passengers and cargo.
A Choice of Two Confidence-Inspiring Engines
Two engines are available again in 2005, starting with the high-performance power of the 4.5-liter DOHC V8. This advanced powerplant, also used in the Infiniti Q45 sedan, has been specially tuned for use in the FX45 and produces 315 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque.
The engine's advanced design includes titanium valves, modular cylinder heads, microfinished crankshaft, lightweight pistons, super-silent single stage cam drive chain and a hydraulically driven cooling fan 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.
Also offered is a 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine with aluminum-alloy block and heads and electronically controlled "drive-by-wire" throttle system. Both the all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive V6 engine-equipped versions are designated as FX35 models.
The V6 has been tuned specifically for use in the FX35, with a horsepower rating of 280. Torque is rated at 270 lb-ft. A 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode, designed for high torque capacity and light weight, is standard with both V8- and V6-equipped models. A special Snow-Mode function changes the throttle input algorithm in low-speed slippery road conditions (once activated by the driver) for enhanced traction control.
Infiniti's advanced Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system with Traction Control System is also standard on every 2005 FX. Vehicle Dynamic Control adjusts brake pressure and engine torque automatically in understeer, oversteer or slippery road surface situations, helping the drivers keep their intended paths.
The ATTESA E-TS™ (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All Electronic Torque Split) all-wheel drive system utilized on the FX45 and FX35 AWD uses an advanced torque split control strategy that automatically transfers optimum torque to the wheels according to road and driving conditions. It provides outstanding cornering capability due to optimum torque distribution for front and rear (50:50 up to 0:100). The system also provides high starting traction performance and smooth, stable acceleration, especially in snow-covered or off-road situations with the 50:50 torque split at standing start.
The FX's dynamic handling is a result of its advanced 4-wheel independent suspension, which makes extensive use of aluminum-alloy components to reduce unsprung weight. The front suspension utilizes an independent front strut design, while the rear features a multi-link design. Large diameter stabilizer bars are utilized front and rear (front only on FX35 RWD model).
The suspension system also incorporates special "High Frequency Control" shock absorber technology with a rebound spring for responsive yet comfortable ride and firm, tight handling.
Helping enhance ground clearance and all-terrain drivability are the FX45's standard 8.0JJx20 8-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels and 265/50R20 all-season tires (optionally available with V6 models). The FX35 is equipped with 8.0JJx18 7-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels and 265/60R18 all-season tires, with 20-inch wheels and tires optionally available with the FX35 AWD.
Standard braking system components include 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes, Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD). Responsive steering is provided by an engine-speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering system.
Also available on FX45 models with the Intelligent Cruise Control System is a special feature of the standard Brake Assist system – Preview Braking. Brake Assist with preview function is designed to help improve brake response. Whereas normally braking is activated only when the driver recognizes the need and moves his or her foot to activate the brake pedal, the preview function utilizes the ICC sensors to identify sudden braking situations (by sensing the vehicle ahead in the same lane and the distance and relative speed from it) and "pre-pressurizes" the Brake Assist system before the driver steps on the brake pedal. This helps maximize braking response and performance by reducing the normal brake system activation time lag.
An Interior That Combines High Tech with Luxurious Comfort
The five-passenger interior of the FX blends the comfort and amenities of a luxury car with an array of high tech driver and passenger features. In front are driver-oriented controls, available 10-way power-adjustable seat with memory function, driver-dedicated automatic air conditioning, information display monitor (6.3-inch standard, 7.0-inch with the Technology Package) and a three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel with tilt (moves in tandem with the instrument cluster) and telescope (power-operated on FX45), integrated cruise and available steering wheel-mounted audio system controls.
The front passenger is treated to an available 8-way power-adjustable seat, passenger adjustable armrest and individual air conditioning control. Available rear seat passenger features include personal reading lamps, center armrest with tray and storage, dual seatback pockets for storing DVDs and magazines, reclining seats and rear B-pillar mounted air conditioning vents for enhanced cooling performance.
Every FX model also offers exceptional utility, including a large cargo area with easy cargo accessibility, flip-down rear seats with quick-release levers conveniently located in the cargo area, three underfloor storage compartments and a lightweight, steel-reinforced composite rear cargo door with electromagnetic opener switch.
A number of special high tech features are also available, including an advanced DVD-based Infiniti Navigation System, Intelligent Key with keyless entry and engine start system and RearView Monitor.
The Intelligent Key is a new generation keyless system that eliminates the need to use the key fob when locking, unlocking and starting the engine. The key fob, which incorporates a circuit board, emergency key and transponder, can be carried with the driver in a pocket, briefcase or purse. To unlock or lock the door, the driver pushes a request switch on the door handle (driver's, passenger's or tailgate). The transponder checks the Intelligent Key unit for the correct identification and unlocks or locks the doors.
To start the engine, the driver pushes the ignition knob into the steering column. If the identification is correct, the knob can be turned to start the engine. The knob is rotated back to the ACC position to stop the engine. The engine can also be started conventionally by inserting the emergency key into the ignition slot.
The Intelligent Key has the same functions as current remote entry systems, including panic alarm and selective unlock mode and answer back.
The RearView Monitor projects a view of what's behind the FX onto the navigation system monitor using a small camera mounted near the rear license plate (the system operates only when reverse gear is selected). Also available is Infiniti's Intelligent Cruise Control System, which uses the brakes, throttle and laser sensors, to maintain a set distance between the FX and a vehicle in front of it.
The Infiniti Mobile Entertainment System features a DVD player with 6.3-inch roof-mounted rear LCD screen. A 6-CD audio system with six speakers is standard, while a 300-watt digital Bose® premium audio system with 11 speakers is also available.
Other interior amenities include an Infiniti signature analog clock, driver and passenger one-touch up/down power windows (front and rear on FX45) and door locks, to name just a few.
Four unique leather-appointed interior color combinations are available (standard on FX45): Graphite, Willow, Willow/Black two-tone and the signature Brick/Black two-tone. Premium cloth seating is also offered.
Advanced Safety Features Including LDW
The 2005 FX's Lane Departure Warning system recognizes lane markings through the use of a small camera mounted behind the rearview mirror. The camera's signal and the vehicle's speed are sent to the system's advanced microprocessing unit, which combines the information to calculate both the distance between the vehicle and the lane marking and the lateral velocity to the lane marking at speeds above 45 mph. A judgment is then made as to whether the vehicle is moving out of the lane (depending on the distance and lateral velocity to the lane).
The Infiniti LDW system is temporarily disabled by driver activation of the vehicle's turn signals, which informs the system's control unit of intended lane changes. The system also features a manual cancel switch, which allows the driver to turn the system off when desired. The system automatically resets when the vehicle is restarted.
The Infiniti LDW system is also scheduled to be available in the 2006 Infiniti M sedan, which goes on sale in spring 2005.
Other safety features found on every 2005 include standard dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors, front-seat side-impact supplemental air bags and front and rear seat curtain side-impact supplemental air bags with rollover protection for front and rear outboard seat occupants.
Also standard are 3-point ALR/ELR seat belts (driver's side ELR only) and front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters and adjustable upper anchors. It is also equipped with the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system.
The FX's SUV-enhanced FM platform Zone Body construction is designed to help protect occupants in a collision by efficiently absorbing crash energy through use of front and rear crushable zones.
In a high-speed frontal collision, for example, the crushable zone crumples while the engine is designed to move under the occupant compartment. This has the effect of expanding the crushable zone, thereby helping to reduce the deceleration g-force and simultaneously helping minimize cabin deformation, especially in the leg area. In offset impacts, the strong body construction helps decrease the amount of cabin deformation.
Other FX features that contribute to improved occupant safety include the breakaway brake pedal and the double-wall construction of the bulkhead to help reduce lower leg injuries and a breakaway construction of the propeller shaft (connected with the engine-drop function).
Models and Packages
The fully equipped FX is offered in three engine/drive configurations: the V8-powered AWD FX45, the V6-powered AWD FX35 and the V6-powered rear-wheel drive FX35.
In addition to the long list of equipment on the FX35, the FX45 includes additional standard equipment, 20-inch tires and unique aluminum-alloy wheels, power tilt and telescope steering wheel, auto up and down feature on all windows, aluminum pedals (accelerator, brake and footrest) and a unique V8 engine cover.
Several optional packages are also available. The Touring Package (available only on FX35) includes leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, driver's memory seat, power lumbar support, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, heated outside mirrors, sunroof, 11-speaker Bose audio system, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, auto on-off headlamps, steering wheel audio controls, black roof rails, cargo net and cargo cover.
The V6 Sport Package (available only on FX35) includes 20-inch wheels and tires, sport-tuned suspension, aluminum pedals and aluminum roof rails, etched aluminum interior trim, and dark chrome exterior accents.
The Technology Package (available on all models) adds the Infiniti Navigation System, Intelligent Cruise Control, RearView Monitor System and Intelligent Key.
The DVD Mobile Entertainment System & Lane Departure Warning System package is also available on all 2005 Infiniti FX models. A Chrome Wheel option is offered with the FX45's 20-inch wheels and tires.