Infiniti continues to challenge the status quo among luxury brands with the upcoming introduction of yet another category-breaking vehicle, the 2006 Infiniti M. The all-new M, which went on sale in late February 2005 as a 2006 model, captures essential elements of both the Q45 luxury performance sedan and the award-winning Infiniti G35 – and takes them to a new level of engaging luxury and performance. Together with the flagship Q45 and sporty G35, the 2006 M gives Infiniti an exceptional lineup of dynamic luxury performance sedans.
The Infiniti M will be offered in five models: the M35 (V6 rear-wheel drive), M35 Sport (V6 rear-wheel drive with Rear Active Steer and 19-inch wheels and tires), M35x AWD (V6 all-wheel drive), M45 (V8 rear-wheel drive) and M45 Sport (V8 rear-wheel drive with Rear Active Steer and 19-inch wheels and tires).
All Infiniti M models are equipped with an advanced 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode and downshift rev matching. Other standard features include leather-appointed seats, Intelligent Key with push button ignition, Infiniti Voice Recognition, Bluetooth® wireless technology, in-dash 6-disc changer with MP3 playback capability, improved Infiniti Vehicle Information System with 7-inch LCD screen and easy-to-use controls mounted on both the instrument panel and the steering wheel, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), 10-way power driver's seat, power-sliding sunroof and Advanced Air Bag System (AABS).
The M35 Sport and M45 Sport models offer standard 19-inch wheels and tires (18-inch wheels and tires are standard on non-Sport models), sport-tuned suspension with Rear Active Steer, xenon headlamps with Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS), climate controlled front sport seats and aluminum interior trim accents.
"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 Division. "We have captured the soul of the Infiniti brand, expressing it in invigorating, forward thinking ways."
An Enhanced FM Platform
The new Infiniti M is available with a choice of V8 or V6 engines, with the vehicles designated M45 and M35 respectively. The M45 features a powerful DOHC 4.5-liter V8, shared with the flagship Infiniti Q45 and FX45. It is rated at 335 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque. The M35 utilizes an advanced DOHC 3.5-liter V6 rated at 280 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. The V6 is part of the award-winning VQ engine series also found in the G35 and FX35.
Every Infiniti M utilizes an enhanced next generation FM (Front Mid-ship) platform currently used on the G35 sedan, G35 coupe and FX premium crossover SUV. Approximately 60 percent of the platform design and components have been enhanced for use with the all-new M.
Like the previous generation, the new, redefined 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 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.
The M suspension is an independent double-wishbone design in front and multi-link independent system in the rear.
Sensuous Exterior Design
From a design standpoint, the all-new Infiniti M optimizes both luxury and sport styling to create a dynamic visual appeal. The expressive, jewel-like grille and crystal-look headlight clusters offer a luxurious appeal, while large 18- or 19-inch wheels and low profile tires, a stable posture with wide track, and short overhangs contribute to the sportiness of the design.
The Infiniti M also offers a low, aggressive hoodline, which flows into the anchored shoulders and contributes to the sporty, powerful silhouette. The roofline is fluid, while the hood and front fenders are sculpted to provide a solid, muscular look. In the rear, L-shaped LED taillights and quad tailpipes finish out the exterior design.
The 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 aerodynamic design results in zero front lift and, with the available rear spoiler, offers zero rear lift.
Confident, Explosive Performance and New Rear Active Steer
At the heart of the 2006 Infiniti M is the high-performance power of the V8 or V6 powerplants, each mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission with all-new short-throw performance shifter with manual shift mode and downshift rev matching.
The advanced braking system is designed to offer confidence-inspiring pedal feel and enhanced pedal response, while the steering system is designed to provide an engaging driving experience through a high-flow hydraulic boost system with micro-polished steering gear and robust rack mounting. Every Infiniti M also features Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC).
Along with its advanced engine design, the Infiniti M is also offered with a state-of-the-art intelligent all-wheel drive system. The M35 AWD model features Infiniti's ATTESA E-TS (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All Electronic Torque Split) all-wheel drive system, which is also utilized on the Infiniti FX45 and FX35 AWD premium crossover SUVs and G35x AWD sedan.
The system's advanced torque split control strategy automatically transfers optimum torque to the wheels according to road and driving conditions. It provides outstanding cornering capability similar to a sports car due to optimum torque distribution to the front and rear wheels. Combined with the vehicle's VDC system, each wheel receives the appropriate amount of torque when needed.
The handling and stability of the Infiniti M Sport models is further optimized by Infiniti's new 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.
A Highly Personalized, Enriching Interior Atmosphere
The new M's interior design engages the senses in new and invigorating ways, combining a driver-oriented cockpit with a graceful, Infiniti level of luxury and design detail.
"The interior of the M is designed to provide a ‘hand-in-glove fit.' It is the most indulgent, high-quality design that Infiniti has ever offered – one that indicates a new wave of Infiniti interior design," said Igo. "It reflects a more passionate interior direction, which is already starting to appear in production Infiniti vehicles like the 2005 G35."
The modern and intuitive interior layout focuses on purposeful simplicity. Interior features include genuine Rosewood or aluminum trim, leather-appointed seats, Solar Eclipse instrument lighting system, and available climate controlled front seats, 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.
"This is, without a doubt, the finest audio system ever created for an Infiniti vehicle, with sound performance that matches the car's incredible driving performance," said Igo.
The interior also offers an array of driver and passenger-oriented technology features, including the Infiniti Intelligent Key system with push button ignition. This system eliminates the need to take the key fob out of your pocket when locking and unlocking the car, accessing the trunk or starting the engine. Other available features include RearView Monitor, Intelligent Cruise Control and Infiniti DVD-based Navigation System with a new user interface featuring voice-activated destination entry as well as HVAC and audio control.
High Tech Safety Systems with New Lane Departure System
The Infiniti M is also a showcase for the latest in Infiniti safety technology, including an available new Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system. The system recognizes lane markings and calculates the lateral distance between the vehicle and the lane marking, along with vehicle speed relative to the marking, and generates an audible signal to warn the driver of a pending, unintended lane departure. Engagement of the turn signal turns off the system, which also features a cancel switch.
"Over 55 percent of fatal auto accidents in the United States are caused by lane departures, including single vehicle and head-on accidents," said Igo. "The LDW system is an important advancement in vehicle safety technology."
The Infiniti LDW system is currently available in the 2005 Infiniti FX crossover SUV, the first production passenger vehicle in North America to feature LDW.
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 and available brake-operated Pre-Crash front seat belts, which tighten under emergency braking in anticipation of an evasive maneuver or crash.
The Evolution of Luxury
"Luxury has evolved from what was once traditional, status-oriented luxury, to what has come to be a more meaningful, personal approach to luxury. The exhilarating all-new 2006 Infiniti M is yet another example of Infiniti's leadership in providing luxury that appeals to both the soul and intelligence of the driver," said Igo.