Infiniti, Nissan’s dedicated luxury brand, has been selling vehicles and winning awards in North America since 1989. That makes Infiniti a relatively young automotive brand, so when we were compiling our list of favourite Infiniti models, we didn’t have a massive back catalogue of vehicles to choose from.
That’s not to say Infiniti hasn’t made any interesting or important vehicles, however. With an interest in motorsports and, in more recent times, electric vehicles, the Japanese luxury brand has managed to churn out some notable special editions and design studies over the 30 years since its founding.
2019 Infiniti QX50: Find out why Infiniti luxury should be lived in
Scroll to below to see the seven best or most interesting Infiniti vehicles, in autoTRADER.ca’s very humble opinion, of course, and learn more about each one.
7. Infiniti FX Sebastian Vettel Edition
The Infiniti FX Sebastian Vettel Edition isn’t visually remarkable, we admit, but it’s hard to deny that this odd piece of Infiniti history is interesting. It was built to celebrate Sebastian Vettel’s first-ever Formula 1 championship (which he won in an Infiniti-sponsored Red Bull Racing car) and features a carbon-fibre front splitter, side skirts, and optional carbon rear spoiler, along with a unique Moonlight White exterior colour and suede interior surfaces. Weird, we know.
6. Infiniti G35 Coupe
The Infiniti G-Series has been crucial to the brand’s success in North America. The first-generation G-Series served as the automaker’s entry-level model in the early 1990s and helped drive Infiniti sales in the following years, including a particularly successful third-generation model. The third generation also saw the introduction of the G-Series (G35) coupe to the range, which lent the brand a sportier, more youthful image in the eyes of Canadian and American consumers that still persists today.
5. Infiniti Q60
While the Q60 is essentially a continuation of the aforementioned G35 Coupe, the current Q60 two-door is an attractive vehicle that deserves its own spot on this list, in our opinion. It’s certainly one of the more eye-catching cars in its segment and the Q60 Red Sport is a capable performance proposition thanks to its 400 horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 engine. There’s even talk of Infiniti releasing a high-performance hybrid version inspired by the Project Black S Concept, which may help it go to bat with more serious performance vehicles like the BMW M4 or Mercedes-AMG C63.
4. Infiniti Emerg-E Concept
The Infiniti Emerg-E certainly aimed to give the Japanese luxury brand a sportier image, although it never spawned a production version. Unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the Emerg-E was based on the Lotus Evora’s mid-engine platform. It featured two electric motors (one powering each rear wheel) and boasted a maximum output of 402 horsepower and over 700 lb-ft of torque. A small 1.2-litre gasoline three-cylinder engine helped to charge its lithium-ion battery as the car drove along, similar to how a Chevrolet Volt works.
3. Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept
The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge is a car that Infiniti should have built. Not only was it named after one of the most famous corners in all of Formula 1, it was also packing the 560-horsepower 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine from the R35 Nissan GT-R under its hood. Based on the popularity and staying power of the R35 GT-R, we think the line for a four-door luxury version would have been fairly long, but hey, what do we know?
2. First-generation Infiniti Q45
The Infiniti Q45 was the first-ever car from the Japanese luxury brand and was fittingly luxurious thanks to its rather large stature and 4.5-litre V8 engine. It even had an active suspension system introduced for the 1991 model year, but despite Nissan’s best efforts, the Q45 was never as successful as competing models like the Acura Legend and Lexus LS. It enjoyed a six-year model run between 1990 and 1996 before an improved second-generation model was introduced. There’s something undeniably cool about the car that started it all for Infiniti, though.
1. Infiniti Prototype 9
Unlike the Q50 Eau Rouge, the Infiniti Prototype 9 is a concept that was never going to even be considered for production. This fully electric design study was built for the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and is inspired by pre-war Grand Prix cars. Infiniti may not have a rich racing heritage, but we can certainly respect any automaker that still wants to display their passion for motor racing’s golden years, whether they actually participated or not. If Infiniti ever put a vintage-inspired sports EV on the road that was even half as cool as this, they could win over enthusiasts in a heartbeat.
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