Press Pass 2004
All-New 2003 Infiniti G35 Sport Sedan Combines Exhilarating Performance, Fresh Styling and Advanced Technology
Recently named 2003 Motor Trend Car of the Year, the G35 Sport Sedan expresses Infiniti’s bold new direction of combining leading-edge design and technology, driver-oriented performance and a high level of luxury. Running changes for the 2003 G35 (August production) include the addition of xenon headlights to the Leather Luxury model, the addition of the sunroof to the Premium Package and available satellite radio, with a choice of XM or Sirius service. A new close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission will be available beginning in calendar year 2003 (late availability).
The rear-wheel drive G35 is powered by an advanced, 260-horsepower V6 engine mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. The G35’s performance is enhanced by a new 4-wheel independent suspension with lightweight aluminum components and highly aerodynamic styling – including a coefficient of drag of just 0.27 and zero degrees of front lift. The G35 is positioned to compete against current popular sport sedans such as the BMW 3-series, Lexus IS300 and Audi A4 3.0.
“The new 2003 G35 has become an instant contender against some of the top sport sedans in the world,” said Mark McNabb, vice president and general manager, Infiniti Division. “Its combination of power, handling and advanced technology, along with its highly competitive pricing, gives G35 a tremendous advantage against some of the traditional favorites in class.”
The boldly styled G35 adopts a new generation platform specifically designed for mounting a V6 engine behind the front axle in the so-called “front mid-ship” position. The positioning of the engine is a key to the G35’s high level of driving performance, providing an optimized 52:48 percent front-to-rear-weight balance and also allowing the designers to push the wheels out to the car’s corners for better interior space utilization
Aerodynamic Exterior Design, Innovative Platform
The G35’s styling takes full advantage of the vehicle’s all-new FM (Front Mid-ship) platform, which features a long wheelbase (112.2 inches) and short front and rear overhangs – providing a large interior for its highly manageable overall length (186.5 inches). A wide front and rear track adds to the G35’s overall handling stability and further enhances interior and trunk volume. Mounting of the large 20-gallon fuel tank under the rear seat (forward of the rear wheels) also helps maximize rear passenger comfort and cargo capacity.
The location of the G35’s compact V6 behind the front axle allows the use of a low, aggressive hoodline, which flows into the sharply angled windshield and contributes to the G35’s sporty, powerful silhouette. The front fascia features an Infiniti-style horizontal crosspiece grille, low-postured front bumper and vertically stacked headlight assembly with integrated fog lights and turn signals.
The smooth visual line flowing from the front fenders through the side profile cuts off at the rear, expressing a balance between sportiness and function. The C-pillar and rear fenders accentuate the spaciousness of the cabin, while the large greenhouse provides good visibility from all seating positions. The rear fascia is highlighted by large rear combination lamps with LED taillights. The LED lights provide maintenance-free operation and bright visual recognition for following drivers during braking.
The FM platform design, derived from racing technology, also places a strong emphasis on aerodynamics, especially on the control of airflow under the body. The extensive use of diffusers and deflectors helps the G35 achieve zero degrees of front lift (0.0 clf), reducing drag and noise and contributing to vehicle stability. With the optional rear spoiler, zero degrees of rear lift is also achieved. The G35 has an exceptional coefficient of drag measurement of just 0.27 (0.26 with optional rear spoiler) for reduced wind noise and optimized fuel economy. The new G35 also utilizes aluminum for the hood for reduced weight and further enhancement of fuel economy.
Attention to body and structural stiffness includes adoption of a dual bulkhead engine compartment construction that functions as a body stabilizer for damping vibrations (in addition to isolating noise and heat). The G35’s roof panel and body side panels are laser-welded to enhance body rigidity and to enable the entire body to damp vibrations. The increased stiffness and rigidity improve driving stability and ride comfort while reducing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
The new G35 is offered in seven exterior colors: Desert Platinum, Emerald Mist, Ivory Pearl, Brilliant Silver, Black Obsidian, Garnet Fire and Caribbean Blue.
Dynamic Performance and Innovative Technology Systems
A 260-horsepower 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 with 260 lb-ft of torque, derived from the VQ engine series, which has been recognized as one of the “Ten Best Engines” by Ward’s Auto World magazine for nine consecutive years, comes standard on every G35, along with an advanced 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with manual shift mode.
The engine includes a long list of advanced systems, including a continuously variable valve timing control system, a “noiseless” timing chain for silent operation, a structurally reinforced aluminum engine block and an electronically controlled “drive-by-wire” throttle system. It also features a modular engine design, microfinished crank journals and cam lobes, and molybdenum coated lightweight pistons.
All G35s come with Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), enhancing vehicle stability under a variety of driving conditions – similar to that offered in the 2003 Infiniti Q45 and M45.
The G35’s advanced braking system utilizes power-assisted 4-wheel vented disc brakes, 4-channel, 4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), which distributes brake force depending on load condition (passengers and cargo) and Brake Assist (BA), which senses hard or panic pedal application and helps provide maximum braking capacity.
A high level of sporty handling is provided by a new 4-wheel independent multi-link suspension. The G35’s front suspension design minimizes alignment changes through use of two separate lower links and a long upper link. The rear design separates the shock absorbers and springs, locating the shock absorber inline with the wheel center to help reduce suspension friction and reduce the wind-up motion of the axle on acceleration. Both front and rear suspension designs utilize aluminum components to reduce unsprung weight and incorporate “ripple control” shock absorbers with damping control lips for suppressing high-frequency, micro-amplitude vibrations. As a result, tiny ripples in the road surface are absorbed to deliver a smooth, comfortable ride.
A Spacious, Comfortable Interior
In creating the G35’s interior, the designers and engineers set three goals: premium space, premium comfort and premium utility. Taking full advantage of the FM platform’s long wheelbase and wide track, the G35 offers 98.0 cubic feet of interior space and 14.8 cubic feet of trunk space. More than just total volume, innovative packaging provides ample space where it is needed most for driver and passenger comfort – head, leg, shoulder and hip room. For example, use of a newly developed center positioned air conditioning design increased front passenger foot space. For rear passengers, use of a hidden front seat rail widens the available foot room.
Special attention to comfort required a rethinking of the seat design from “one seat fits all” to unique front driver and passenger’s seats. The driver’s seat uses a special center mound shape with high damping urethane foam and special spring design to support the driver during sporty driving. The front passenger’s seat has a flatter-shaped lower cushion and the seat is shaped to provide a relaxed posture, even when folding or stretching his or her legs. In the rear, the G35 offers a choice of wide bucket-shaped seats or optional rear reclining seats, both with ample knee room and a pass-through armrest.
A newly developed three-spoke steering wheel provides a firm grip and sporty feel and the instrument panel features Infiniti’s fine vision electrofluorescent illumination system and signature analog clock. The optional DVD-based Infiniti Navigation System includes a 6.5-inch retractable screen.
The interior’s T-shaped structure, with its flowing design theme from the center instrument cluster to the floor console, emphasizes ergonomics and convenient storage. There are numerous pockets, holders and straps located throughout for easy access and use.
Audio systems include a standard 6-speaker AM/FM/cassette with in-dash 6-disc CD changer and an optional 200-watt 7-speaker Bose® premium audio system with an AM/FM/cassette in-dash 6-disc CD changer with RDS, speed-sensitive volume control and steering wheel audio controls. The G35 is offered in two interior colors – Willow and Graphite – and is available with leather-appointed seating and genuine Birdseye maple wood trim.
The G35’s trunk space is enhanced by the use of items such as a four-link hinge design, thin LED rear combination lights and underfloor storage compartments near the spare tire.
From a safety standpoint, every G35 comes with standard dual-stage supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors, front seat side-impact supplemental air bags and roof-mounted side-impact curtain air bags for front- and rear-seat occupant head protection. Also standard are seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tether for CHildren) child seat anchors and tether system.
The new FM platform also provides a number of innovative safety performance features, including a mechanism for releasing the engine downward (rather than straight back toward the passenger compartment) in a collision, brake pedal construction that helps prevent rearward pedal movement and a breakaway propeller shaft construction.
The G35 also features Zone Body Construction, as well as dual bulkhead construction in the engine compartment, laser-welded body side panels and a mechanism for releasing the engine in certain collisions, helping prevent the intrusion of the engine into the passenger compartment. In addition, the driveshaft is designed to break away under certain collision situations and the brake pedal construction prevents rearward movement in a collision.
G35 Availability and Equipment
The 2003 Infiniti G35 is available in three models – G35 Sedan, G35 Sedan Leather and G35 Sedan Sport 6MT (late availability). All models come equipped with a 260-horsepower V6 with choice of a 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode or close-ratio 6-speed manual (late availability). A number of optional packages allow the buyer to custom-equip the G35 to further reflect his or her exact driving style and tastes.
Packages include the Premium Package, with Bose audio system, adjustable reclining rear seats, sunroof and more; Sport-Tuned Suspension Package, which adds unique 17-inch 5-spoke aluminum-alloy sport wheels with W-rated high-performance tires and upgraded suspension; and the Aero Package, which is available with the Sport-Tuned Suspension Package and adds a rear spoiler with rear underbody rear side fairings. Other available options include heated front seats and heated outside mirrors, navigation system, Bose audio, genuine wood trim and sunroof.
Racing Technology Enables All-New 2003 Infiniti G35
To Achieve Exceptionally Low Coefficient of Drag, Zero Lift
The stark, flat black scale model car positioned on the moving belt in the stark, windowless building in Oppama, Japan looks nothing like the future luxury sport sedan it is destined to become. For now, it looks more like some decal-less race car – large wheels and tires, short front and rear overhangs, sharply sloping windshield and rear glass. Yet as unadorned as the model is at this stage, it is a thing of beauty to the crowd of aerodynamic engineers huddled around it, hanging on every movement and nuance of thin white smoke constantly flowing over, under and around the miniature body.
Later, of course, full-scale clay and metal models will be tested and fine-tuned in a full-size, fixed surface wind tunnel. But in this and in many sessions to follow, the team is chasing the wind at full fury, simulating high-speed driving conditions in search of race-car-level aerodynamics for the new Infiniti G35 sport sedan.
“In most passenger cars, aerodynamics is not a major concern for the average driver,” said Kazutoshi Mizuno, Chief Vehicle Engineer, Nissan Technical Center, Atsugi, Japan. “Yet our concept for the G35 as a true world-class sport sedan demanded that we provide a feeling of solid handling at all times, from low-speed driving to high-speed cruising. Therefore, we borrowed lessons learned from racing technology – and the moving-belt-equipped wind tunnel – to provide the new G35 with a low coefficient of drag and a low coefficient of lift.”
The measure of their success in meeting their targets can be seen in the final numbers: a coefficient of drag of 0.27 and zero degrees front lift.
A Beautiful Body – and Underbody
The styling of the new G35 takes full advantage of the sport sedan’s new “FM” platform. Its 112.2-inch wheelbase allows for use of a long, sporty silhouette and short front and rear overhangs, while the front mid-ship placement of the 260-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 permits a low, sloping hood. The use of a wide track and large diameter wheels and tires fills the G35’s arched wheelwells, smoothing airflow around the sides of the body. The rear glass has been carefully angled and flows into the raised, shaped trunk to maximize rear visibility, reduce the collection of water in rainy weather and improve airflow.
Even the shape of the front bumper and headlights has been carefully modified to act as an airfoil, directing air flow from the center of the hood out to the sides and around the tops of the front fenders. The design improves the normal suction effect of air within the wheel housing, using airflow generated by the shape of the bumper corners to both reduce front lift and improve brake cooling.
The total attention to aerodynamic detail extends to the design of the headlights, which includes integrated fog lights to eliminate an extra airflow “distraction,” and the use of LED taillights, which offer almost limitless styling possibilities.
“From a designer’s perspective, we feel the beauty of the new G35 is that it achieves its 0.27 Cd without the use of spoilers, skirts and other devices – though for those who like the appearance of a rear spoiler, there’s a further benefit of an even lower 0.26 Cd,” said Mizuno. “The G35 exterior is very clean, sporty and contemporary. However, you might say its most attractive view is one that most people will never see: underneath.”
The G35’s underbody airflow has been optimally controlled by positioning the muffler, fuel tank and other key components so they direct air movement rather than obstruct it. The shape of the lower front bumper and front-engine edge cover increases airflow speed, then diffuses the compressed (speeded up) airflow at the rear area of the engine cover.
The flat floor layout combines with rear deflectors, rear diffusers and a specially shaped spare tire panel to repeat the diffusion action so that airflow is controlled under the floor and ultimately released at the rear edge of the spare tire panel. The payoff of all these efforts is zero lift.
“Our overriding goal is that the driving experience remains tactile at all speeds, so you have the same road feeling at 100 miles per hour on a track that you do on the street at 10 miles per hour,” said Mizuno. “There are numerous other benefits – improved handling response, improved brake cooling, reduced wind noise – but ultimately the new G35 is about driving pleasure. We think the extra effort has been worth it.”
One other area where the G35 development team drew on their endurance racing experience was in creating a “touring” driving position – one designed to optimize maneuverability, visibility, ease of operation and long range comfort.
Key elements include a wide range of adjustability of seat travel and height, an optimized steering wheel position combined with a quick steering ratio, and optimized pedal positioning. Visibility has been enhanced by both the use of tilt instruments to increase eye range versus rigid meter mounting and attention to the forward field of vision, including easy view of the fender ridge line, use of high stiffness windshield wipers and adoption of available xenon headlights.
“Endurance racing teaches us that the driver must feel comfortable and in control over long periods of time and under a variety of driving conditions day and night,” said Mizuno. “We set the same standard for drivers of the G35 sport sedan.”
All-New 2003 Infiniti G35 Utilizes Advanced FM Platform To Provide a High Level of Performance, Spaciousness and Safety
The official internal designation of the platform utilized in the creation and design of the all-new 2003 Infiniti G35 is “FM,” for the “Front Mid-ship” mounting of its advanced 3.5-liter V6 engine. But the location of the engine and its corresponding 52/48 front-to-rear weight balance is only a part of the story behind the G35’s racing-inspired underpinnings.
“To the driver, the only thing that probably matters is driving pleasure – the ability to concentrate on driving with complete peace of mind and without fatigue. Yet from racing, we’ve learned that performance and packaging go hand in hand,” said Kazutoshi Mizuno, Chief Vehicle Engineer, Nissan Technical Center, Atsugi, Japan. “There are three key appeal points of the new FM platform in addition to excellent handling and stability – a spacious cabin and trunk, dramatic styling opportunities and excellent crash safety.”
Ideal Weight Balance and New Independent Suspension
Mizuno, former team manager of Nissan’s LeMans and Group C racing programs, characterizes his approach to the FM platform as the “flat ride concept.” “The more you can control the movement of the passenger compartment, the greater ride comfort, and therefore less fatigue, the driver and passengers will feel. The tradeoff before has always been between ride comfort and handling,” said Mizuno. “With the FM platform, we’ve found a way to provide very high levels of both.
Unlike most designs, the role of the engine in the FM platform is not simply that of a power source. It is also an integral part of the vehicle package and is directly related to the G35’s handling, stability, ride quality and interior comfort. Positioning the G35’s compact, 260-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine in the front mid-ship position (so that its center of gravity comes just behind the front axle) results in an optimum front/rear weight distribution of 52:48.
The front-wheel portion has deliberately been made two percent heavier, instead of using a 50:50 split, so that the front wheels are already pre-loaded at the time a steering angle is applied to them as the G35 enters a curve. The weight distribution becomes a 50:50 balance when accelerating while coming out of a curve. “This enables the driver to enjoy the superb cornering capability and acceleration performance that one might expect to find only in front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports cars,” said Mizuno.
This balanced weight performance is supported by a newly developed multi-link suspension system and the use of large diameter tires. The use of 205/65R16 and 215/55R17 tires provides a large tread contact shape for good steering response and cornering performance, while also improving ride quality by absorbing road imperfections.
The G35’s new front suspension design minimizes alignment changes through use of two separate lower links and a long upper link. Aluminum is used for all major components, including upper and lower links, axle housing and compression rod – reducing mass by 25 percent over the use of comparable steel components. The rear suspension realizes a 20 percent reduction of mass through utilization of aluminum subframe, axle housing, A-arm and lower link. The rear design separates the shock absorbers and springs, locating the shock absorber inline with the wheel center to help reduce suspension friction and reduce the wind-up motion of the axle on acceleration.
Both the front and rear suspensions incorporate “ripple control” shock absorbers with damping control lips for suppressing high-frequency, micro-amplitude vibrations. As a result, tiny ripples in the road surface are absorbed to deliver a smooth, comfortable ride.
“Our target from the beginning has been to create the highest level of driving performance in class,” said Mizuno. “We’ve minimized body roll, maximized straight ahead stability even on rough roads, and enhanced steering feel and ride comfort.”
Large Interior and Luggage Space
By positioning the tires at the extreme four corners of the body, the FM platform allows a long wheelbase of 112.2 inches. The resulting spacious cabin is only one benefit – another is that with the long wheelbase and wide track, stability is enhanced, minimizing vehicle load changes that often result in uncomfortable pitch and roll motions.
The passenger compartment measures 98.0 cubic feet, with ample amounts of front and rear head room, leg room and shoulder room. The multi-adjustable power driver’s seat, with adjustment switches located near the top of the seat cushion, is designed to provide a comfortable driving position. The specially designed driver’s seat cushion is built with a double-layer urethane pad and adopts a center mound design at the front to support the driver firmly yet comfortably while driving. The tiltable instruments move in tandem with the tilt steering column to ensure excellent visibility at all times.
The FM platform also locates the G35’s large-capacity 20-gallon fuel tank forward of the rear tires, under the rear seat, which allows for a large 14.8 cubic foot trunk, despite the G35’s relatively short rear overhang.
The large trunk opening is enhanced by a four-link hinge design for easier cargo loading with the trunk lid positioned well out of the way. A one-touch electromagnetic switch allows easy opening of the trunk without use of remote switches.
Dramatic, Aerodynamic Body Design
The FM platform allows superior aerodynamics by controlling the airflow over the upper and lower surfaces of the vehicle body. Additionally, the basic silhouette of the underfloor design smoothes airflow under the body of the G35, reducing lift. The underfloor surface from the bottom of the front bumper to the rear edge of the engine undercover compresses the airflow to increase its velocity, which works to reduce lift.
The faster moving airflow is diffused at the rear edge of the engine undercover, and the fuel tank and centrally located muffler again compress and repeat the diffusion action so that the airflow is controlled as it passes under the floor. Airflow is ultimately released at the rear edge of the spare tire panel.
The entire underfloor surface therefore serves to control airflow, including reducing body lift normally caused by aerodynamic resistance. As a result, stable handling equal to that at low speeds is also achieved in high-speed cruising.
The use of the FM platform on the new G35, along with its uniquely and aerodynamically focused body styling, gives it superior aerodynamics, characterized by a low coefficient of drag figure of 0.27 and zero front lift (.026 Cd and zero front and rear lift with rear spoiler and floor side diffusers).
The G35 also utilizes a new dual bulkhead construction in the engine compartment, which functions as a body stabilizer to help reduce the transmission of vibration, noise and heat into the passenger compartment.
The body utilizes aluminum construction in the hood to further minimize and balance vehicle weight.
Safety Technology Advancements
The FM platform also focuses on the advancement of safety technology. One key goal is to help protect occupants from strong impacts and large vehicle body deformation in a collision by efficiently absorbing crash energy. Front-end collisions include full frontal impacts, in which a crushable body construction is needed to reduce the deceleration g-force of the cabin. In offset impacts, a strong body construction is needed to decrease the amount of cabin deformation. The FM platform blends these seemingly conflicting needs of crushability and solidity.
In a high-speed frontal collision, for example, the G35’s crushable zone crumples while the engine moves as if to drop under the floor. This has the effect of expanding the crushable zone, thereby reducing deceleration g-force and simultaneously helping minimize cabin deformation, especially in the leg area. Moreover, the brake pedal is constructed to help prevent rearward movement. In a severe crash, the break pedal moves away from the driver’s lower legs to help reduce leg injuries. Other features also contribute to improved occupant safety, including the breakaway construction of the propeller shaft (connected with the engine-drop function) and the double-wall construction of the bulkhead.
An Artful Expression of Design and Technology
“For the driving enthusiast, the new G35 provides both performance and roominess advantages over the existing sport sedans in class,” said Mizuno. “It’s as close as we can come to putting endurance racing technology on the street – zero front lift, ideal weight balance, lightweight suspension components and an aggressive power-to-weight ratio. Yet even non-enthusiasts will be attracted to the G35’s spacious, luxurious interior, large trunk and advanced styling. Performance never felt so comfortable.”
Preliminary Technical Specifications, Features and Options
Source of Production:
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Assembly Plant Location:
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