Uncompromising performance and style from new Infiniti FX luxury SUV in South Africa







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: June 29, 2012
Categories: Infiniti, Infiniti FX

  • Expressive large SUV design
  • Infiniti Essence Concept provides style direction for Infiniti FX
  • Five-star safety and award-winning technology
  • High-performance V6 and V8 engines on offer

Infiniti FX

Infiniti’s tag line of “Inspired Performance” comes to life most strikingly in the new Infiniti FX performance SUV. Part of the Japanese brand’s all-new South African line-up, the new Infiniti FX is expected to shake up the large SUV segment, offering a unique mix of luxury, performance and SUV design. The new Infiniti FX is an embodiment of the brand’s core values of driving pleasure, peace of mind and hospitality.

SPORTS CAR MEETS SUV FOR THE ULTIMATE CROSSOVER

With design inspiration drawn from the 2009 Infiniti Essence concept supercar, the new Infiniti FX continues the brand’s evolving identity, with a striking design and crossover profile, rewriting the large SUV recipe book for style and poise. In a market segment with boxier body styles, the suave and sleek Infiniti FX design allows it to instantly stand out and makes no bones about being an Infiniti product.

Bold paint finishes and distinctly sporty wheel designs also mean that no matter from what angle the Infiniti FX is viewed, an intrinsically sporty feel is imparted. The Infiniti FX Vettel Version, which is a specially-designed concept FX built in honour of Formula 1 superstar Sebastian Vettel, has benefitted from the amazing body design as well.

Infiniti FX Rear View

A long and flowing bonnet, muscular shoulder line and coupe-like profile – the Infiniti FX has an athletic demeanour which does not compromise on interior space, passenger comfort and versatility. A long wheelbase, wide track and short front and rear overhangs add to the muscular stance, and the “front-midship” Infiniti chassis employed on the Infiniti FX – where the front-mounted engine sits low down and far back in the engine bay – allows for dynamic as well as aesthetic advantages.

The interior of the new Infiniti FX, which lends itself to Infiniti ethos of organic shapes and the use of natural materials, mirrors the exterior’s marriage between the comfort and space of a large sedan with the appeal of a sports car. All-round visibility is enhanced by high-mounted seats, giving the Infiniti FX the driving qualities valued by purveyors of large SUVs, and the overall design is driver-centric.

A modern take on traditional Japanese craftsmanship has been successfully implemented in the new Infiniti FX, where natural materials like quilted leather, Maple wood trim, woollen carpets and solid metal fittings all come together to create an invitingly warm atmosphere.

Interior passenger space has been maximised by the long wheelbase and with a 410-litre luggage capacity the Infiniti FX makes for a perfect family vehicle. Split-folding rear seats also add versatility, increasing the Infiniti FX’s cargo-carrying capacity considerably and producing a completely flat floor.

Infiniti FX Engine

PERFORMANCE WITH GRACE EMBODIED

As the flagship of the new Infiniti range, the Infiniti FX sees a multitude of engine options available to suit many driving tastes – whether it be outright performance, fuel economy or a mix of both. A seven-speed automatic transmission is fitted to all Infiniti FX models with solid magnesium steering wheel-mounted manual shift paddles.

The new Infiniti FX30d, which comes in GT, S, GT Premium and S Premium specification grades, features an advanced turbocharged V6 diesel engine. Producing formidable power (175 kW @ 3750 rpm) and torque (550 Nm from just 1750 rpm), the new FX30d enjoys not only impressive fuel efficiency but astounding performance as well. The 0-100 km/h dash takes just 8.3 seconds and top speed is 212 km/h. At the same time, average fuel economy on the combined cycle is 9.0-litres per 100 km, and a drop to 7.8-litres per 100 km when on the open road enables a cruising range of over 1100 km from the 90-litre fuel tank. Carbon emissions are 238 g/km.

The new Infiniti FX37 GT, S, GT Premium and S Premium models are powered by a proven 3.7-litre V6 petrol engine which, besides its tuned six-cylinder exhaust note and sporting character, ignites driving enjoyment with its great performance credentials. Sprinting from 0-100 km/h takes an impressive 6.8 seconds, and top speed is 233 km/h – all thanks to strong outputs of 235 kW at 7000 rpm and 360 Nm at 5200 rpm. Average combined fuel economy is 12.1-litres per 100km and carbon emissions are 291 g/km.

Topping the new Infiniti FX range however is the new FX50, available only in S Premium guise. Under the bonnet sits a 5.0-litre V8 petrol-powered engine, which produces a generous 287 kW at 6500 rpm and 500 Nm at 4400 rpm – translating into a breath taking turn of speed with a muscular exhaust note to match. Being Infiniti’s flagship engine, the V8 power plant makes use of symmetrical twin air intakes, a microfinished crankshaft, lightweight pistons, super-silent cam drive chains and VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift) to personify Infiniti’s guarantee of high power and maximum efficiency.

Only 5.8 seconds are needed to reach 100 km/h from standstill in the Infiniti FX50 and top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h – true sportscar performance. Average fuel consumption is 13.1-litres per 100km on the combined cycle and carbon emissions are 312 g/km in this range-topping model.

Infiniti FX steering

SAFE AS HOUSES

The new Infiniti FX was recently awarded a prestigious five-star EuroNCAP safety rating, making it one of the safest vehicles not only in its class, but in the world. Not only did the world’s most prominent vehicle safety organisation bestow the Infiniti FX with this high safety rating, but it also scored the car a 99% rating for safety assistance systems – highlighting once again Infiniti’s commitment to ultimate vehicle safety.

Standard safety equipment across the new Infiniti FX range includes six airbags, ABS with EBD (Anti-lock Braking System with Electronic Brake-force Distribution), VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control) with Traction Control, a tyre pressure monitoring system, active front head restraints, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic bi-xenon adaptive cornering headlights and privacy glass for the rear windows.

Available as part of the Premium upgrade for FX30d GT, FX30d S, FX37 GT and FX37S models and fitted as standard to the FX50 S Premium, further safety measures are added in the form of Lane Departure Prevention (LDP), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) with Low Speed Following (LSF), Distance Control Assist (DCA), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA).

ALL-WHEEL DRIVE FOR DYNAMIC HANDLING

The entire new Infiniti FX range employs one of the foremost intelligently-controlled all-wheel drive systems in the world. The ATTESA E-TS (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All Electronic Torque Split) system uses an active torque management system which controls a central clutch to distribute torque between the front and rear axles, according to traction requirements. Power is constantly adjusted, from a 100% rear bias up to a 50/50 split between the two axles, maximising grip on slippery surfaces. In snow, mud or sand driving conditions particularly, the system comes into its own.

Handling feel on dry roads however is not compromised by ATTESA ET-S, as the rear-wheel drive bias under normal conditions ensures up-beat driving dynamics and a rear-wheel drive feel – even allowing for an element of oversteer.

With a sportscar-like chassis layout (the front-midship engine position and the rear-drive bias) the associated driving dynamics are enhanced further by a resulting low centre of gravity and near-perfect weight distribution, front-to-rear. The rigid but weight-saving body (where aluminium has been used to reduce weight in certain areas) ensures great handling, and low NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels aid in creating a pleasant drive at the same time.

A double wishbone front suspension setup meets a multilink rear setup, delivering an ideal balance between comfort and handling precision. On S and S Premium models, the fitment of Continuous Damping Control (CDC) dampers brings handling into sharper focus. The active CDC suspension continuously alters damping forces to provide optimal ride and handling no matter the road surface – unlike conventional fixed damping-force shock absorbers. A driver-selectable switch with Auto and Sport settings allows the driver to choose handling characteristics to suit his or her needs.

Rear Active Steering (RAS) also features on Infiniti FX S and S Premium models (unavailable on the FX37 models), where the more driver-oriented focus demands further handling accuracy. Unlike passive rear steering systems, Infiniti’s RAS technology features precise, electric motor-driven control to turn the rear wheels as much as one degree, generating a nimble steering response at low speeds and enhanced stability at higher speeds. Steering in the new Infiniti FX is also speed-sensitive and has been honed to provide great feedback and linear responses. 

STANDARD FEATURES ABOUND

With a host of advanced features available at S and Premium levels, standard equipment in new Infiniti FX GT models (which have more luxurious connotations as opposed to the more sporty S models) is comprehensive.

Standard equipment across the range includes quilted leather seats, which are heated and ventilated up front, and feature 10-way electric adjustment for the driver (with memory) and 8-way electric adjustment for the front passenger.

Further items include reclining rear seats with split folding, automatic bi-xenon adaptive corning headlights with a follow-me-home function, a rear-view camera linked to front and rear parking sensors, an electrically-adjustable leather-bound multifunction steering wheel, an electric glass sunroof, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, dual-zone adaptive climate control, a powered tailgate, a full-colour central display screen with an Infiniti Controller, cruise control with a speed limiter, an I-Key with smart access and memory for the driver’s seat, mirrors and steering wheel positions (an expression of Infiniti hospitality whereby the vehicle’s systems are primed to accept a command), automatic wipers, a 2GB Music Box with a single CD front loader linked to a seven-speaker audio system and USB and auxiliary ports with Bluetooth for hands-free mobile phone use and audio streaming. Aluminium pedals, polished aluminium roof rails, self-healing paint, 20-inch alloy wheels and Cello Flame Maple wood trim complete the list of standard-fitment equipment.

New Infiniti FX S models add RAS (Rear Active Steering, except on FX37), CDC (Continuous Damping Control), 21-inch alloy wheels, sports front seats with 14-way driver’s seat adjustment, dark chrome exterior accents, red “S” badges and smoked headlights, over and above standard GT specifications.

The Premium upgrade, available on Infiniti FX30d and FX37 models and available exclusively as standard on the Infiniti FX50 S Premium, sees a number of added-value safety and infotainment systems added which include Lane Departure Prevention, Intelligent Cruise Control with Low Speed Following, Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Brake Assist, the Around View Monitor with corner parking sensors and Connectiviti+ Multimedia, Infiniti’s acclaimed infotainment system.

Optional on Infiniti FX GT and S models, the Connectiviti+ Multimedia package is a comprehensive infotainment system, which comprises an 11-speaker Bose® sound system incorporating a 30GB Hard Disk Drive navigation system with a high resolution touch screen. The entertainment system is upgraded also to include a 10GB Music Box and a DVD reader with MP3, WMA and DivX compatibility and DVD playback when the vehicle is stationary.

SMART FEATURES EXPLAINED

Around View Monitor, which is fitted to all Infiniti FX Premium models, ensures complete peace of mind when manoeuvring in tights spots. Front-, rear- and side-mounted wide-angle cameras work in unison to provide the driver with a 360-degree view of the vehicle’s surroundings.

Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Brake Assist and Intelligent Cruise Control are three safety systems offered by the Dynamic Safety Shield, fitted to all Premium models. A laser range finder is used to alert the driver of a possible frontal collision via audible and visual warnings. The four disc brakes are also pre-pressurised in case an emergency stop ensues. Where the driver is unable to stop in time and a collision is unavoidable, Intelligent Brake Assist automatically engages the brakes to reduce speed and minimise potential accident damage. The Intelligent Cruise Control system uses radar to monitor the vehicle in front of the Infiniti FX, managing speed and following distance. Including Low Speed Following, the system remains active even in slow-moving traffic situations for a truly relaxed drive.

Lane Departure Prevention uses a camera to detect unintentional lane departure. A yaw effect, created by selectively braking the Infiniti FX’s wheels, gently brings the vehicle back into its original lane. The system is only active above 72 km/h and relies on zero steering or indicator input. So advanced is the LDP system that in 2011 the Infiniti FX was awarded the rarely-given EuroNCAP Advanced Award. The organisation expressed that the innovative technology “demonstrates a scientifically proven safety benefit for consumers and society”.

A TOTAL OWNERSHIP EXPERIENCE

Infiniti vehicles are covered by a comprehensive warranty that covers the first three years or 100 000 km of ownership. In addition, a five-year or 100 000 km maintenance plan is standard on all models.

All Infiniti vehicles are also covered by a comprehensive roadside assistance programme – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Infiniti is renowned globally for providing a quality customer experience, in all facets of the buying process and vehicle ownership thereafter. Dedicated Infiniti Centres provide a welcoming environment which emphasises core Infiniti values – luxury, design and comfort – making the Infiniti ownership experience a truly pleasant one.