|Also called||Infiniti M (1989–2013)|
|Assembly||Tochigi, Japan (M35/45, M37/56/35h/30d)
Musashimurayama, Japan (M30 coupe/convertible)
Saint-Petersburg, Russia (SKD, 2012-2014)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Platform||Nissan FM platform|
The first iteration was the M30 Coupe/Convertible, which were rebadged JDM Nissan Leopard.
After a long hiatus, the M nameplate was used for Infiniti's mid-luxury sedans (executive cars). First was the short-lived M45 sedan, a rebadged version of the Japanese-spec Nissan Gloria. The next generations, the M35/45 and M37/56/35h/30d, became the flagship of the Infiniti brand and are based on the JDM Nissan Fuga.
- 1 First generation: 1989-1992
- 2 Second generation (2002–2004)
- 3 Third generation (2004–2010)
- 4 Fourth generation (2011–present)
- 5 Awards and recognition
- 6 Sales by calendar year
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
First generation: 1989-1992
|Infiniti M30 (F31)|
|Also called||Nissan Leopard|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Mid-size car/Executive car|
|Body style||2-door convertible
|Engine||3.0 L VG30E V6|
|Transmission||4-speed RE4R01A automatic|
|Wheelbase||2,616 mm (103.0 in)|
|Length||4,796 mm (188.8 in)|
|Width||1,689 mm (66.5 in)|
|Height||1,321 mm (52.0 in)|
|Curb weight||1498 kg (3302 lb) (coupe)
1622 kg (3576 lb) (convertible)
|Successor||Infiniti G37 Cabrio|
The Infiniti M30 (chassis code F31) was a 2-door GT coupe introduced with the Q45 as the start of the Infiniti line in 1989, as a stopgap until other models could be produced. The M30 was basically a Japanese Nissan Leopard built with left-hand drive and rebadged as an Infiniti, and had added luxury features. The other main changes were in the engine, transmission and suspension. The M30 was only sold in the United States.
The M30 had no or very few factory options, but dealers offered the addition of a cellular phone and a CD player/changer. The sole engine was Nissan's VG30E, a 3.0 L SOHC V6 that produced 162 hp (121 kW) and 180 lb·ft (244 N·m) of torque, also used by many previous Nissan models such as the Maxima and 300ZX. Like the 300ZX, the M30 was a front-engine and rear-wheel drive vehicle. The transmission was Nissan's RE4R01A four-speed automatic with overdrive, as enabled or disabled by a button on the shifter. There was no option of a manual transmission. The differential was a Nissan R200-type open differential. It is generally regarded among M30 enthusiasts that the change of powertrain, weak suspension and the lack of options in these categories was a mistake on Infiniti's part and perhaps to blame for the lackluster sales. This was the enthusiasts' theory. The M30 was a Japanese car designed for the Japanese market. When it came to America, there was very little change. This included head room and leg space. Adding to the theory of "lackluster performance" was the enthusiasts bias towards motor swapping and sport performance. The M30 was a luxury car. In Japan, the Nissan Leopard trim levels of XS and XJ were equipped with VG20E motors. When Infiniti introduced the M30 convertible, this became the popular version to purchase. The M30 (coupe) weighed about 3300 lbs (1498 kg), and produced 162 hp (121 kW). The M30 convertible weighed approximately 200 lbs. more, due to body and chassis reinforcements.
The M30 is equipped with the Nissan Sonar Suspension II system that was also installed on the Nissan Maxima at the time, which featured a sonar module mounted under the front bumper that scanned the road surface and adjusted the suspension accordingly via actuators mounted on the strut towers. There was also a switch on the center console that allowed the driver to change between "Sport" and "Comfort" settings—essentially "firm" and "soft", respectively.
For 1991 and onwards, the M30 received only minor improvements. If the exterior driver's side door handle of the coupe was pulled while the doors were locked, the keyhole would illuminate and the interior dome light would come on. There was also an available central locking switch placed next to the Sonar Suspension II adjuster, although it is not known whether this was a standard feature or option for 1991-1992 models. Main gauge cluster text was changed to match the rest of the Infiniti lineup, and engine oil temperature and fuel gauges were switched around. The speedometer was also changed to an electric-type, as opposed to the cable-type used on the 1990 model.
The M30 convertible was the sole convertible of the Infiniti line, until the G37 convertible's introduction in 2009. Infiniti used M30 models from 1991 to 1992 and converted them to soft-top convertibles through ASC (American Sunroof Corporation). Convertible tops were fully automatic, requiring the driver only to push the up or down buttons to the left of the steering wheel (which replaced the rear defogger button found in the coupe) to raise or lower the top. There is no definitive number of coupes that were converted into convertibles.
While the power tops on these did not necessarily need extensive maintenance, they could be operated manually if necessary. All M30 coupes had power tilting/sliding sunroofs standard, with "auto-cut" while sliding to the closed position to prevent anything from getting caught by the glass.
The M30's production run lasted for only 3 years, ending in 1992. It has been stated that just over 17,000 were made. How many were coupes and convertibles is information that maybe never found. Previously rumored by M30 enthusiasts was that only 5,000 were made in total, half being coupes and half convertibles   The M30 was replaced by the Infiniti J30, a mid-size 4-door sedan. While the J30 is a completely different car and has a different chassis code (Y32), it was called the "Leopard J. Ferie" in Japan and was still referred to as the Nissan Leopard.
The M30 came with a driver's airbag and ABS (anti-lock brakes) as standard equipment, though it lacked belt pretensioners, and had no rollover protection on the convertible. All M30s came with 3-point self-locking seatbelts located at each outer seat, and the rear-center seat had an adjustable lapbelt.
The M30 received 4 in both frontal- and side-impact crash test ratings according to the NHTSA, making it one of the safest cars in its class. Nissan paid special attention to the placement of the M30's side reinforcing, which is located most notably in the doors and quarter-panels. The M30 is known to have a remarkably solid chassis in coupe form.
The M30 has a small cult following, similar to that of the Nissan Leopard F31 built in Japan. The car shares many similarities with more successful and capable Nissan sports cars, such as the 240SX, 300ZX and early-generation Skylines. As such, more powerful engines, manual transmissions, suspensions and limited slip differentials from these cars can be swapped into the M30 to create a much more capable car. In both the U.S. and Japan, the M30/Leopard has been used for drifting. This is moreso in America based on the drifting trend. The Nissan Leopard as well as Infiniti M30 is highly prized in Japan. Due to the car's scarcity, many F31 owners (There are quite a few M30s in Japan as well ) are more of taking care of the car for long term use.
Drifting with an M30 was an idea started in 2003 on the Fresh Alloy forums. At the time, drifting was starting to catch on in the North America. There are the typical platforms, such as the 240sx, and people wanted to find a platform that was similar for parts, yet different enough to stand out. The interest in drifting all started with an Option and Drift Tengoku article of L-Evolution/Locc-on. It showed the possibilities with the F chassis was attainable.
In Japan, drifting is not routinely performed with the F-chassis. There are a few track cars with mild tuning, yet street legal. Many of the leopard owners focus on maintaining the Nissan Leopard and Infiniti M30 as it has become somewhat of a classic car. The scarcity of parts (due to Nissan discontinuing production) and rise in Shaken (tax) and inspection has given many people a reason to not pursue an F31.
Second generation (2002–2004)
|Infiniti M (Y34)|
|Also called||Nissan Gloria|
|Body and chassis|
|Engine||4.5L VK45DE 340 hp (254 kW) V8|
|Wheelbase||2,799 mm (110.2 in)|
|Length||5,009 mm (197.2 in)|
|Width||1,770 mm (69.7 in)|
|Height||1,463 mm (57.6 in)|
The 2003 Infiniti M45 was designed in 2000 at the Nissan Technical Center (NTC) in Atsugi, Japan; was manufactured in Tochigi, Japan; and is based on the Y34-series Nissan Gloria. In contrast to the Japanese models, which were available only with 6-cylinder engines, the M45 was powered by Nissan's VK45DE V8, producing 340 hp (254 kW) and 333 lb·ft (451 N·m) of torque, which it shared with the Infiniti's flagship Q45.
In addition to the difference in powertrain with the Y34 Cedric/Gloria, the Y34 M45 has a completely different instrument panel design, similar to the F50 Q45. Other differences includes a completely different rear multi-link suspension design. The Y34 Cedric/Gloria's rear multi-link suspension design is similar to Z32 300ZX, and S14/S15 Silvia/200SX/240SX where the rear spring is mounted on the strut. The rear suspension design on the Y34 M45 is very much like the rear suspension design on the Z33 350Z, where the spring is mounted independent of the shock/strut, and sits directly on the lower arm, in a spring cup.
The front suspension design carries over from the Y33 Q45, with a one-piece strut/upright. In place of the stamped steel front lower arm, the Y34 M45 has a cast aluminum lower A-arm.
Third generation (2004–2010)
|Infiniti M (Y50)|
|Also called||Nissan Fuga|
|Designer||Michinari Chiba (2002)|
|Body and chassis|
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive / Four-wheel drive|
|Platform||FM-L "enhanced FM"|
|Engine||3.5L 280 hp (209 kW) VQ35DE V6
3.5L 303 hp (226 kW) VQ35HR V6
4.5L 325 hp (242 kW) VK45DE V8
|Transmission||5-speed automatic; 7-speed automatic|
|Wheelbase||2,901 mm (114.2 in)|
|Length||2006-07: 4,892 mm (192.6 in)
2008-2010: 4,930 mm (194.1 in)
|Width||1,798 mm (70.8 in)|
|Height||1,509 mm (59.4 in) (M35 & M45)
1,511 mm (59.5 in) (M35 & M45 Sport)
M35x: 1,524 mm (60.0 in)
Infiniti released a completely redesigned M for the 2006 model year to compete directly in the mid-size sport luxury class, against such class stalwarts as the BMW 5-Series, Lexus GS, and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The Infiniti M was released in February 2005, almost exactly at the same time as the new 2006 Lexus GS.
The Infiniti M uses a much more rigid version of the G35/350Z/FX Nissan FM platform and was available with the common VQ-series 280 hp (208 kW) 3.5 L V6 in the M35, or the Q45's 335 hp (249 kW) 4.5 L V8 in the M45. This generation of the Infiniti M was sold in Japan as the Nissan Fuga.
While being 177 mm (7.0 in) shorter on the outside than the last flagship Q45 at 5,069 mm (199.6 in), the M boasts more interior space, greater performance, a superior rear multilink suspension and front double wishbone, and friendlier ergonomics due to its 30 mm (1.2 in) longer wheelbase. The Q45 was no longer imported from Japan after the 2006 model year, making the M45 the flagship car of the Infiniti marque.
The automotive press awarded the Y50 Infiniti M several best-in-class awards in direct comparisons against its competitors in the midsize luxury segment. For instance the M45 fared well against the BMW 545i/550i, Acura RL, Mercedes-Benz E500/E550, and Lexus GS 430/450h. Reviewers cited the M35 and M45's driving involvement and handling dynamics over the GS and E-Class while having superior ergonomics to the 5 Series; furthermore the M was equipped and priced competitively against its German rivals., while the M35 also received strong reviews. Despite entering a very crowded, competitive segment in which almost every member has been recently redesigned, the M managed to claim several key distinctions. The M is near or at the top of its class of every interior dimension, actually breaking into the United States Environmental Protection Agency "large" category depending on which option packages are selected.    The M35x won Consumer Reports top luxury car pick for 2006, taking the top spot from the 2005 Lexus LS 430.
Despite the positive press accolades, the Infiniti M did not manage to gain a significant market share in the mid-luxury market, which was dominated by the Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series. The Infiniti G37 sedan and coupe, competing in the entry-level luxury sport category, accounted for half of the marque's sales as of 2009. Out of that year's 81000 Infiniti cars sold, only 10000 were of the M nameplate. Furthermore, the 2009 update left M35 and M45 in awkward positions of the Infiniti lineup, as though they were the flagships of the marque, they were out-powered by the VQ37VHR engines fitted in the 2009 G37 coupe and sedan. For that model year while the G Series received 7-speed automatic transmissions across the lineup, only the M35 RWD was upgraded to a 7-speed automatic while the rest of the nameplate retained the aging 5-speed automatic.
2008/2009 Mid-generational refresh
For the 2008 model year, the Infiniti M received a minor model update. The M45 gets optional all wheel drive (M45x), all models get new front and rear fascias, and redesigned blue-and-white gauges (as opposed to the previous orange ones). Infiniti also offered an S type version for the M45/M45x similar to the previous Sport model. Other new features on the 2008 model include touch screen hard drive based navigation, iPod integration, and a music hard drive.
For 2009, the M35 received a new V6 engine producing 303 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque and a 7-speed automatic transmission. The 2009 M35x, M45, and M45x retained the five-speed automatic.
Fourth generation (2011–present)
|Infiniti M / Q70 (Y51)|
Infiniti M37 S (Europe)
|Also called||Nissan Fuga
Infiniti Q70 (2013–present)
Infiniti Q70L (2015–present)
|Designer||Hideo Komuro (2007, 2008)|
|Body and chassis|
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive / Four-wheel drive|
|Platform||FM-L "enhanced FM"|
|Engine||2.5L V6 VQ25HR
3.0L V6 V9X turbo diesel
3.5L V6 VQ35HR hybrid
3.7L V6 VQ37VHR
5.6L V8 VK56VD
|Wheelbase||2,900 mm (114.2 in)
3,051 mm (120.1 in) (Q70L)
|Length||4,945 mm (194.7 in)
5,131 mm (202.0 in) (Q70L)
|Width||1,845 mm (72.6 in)|
|Height||1,509 mm (59.4 in)|
The Y51 designed, by Hideo Komuro during 2006 and 2008 under the supervision of Shiro Nakamura, took on a more organic look. It is a resurrection of a 1960s and 1970s appearance called "coke bottle styling".
The 2011 Infiniti M was previewed at the 59th Annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, and introduced to the public at a media event in Beverly Hills, California in December 2009, to coincide with the LA Auto Show in Los Angeles. The production version went on sale across the world starting in the spring of 2010 as a 2011 model. It went on sale in the US on March 1, 2010. It was launched in Europe at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.
A driving mode selector knob has been installed as standard equipment on all models, situated below the transmission gear lever and between the heated and ventilated front seat controls, providing four selections labeled "Standard", "Sport", "Eco", and "Snow", allowing the 7-speed transmission, engine and various systems to optimize driving based on varying conditions. To minimize exhaust noise intrusion into the passenger compartment from the engine at low rpms, "Active Noise Control" has been installed. Double-piston shock absorbers, developed by Kayaba Industry Company, have replaced the ones previously supplied by Hitachi.
The 5.6L V8 VK56VD in the Infiniti M56 makes it competitive with other V8 mid-luxury (executive) cars such as the BMW 550i and Mercedes-Benz E550. The 5.6L V8 is not shared with its Japanese domestic market counterpart, the Nissan Fuga, as Nissan opted instead to have the hybrid version as the performance option. The extended length version of the Fuga, known as the Cima, is offered as the Infiniti Q70L beginning from model year 2015.
The M37 and M56 will have all-wheel drive optional, badged as M37x and M56x, respectively.
Safety technology has also been introduced, such as Lane Departure Prevention, which uses a small camera mounted above the rearview mirror to gauge distance from the lane markers, and will lightly tap selected brakes when necessary to help ease the car back into the correct lane. It will allow for unimpeded lane changes when the turn signal is used, and will yield control to the driver at all times. Blind Spot Intervention System uses sensors to provide a visual warning in the side view mirror. If the car senses that movement towards the obstacle is occurring, it will provide an audible warning and will apply opposite side brakes to guide the vehicle into the correct lane.
The third generation Infiniti M models were given a "Top Safety Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) by earning a "Good" score for all four IIHS crash tests while also featuring standard stability control to help avoid accidents altogether.
|M25||2011-||2,495 cc (152.3 cu in) V6 24-valve (VQ25HR)||218 hp (163 kW; 218 bhp) @ 6,400, 186 lb·ft (252 N·m) @4,800|
|M37||2010-||3,696 cc (225.5 cu in) V6 24-valve VVEL (VQ37VHR)||330 hp (246 kW; 330 bhp)@ 7,000, 270 lb·ft (366 N·m) @5,200|
|M56||2010-||5,552 cc (338.8 cu in) V8 32-valve VVEL direct injection (VK56VD)||420 hp (313 kW; 420 bhp) @ 6,000, 417 lb·ft (565 N·m) @4,400|
|M35h||2011-||3,498 cc (213.5 cu in) V6 24-valve (VQ35HR)||303 hp (226 kW; 303 bhp) @ 6,800, 358 N·m (264 lb·ft) @ 4,800|
|electric motor||59 PS (43 kW; 58 bhp)@? 270 N·m (199 lb·ft) @ 0|
|M30d||2010-2014||2,993 cc (182.6 cu in) V6 24-valve Turbo diesel (V9X Engine)||240 hp (179 kW; 240 bhp) @?, 406 lb·ft (550 N·m) @2,501|
M35h (Hybrid version) (2011–present)
The Infiniti M Hybrid, to be sold as the Nissan Fuga Hybrid in Japan where it is the top performance trim there, will introduce Nissan's first in-house developed electric hybrid technology, and the carmaker claims it will double the fuel economy of its gasoline-powered version. Nissan also announced that the Nissan Infiniti/Fuga Hybrid, together with the Nissan Leaf, will include its new Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians system to alert pedestrians, the blind and others to their presence when the hybrid is operating at low speeds in all-electric mode.
The hybrid includes one electric motor and two clutches to allow the 3.5L V6 (302 hp (225 kW) 258 lb·ft (350 N·m)) gas engine and electric motor to drive the rear wheels simultaneously. The lithium-ion battery pack will come from the Infiniti Essence. The VQ35HR 3.5 L V6 Hybrid utilizes the Atkinson cycle. The electric motor, installed in parallel between the engine and the transmission, produces 68 PS (50 kW; 67 bhp) from 1.3kWh lithium-ion batteries that are expected to have a service life of 10 years. The batteries are installed upright behind the rear seats. The main sacrifices are that the luggage compartment space is reduced, the hybrid's rear seats are fixed in place and cannot fold down, and all-wheel drive is not available.
Reviewers have considered the 2012 Infiniti M35h, along with the 2011 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid which also debuted in the same calendar year, as among the best executed hybrid performance luxury cars. The M35h and Panamera S Hybrid are the first hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles with an automatic transmission to return frugal fuel economy figures and retain the acceleration/handling characteristics of its gasoline-only counterparts. Earlier hybrids such as the Lexus 2007 GS 450h used a CVT for fuel economy at the cost of driving dynamics, while the 2010 BMW ActiveHybrid 7 which has an automatic transmission did not feature significantly improved mileage over its gasoline counterpart. The M35h's fuel economy is superior to the M37, and it is almost as fast as the M56 which providing a more balanced front/rear weight distribution.
On August 23, 2011, the Infiniti M35h set an official Guinness world record for the world's fastest accelerating production full hybrid. The feat took place at the United Kingdom's Santa Pod Raceway, where CAR magazine journalist Tim Pollard drove the vehicle down the quarter-mile dragstrip in 13.896 seconds. The M35h averaged 13.9031 seconds for all runs, reaching speeds over 100 mph. Guinness adjudicators were present to witness the run and certify the record. The official claimed 0-100km/h time for the Infiniti M35h is 5.5 seconds.
M30d (Diesel version) (2010–2014)
In 2010 at the Geneva Motor Show the Infiniti M was introduced with a diesel engine for the first time. It will be sold across Europe starting in September 2010. The diesel engine produces 240 hp, 406 lb-ft (175 kW) (500 Nm) @ 2,500 rpm and is called the V9X Engine. In western Europe, this V6 performance diesel will be offered as a high performance option in lieu of the M56 V8. The M30d will not be sold in the US or Canada.
Awards and recognition
- 2010 Ward's Auto Interior of the Year
- 2011 Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Award- "Top 10 Cars of 2011" (Top Luxury Pick).
- 2011 Infiniti M received Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick.
- 2011 Infiniti M35h sets official Guinness record for world's fastest production hybrid (certified by the 2013 Guinness Book of Records edition)
Sales by calendar year
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|Entry-level luxury car||G20||G20||G35||G25 / G35 / G37 (Q40)|
|Mid-size luxury car||I30||I30 / I35|
|J30||M45||M35 / M45||M37 / M56 (Q70)|
|Full-size luxury car||Q45||Q45||Q45||Q70L|
|Compact crossover SUV||QX30|
|EX35 / EX37 (QX50)|
|Mid-size crossover SUV||JX35 (QX60)|
|FX35 / FX45||FX35 / FX37 / FX50 (QX70)|
|Full-size SUV||QX56||QX56 (QX80)|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Infiniti M.|