Thursday, July 9, 2009

Review: Infiniti FX50 - Intelligence Operative

Take one look at the all-new Infiniti FX50 and one thing becomes quickly apparent. It is a crossover that looks as though something ticked it off in a serious way. It’s a mean looking piece of machinery that’s for sure. Get in side and have a go at this 5.0L V8 packing beast and you’ll quickly find out that the FX’s bit is just as vicious as its bark. It is a high end, high tech machine that means business. 


Anyone who had the pleasure of driving the last generation FX will know that it was a vehicle designed for drivers. It changed the way everyone thought about a performance S- or in this case CUV. So Infiniti would have to dig deep to come up with a suitable replacement. Todays world has changed quite a bit since the introduction of the original FX, so some may wonder why Infiniti would be releasing a larger vehicle fitted with a larger more powerful engine? Well, this new engine manages to produce 70 more horsepower over the 4.5L while increasing fuel efficiency by 12%. This comes from the body going on a considerable diet consisting of Carbon Fibre, Aluminum and Composite panels, while aerodynamics have also been tweaked.


Much like a “drivers car,” this is a “drivers Crossover.” Yes, it sounds like an oxymoron, however the FX’s low and wide stance, makes for a good center of gravity, allowing the FX to corner fast and flat. Massive 21-inch tires available on the FX50 make this large crossover feel more like a Grand Tourer. Even sitting behind the wheel, the driver can easily forget they are driving a Crossover. New for this vehicle is a 7-speed automatic gearbox, with the same high quality paddle shifters found in the G37 S which give the same great throttle matching downshifts.


While the looks and driving esthetics scream sportscar, the FX is also a top player when it comes to features. This new FX is overflowing with electronic driving aids, all to improve performance and keep the occupants safe. The list reads like that of a quartermasters inventory with enough acronyms to please a General. Intelligent AWD, Intelligent Cruise Control, Intelligent Brake assist, Lane Departure…… The list is endless. To the point where you could think that the vehicle was designed for you specifically by “Q” for use in secret agent activities. 


So what does it all do? Well other than a constant barrage of beeps and pinging every time you do something the FX doesn’t like, it warns the driver of impending doom, and if the driver is not alert enough, the vehicle will take appropriate action such as putting negative force on the throttle pedal, applying the brakes or even using brake distribution to encourage the vehicle back into its lane if wandering occurs. The FX will not drive itself, however it does aid the driver in making the correct course of actions.


The FX did to me what every other Infiniti has done. It pleasantly surprised me. Ideally I prefer a vehicle more mechanical then electronic, however the FX made up for this with an excellent seating position, sporty steering wheel, impressive performance and great new look. Well great except for those headlights that is.

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