By Samuel Ee
One aspect of the Infiniti range that is often highlighted is its relatively large engine size. Not any more. Nissan's luxury division still offers its well-known 3.7-litre V6 power plants but now that the carmaker is also targeting the Asia-Pacific and not just the US market anymore, it has unveiled a smaller 2.5-litre V6.
The first model here to offer this downsized unit is the Infiniti M sedan. While the 2.5-litre engine may be a common Nissan engine, it has been upgraded with variable valve timing for the Infiniti M25.
The M25 is an interesting model, not least of all for its sensuously curvaceous bodystyle. It may not be offered in its key market, the US, but it still packs all the features of the bigger M37.
Also, while it has an extra 10 hp in power, its maximum torque of 253 Nm available at 4,800 rpm is exactly the same as the Lexus GS250.
Overall though, the Infiniti is bigger and heavier than its Japanese counterpart. It is longer (4,945 mm with a 2,900 mm wheelbase) with a kerb weight of 1,765 kg, being 125 kg more than the GS250's.
These contribute to the M25's slower acceleration and less agile performance. But a Drive Mode Selector with standard, sport and eco selections is able to vary this rear-wheel-drive sedan's character. It will easily manage an entertaining slide in and out of a fast corner although the slightly slow steering may require more than the usual upper body effort.
The M25 has the advantage of a seven-speed automatic transmission, versus the GS250's six ratios. But the Infiniti does without steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts and manual changes have to be effected using the gear lever.
Only one variant of the Infiniti M25 is available but as mentioned, it comes with everything its M37 big brother has.
|Price:from $249,000 (with COE)
Engine: 2,496cc V6
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Max Power: 219 hp @ 6,400 rpm
Max Torque: 253 Nm @ 4,800 rpm
0-100kmh: 9.2 secs
Top speed: 231 kmh
CO2 emissions: 237 g/km
Distributor: Distributor Wearnes Automotive 6378 2623
There are double-glazed side windows and an electric sunroof, as well as a music box hard drive and really cool wood trim with a special "silver powder finish". Then there is the so-called Forest Air System with Plasmacluster air purifier that offers a choice of two "woody" and pleasantly subtle scents. It even re-creates the effect of a gentle breeze and together, they all give the spacious Infiniti cabin a very nice atmosphere that feels more trans-Atlantic than Japanese.
Therein lies the appeal of the Infiniti M25 - it isn't your stereotypical mid-sized sedan. It looks different with an uncommon badge on the grille. At the same time, it feels more international than Japanese, and more comfortable than dynamic. In other words, the perfect choice for someone who wants to be different.
This article was first published in The Business Times.