In 2003 Infiniti debuted the new G35 Coupe alongside the new Nissan 350Z for North America. Infiniti truly made an effort to appeal to the performance-minded driver who's looking for a well-appointed luxury sports coupe. Features including a slick-shifting 6-speed manual gearbox, Brembo brakes, limited slip differential, supportive heated seats, 18-inch forged rims from Rays Engineering and eye-catching good looks combined to make the G35 an attractive option and a serious sales hit. The G35 also offers 2+2 seating with a usable back seat for passengers under 6 ft tall.
After looking over many G35s, we found a low mileage 2003.5 model with the 6-speed manual and Brembo brake package. During our search we found that the paint on the G35s is delicate and most cars with any kind of mileage on them have excessive pitting and chipping. Also pay close attention to the underside of Gs in harsher climates, as rust is already an issue on the early models. Finding an example that hasn't been winter driven is worth the wait. Research on the forums revealed that many of the ‘05-‘06 models featuring the slightly higher output Revup motor were consuming as much oil as 1L/1000km. The earlier and supposedly less powerful non-Revup motors seem to have a better track record and ours has been excellent, consuming little to no oil between change intervals even when driven hard at a race track.
Though the G35 sports coupe has an impressive equipment list on paper, in stock form it doesn't produce the results you'd hope for on track. Our experience with the non-Revup motors on the U2NDyno.com Dynapack shows 215 whp is about average, which is well below the manufacturer claimed 280 bhp. We would expect to see closer to 238 whp with an estimated 15% drivetrain loss. When accelerating, the rather tall gearing doesn't help to make the car feel any quicker either.
My biggest issue with the car is the so-called limited slip differential. The factory-installed VLSD (Viscous Limited Slip Differential) struggles to limit any kind of slip. The worst part about the VLSD is the more it is used the less effective it becomes (as the viscous fluid overheats) and there is no means of rebuilding it. Our car with 80,000 km on the odometer will spin the inside wheel on a wet road as if it had an open differential. The VLSD is also laggy when it does try to engage, making handling less predictable than a clutch-type or gear-type type differential. The seats offer great support and are very comfortable, but anyone 6 ft tall or more won't fit comfortably with a helmet on. The final downside is the lack of smoothness of the drivetrain. In all the Gs we've tested, it's typical to feel a buzz through the shifter at higher RPM.
What is encouraging is that most of these issues can be remedied with quality aftermarket performance products. Stay tuned as we turn project G35 from a great car on paper to a great car on the road!
|Engine Output||280 BHP|
|Engine Code||VQ35 DE|
|Displacement||3.5L 3498 cc (95.5mm Bore * 81.4mm Stroke)|
|Valvetrain||Dual overhead camshafts with variable intake cam timing|
|Suspension Front||Upper/lower control arm with dual lower balljoint|
|Steering||Rack and Pinion|
|Brakes Front||12.76" vented rotors with Brembo fixed 4 piston calipers and ABS|
|Brakes Rear||13.07" vented rotors with Brembo fixed 2 piston calipers and ABS|
|Wheels Front||18x8" with 225/45 WR18, 5x114.3 PCD|
|Wheels Rear||18x8" with 245/45WR18, 5x114.3 PCD|