The third generation G (V35) was introduced to North America for the 2003 model year, as the G35.
It had little in common with the Infiniti G20, and continued in the same tradition as the Infiniti J30, which was also a RWD sedan utilizing the same powerplant as its contemporary Nissan Z model, the Nissan 300ZX. According to Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan Motors, the letter G was chosen “for marketing purposes and its similarity in sound to the letter J”, apparently in deference to the Infiniti J30.
The G35 is based on the Nissan FM platform shared with the Nissan 350Z coupe and roadster sports car and Infiniti FX crossover SUV. The FM platform stands for “front midship” design where the engine is moved back towards the rear of the engine bay which in turn improves the weight distribution. The G35 was Motor Trend’s Car of the Year for 2003 and has been well-received by both the media and customers as a viable alternative to other luxury cars. The G35 was also nominated for the North American Car of the Year award that year and was on the Car and Driver Ten Best list for 2003 and 2004.
Sporting the ubiquitous VQ35DE engine, the Infiniti G35 uses a front-midship engine, rear-wheel drive layout (all-wheel drive is available for the G35x sedan) to achieve a 52% front/48% rear weight distribution. Both body styles are available with either a 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission, although the automatic is the only transmission available for the AWD sedan.
A 6-speed manual transmission became available in 2003 as a 2003 model on the sedan (the coupe always had the option). For the 2003-04 model years, the V6 produced 195 kW (265 PS; 261 hp) and 350 N·m (258 lb·ft) of torque in the sedan, 282 hp and 269 lb·ft in the coupe. In the 2005 and 2006 model years, those with automatic transmissions (both sedan and coupe) produced 282hp and 269 lb·ft of torque, while those with manual transmissions produced 298hp and 258 lb·ft of torque (again, both in sedan and coupe form). There is speculation that the output did not actually change, and that Infiniti was simply taking advantage of the outdated SAE standard of rating horsepower. The G35 is assembled in Tochigi, Tochigi, Japan, and the first G35 was built on March 12, 2002 as a 2003 model.
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