Project Infiniti G35 Sedan: The Poor Man’s M3

Project Infiniti G35 Sedan: The Poor Man's M3

Project Infiniti G35 Sedan: The Poor Man's M3

By Mike Kojima

Not all of the cars in the MotoIQ stable are cutting edge performance machines.  Sometimes we do have to have cars that are practical.  Our current office car is a 2004 Infiniti G35 Sedan.  The G35 is an excellent car for daily driving, it gets reasonable mileage in the low 20 mpg range and has 4 doors and plenty of inside room for taking the staff to lunch or meetings. The automatic transmission for dealing with bumper to bumper daily commuter traffic makes jumping into the G35 to go somewhere a no hassle proposition.

However the G35 has a fun side, it has the multilink suspension from a 350Z although softly calibrated, and also shares the VQ35DE engine with the Z in a slightly milder state of tune.  The car, although no sports car, is pretty zippy and good handling. The brakes are decent and the car can hold its own against any other brand of sports sedan. 

Project Infiniti G35 Sedan: The Poor Man's M3
Lower stance, wider tires and nicer wheels transforms the look of our car.  It's not an aggressive hella flush fitment but there are no hassles with rubbing or curb rash and it would take a big pothole to hurt things, practical for a daily driver.

These characteristics have made the G35 extremely popular, so much so that in our Southern California locale, especially in Orange County, the G35 sedan, especially silver ones like our car, are referred to as the Orange County Taxi.  Sometimes you can pull up to a red light and find no less than 3 other Silver G35 Sedans stopped with you.

We wanted a little more from our G35.  We wanted more performance.  Sometimes as driving school instructors we use the G35 to take students around the track to show them the line.  Sometimes we do lead follows with students.  Under track conditions the G35's shortcomings make themselves known.  The brakes fade in a couple of laps, the car rolls and understeers like any sedan.

We wanted a little more from our car, something to give us more performance, but not ruin the car for daily driving, something like what an M3 is to a BMW or if Nismo commissioned a special G35 model.  We could not accept a rough ride, noisy brakes, too loud of an exhaust or poor fuel economy.  We will be working on enhancing the car for this project, not going for the ultimate in performance or customization.

Project Infiniti G35 Sedan: The Poor Man's M3
At Technosquare, we start work on the G35!

 

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