Our Ã¢â‚¬Å“DrivenÃ¢â‚¬Â series highlights the several cars I was able to sample at IMPAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Spring Brake 2009 event. These short takes are summaries of my driving impressions of the cars on the roads surrounding Bear Mountain State Park in Rockland County, New York.
I was pleased to have driven both versions of the Nissan/Infiniti ‘Front Midship’ sports cars, the 370Z Touring and the new Infiniti G37S Convertible. If you read my impressions of the 370Z you will know I loved the car, but if I had to choose between the two, it is the Infiniti I would have driven home. In fact, of all the cars I drove that day, the G37 is one of two cars I really just did not want to stop driving.
If you think the G37 and 370Z are two of a kind since they share a basic architecture and drivetrain, you could not be further from the truth. It amazed me how these two cars could have such different personalities, yet both cars are exceptionally entertaining and engaging. I’ll break it down like this-you want the 370Z if you are traveling to Watkins Glen from out of state to see some racing, and you plan on taking back roads. In the G37S, you’re headed to Cape Cod for vacation-but you still want to hit the back roads.
I am no stranger to the G-Series coupes, having spent a good amount of time in the early, 2003 G35. A great car, but the engine could be coarse at times, and the quality of the interior didn’t impress me. What a transformation the G37 is. The car sounds, and drives like a far more sophisticated machine. The interior is light years ahead of the original car.
At 325hp, power is down a tad from the Z, but you can’t feel it. As a retractable-hardtop, the car carries its extra weight well-balance in the corners, tight turns and elevation changes was perfect. Power delivery is smooth and silky, the engine a joy to listen to. The G37 also had the best manual transmission of all the cars I had driven that day. When I reluctantly climbed out of the car, I had not a single complaint. I had no suggestion to make the car better than it was.
That news should upset BMW, as the G37 is a thorn in the famed 3-series side. More upsetting to BMW should be the fact the G37S starts at $43,900USD, while the less powerful BMW 335i Convertible has a base price of $50,700. Finally, in my opinion the Infiniti is the better looking car, inside and out.