Remembering the 2006 Infiniti G Coupe Concept [gallery]

With a new Infiniti Q60 coupe concept introduced this month at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), and understanding that’s it’ simply an updated G37 coupe (as the Q50 sedan was a mildly re-worked G37 sedan), it would be worth while to go back in time to the concepts that preceded the last iteration of the Infiniti coupe – debuting in 2008. Here are the Infiniti Coupe concepts, shown in 2006 and 2007, leading up to the introduction of the 2008 G37 coupe.

The Q60 coupe will ride on the same “FM” (front-mid) platform shared with the Q50. This platform goes back to it’s original development for the first generation G35 sedan and coupe. It was improved for the second generation car, and then very slightly for the 3rd (aka Q50/Q60). These are evolutions of the same platform, not a new platform. So whether you want to call the Q50 and Q60 “all new” or not depends on your perspective… they are not. In fact the Q50 sedan performed identically to the G37 sedan, both in handling and power (leaving out the drive by wire steering, an unmitigated engineering failure). Furthermore the platform is shared with the 350Z/370Z, the FX and M, and their renamed Q variants. It’s an extremely successful platform, very lightweight and alloy-intensive. Replacing it completely wouldn’t seem to have any point when its been nearly state-of-the-art all along. And we’re happy to note that unlike the GM Alpha platform, the FM platform uses double A-arms up front, providing a better camber curve that any McPherson strut variant ever could. That speaks to engineering excellence.

Then there are the engines. The first gen G35 used the 3.5 liter Nissan/Infiniti VQ engine, and variations of it since up to the current VQ37VHR engine (330 HP to 350 HP depending on tune). Presumably this engine will be seen again in the upcoming Q60. And we’ve been wondering for the last few years whatever happened to the engine behind G30T trademark – the pre-Johan de Nysschen designation for the G with the a twin turbo 3 liter DOHC V-6 engine (before he renamed everything “Q” and then split). This engine is a major evolution of the VQ, and will presumably be used in both naturally and unnaturally aspirated forms going forward.

But let’s go back to the 2008 Infiniti Coupe, introduced with the strikingly handsome concepts shown below. We have a particular “affinity” for this Infiniti: it’s beautiful and well-proportioned from all angles, yet follows a form-follows-function school of styling. That styling was also an evolution from the highly successful G35 coupe. Short overhangs, a “poise” that suggested (and delivered) crisp handling dynamics, and a level of maturity well above the 350Z. The first concept, shown in a metallic mist gold, was clearly production-based although the interior was stretched well beyond what realistic for production. Remembering that concepts are created to show conceptual styling and deliver messages from the eventual product, it was still easy enough to see what was coming. The toned-down silver concept took us further towards production for the 2008 model year.

The gallery below contains all of the images that Nissan and Infiniti published in 2006 and 2007.  As you look thru the images of the Q60 concept introduced by Infiniti this month, keep these in mind. The 2008 Infiniti G coupe reminds us of a different Infiniti, one with more logical styling, less bulbous curves, a more handsome grill: an Infiniti that didn’t have to try so hard to stand out. For many of us who are and were Infiniti owners (as we were with our Stillen-supercharged G37), we’ll remember these years as our favorite Infiniti years.

Now if Infiniti would only bring back the original Infiniti commercial series with Jonathan Pryce and the Dave Brubeck classic Take Five.

Gallery of the Infiniti Coupe Concept (2006/2007)