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Infiniti G35 Coupe
Drift Review

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Every so often at the Drift Session, we get our hands on a vehicle for testing purposes. Luckily, we've had the chance to sample many of Japan's "supercars" over the past few years, like the Toyota Supra, Acura NSX, and 300ZX, but this month a brand new Infiniti G35 Coupe was dropped off at the track for some testing...

For those of you that don't know about the G35, it's Infiniti's comeback car in the US market. These things are selling like hotcakes all across America, and even in Hawaii where they only seem to bring in G35's in 2 different shades of silver / gray. In Japan, where the "Infiniti" brand name does not exist the G35 is marketed as the newest model in the Nissan Skyline family, boasting both coupe and sedan models.

At the heart of the G35 is a front-midship mounted 3.5 liter naturally aspirated V6, producing 280 horsepower and 270 foot pounds of torque. The front-midship engine placement gives the G35 an amazing 53 / 47 weight distribution, allowing for increased handling and aggressive driving. The G35's power is then put through a 6 speed manual transmission before hitting the ground through the 18 inch rear wheels.

While the engine of the G35 is identical to the Nissan 350Z, the G35's styling is refined and more luxurious than the comparably priced 350Z. Between the two vehicles, it's easy to tell that the G35 was designed as a more elegant vehicle compared to the 350Z's outright sports car design.

Definitely one of my personal favorite features of the G35 is the tuned exhaust system straight from the factory. The low-pitched growl of the G35's engine makes this a very distinct sounding vehicle whether making a daily commute or screeching through a corner.

The model that we test drove was the Sport Coupe package, equipped with 18 inch wheels, 6 speed manual transmission, and a handy traction control on / off switch. The car's twilight blue paint appeared nearly black in the shade, but complimented the G35's black leather interior perfectly.

For the first few laps around the track, our driver gripped through the course with the traction control on and then off, to get a feel for the vehicle. The traction control of the vehicle didn't seem to be the most refined device as it seemed to "pulse the engine" on and off as the wheels neared the limits of traction. By easily turning the traction control off, our driver was able to better control the vehicle in all corners.

After rounding the Sweeper in 3rd gear, the G35 was only able to get up to 110 by the end of the nearly 1/2 mile long straightaway. A decent, but not overly impressive top speed on the Hawaii Motorsports Center raceway. But, at speed the handling remained impressive as our driver reported the vehicle "sitting" through high speed corners and feeling very stable at all times.

Under heavy braking, our driver reported the brakes starting to get soft at times, but the quickly cooling Brembo brakes that came with the G35 would usually cool and allow for good braking in the next corner, even after mashing the brakes in the previous one. 

After a few laps, it was time to drift the G35. The very responsive steering and ample 280 horsepower allowed the G35 to drift fairly well. The car did appear to want to plow through the corners however and significant effort was needed to break rear traction. While driving the vehicle hard, our driver found it easiest to drift simply through using horsepower. 3rd gear was about right for most drifting at the Drift Session track, as 2nd gear would slow the vehicle down too much to make use of momentum. Surprisingly 3rd gear still contained significant power to spin the rear wheels and induce a drift in this vehicle without kicking the clutch.

Overall the Infiniti G35 was rated:

Driftability              7.5
Power / Weight      8.0
Brakes                  8.0
Handling                9.0
Interior Fit            10.0

Wheel Suggestions for the G35 Coupe

O.Z. Raffaello III Polished w/Clearcoat Wheels Gram Lights 57F Silver Painted Wheels Rays Master Piece Grade A225 Bright Sil w/Mach Lip Wheels SSR GT3 Bright Satin w/Polished Lip Wheels RO_JA R2-7 Black w/Polished Stainless Lip Wheels
OZ Rafaello III
starting at $860
Gram Lights 57F
starting at $490
Rays Master Piece Grade A225 starting at $609 SSR GT3
starting at $639
Ro_Ja R2-7
starting at $732

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Home Drifting Gallery Drifting Videos Drifting Technique Drifting Glossary Drifting Message Board

Drifting Blog

Drifting Car Parts Drifting Wheels Drifting Tires Drifting Rules Drifting FAQ's
Drifting Tracks Drifting Merchandise Drifting Sponsorship Drifting Scores Drifters
Link Exchange Cool Products Drifting Cars Drifting Events Girls