For 2009, the Infiniti M mid-size premium performance sedan is again offered with a choice of 4.5-liter V8 and 3.5-liter V6 engines and with rear-wheel drive or ATTESA E-TS(TM) all-wheel drive. The major enhancements for the new model year include a new, more powerful V6 engine for the M35 and M35x and the addition of a new 7-speed automatic transmission for all M35 RWD model. The 2009 Infiniti M is available in four models - M35 RWD, M35x AWD, M45 RWD and M45x AWD.
The M35's new VQ35HR 3.5-liter V6 engine, which is rated at 303 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, replaces the previous 275-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. Versions of this new engine are also utilized in the new second-generation 2009 Infiniti FX35. The Infiniti M45 continues to offer a standard 325-horsepower 4.5-liter aluminum-alloy DOHC V8 and an advanced 5-speed automatic transmission.
Other enhancements for the new model year include the addition of a Drive Sport (DS) shift mode for all transmissions, new auto speed-sensing door locks and Scratch Shield self-healing clearcoat paint finish for all models. The M35x AWD now includes standard High Intensity Discharge (HID) xenon headlights and Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) (previously standard equipment on all other M models).
"The Infiniti M is designed to enrich and crafted to perform - and does so with a choice of powerplants, all-wheel or rear-wheel drive and equipment slanted towards luxury or sportiness," said Mark Igo, vice president and general manager, Infiniti Division. "With the new more powerful V6, standard Scratch Shield paint and unique Infiniti technology such as the Lane Departure Prevention system, the Infiniti M continues to stand out in class as the perfect balance of luxury, performance and artful style."
The 2009 M continues as a showcase of Infiniti's advanced safety technology, including Intelligent Cruise Control and the Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) system. LDP takes Infiniti's Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system one step further by utilizing the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system to apply slight brake pressure to the wheels opposite the side of the lane departure direction. This slight pressure helps prevent the M from inadvertently traveling out of its intended lane without taking control from the driver.
Other available M technology includes an advanced Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System with touch-screen, 9.3GB Music Box Hard Drive for digital music storage and playback and available XM NavTraffic(R) (XM(R) subscription required, sold separately). Standard technology features include Bluetooth(R) Hands-free Phone System, Infiniti Information Display with 7-inch LCD screen and easy-to-use controls, Infiniti Voice Recognition and RearView Monitor.
A Highly Refined Exterior and Interior
From a design standpoint, the Infiniti M optimizes both luxury and sport styling to create a dynamic visual appeal. The M exterior was freshened in 2008 with a new front grille and bumpers, lower air intake, fog lamps and side sills, revised rear fenders, taillights, deck lid and a new optional rear spoiler design - all which carry over to 2009. The M also features unique front and rear bumpers, headlight color and side sills for Sport Package-equipped models.
The 2009 M vibrant design continues with an expressive grille and crystal-look headlight clusters that offer a luxurious appeal, while large 18-inch or 19-inch (Sport Package-equipped vehicles only) wheels and low profile tires, stable posture with wide track, and short overhangs contribute to the sportiness of the design. The M's low, aggressive hood line flows into the anchored shoulders and fluid roofline, contributing to the sporty, powerful silhouette.
The Infiniti M's long wheelbase and short overhangs provide a roomy interior and sporty exterior dimensions. Wide front and rear tracks add to handling stability, while the overall width enhances interior and trunk volume. The M also features lightweight body components, including aluminum-alloy inner and outer door panels, hood and decklid panels.
"There's a solid, muscular look to the M design, fitting of its vibrant performance, yet a refined, high quality feel worthy of an Infiniti flagship," said Igo.
The M's modern, intuitive interior design engages the senses in invigorating ways, combining a driver-oriented cockpit with a graceful, Infiniti level of luxury and design detail. For 2009, the M again features "Fine Vision" electroluminescent gauges, "gear-like" rings on the instrument cluster meters, a large center console, unique aluminum trim surface texturing, wood trim, climate controlled front seats, standard XM(R) Satellite Radio (XM(R) subscription required, sold separately) and available features such as heated power reclining rear seats and advanced Bose(R) Studio Surround(TM) sound system with digital 5.1-channel decoding and 14 speakers including two personal speakers mounted in the shoulders of each front seat. Three interior colors are offered - Graphite, Stone and Wheat. Sport Package-equipped models receive unique steering wheel and shift knob stitching, unique front seat designs and aluminum-trimmed pedals.
The M interior also offers an Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System with touch-screen, 9.3GB Music Box Hard Drive for digital music storage and playback and available XM NavTraffic(R) with Real Time Traffic information (XM(R) subscription required, sold separately). Other driver and passenger-oriented technology features include standard Infiniti Intelligent Key system with Push Button Start and Bluetooth(R) Hands-free Phone System, along with available RearView Monitor and Intelligent Cruise Control.
Vibrant Performance with Available AWD and Rear Active Steer
For 2009, the Infiniti M is again offered in V8-equipped M45 or V6-equipped M35 models. The M45 features a standard DOHC 4.5-liter V8 rated at 325 horsepower and 336 lb-ft of torque. The engine design includes titanium valves, modular cylinder heads, microfinished crankshaft, lightweight pistons and super-silent single stage cam drive chain to help optimize performance. In addition, the VK45DE is outfitted with a variable length air induction system and Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) to enhance the engine's power delivery and operation efficiency.
The M45 comes standard with an advanced 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode, Downshift Rev Matching and a new Drive Sport (DS) mode, which provides better acceleration feel and a more sporting driving experience.
For 2009, the Infiniti M35 receives a new, advanced DOHC 3.5-liter V6 rated at 303 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque - an increase of 28 horsepower over the previous 3.5-liter V6. The engine includes aluminum-alloy block and heads and electronically controlled "drive-by-wire" throttle system. Fuel economy improves to 17 mpg City/25 mpg Highway (from 16/23 mpg City/Highway) despite the increase in horsepower.
Two transmissions are offered with the V6 engine - a 5-speed automatic transmission with the all-wheel drive M35x and a new 7-speed automatic with the rear-wheel drive M35. Both transmissions feature a manual shift mode, Downshift Rev Matching and Drive Sport (DS) mode.
Every Infiniti M utilizes an enhanced next-generation FM (Front Mid-ship) platform also used on the G37 Sedan, G37 Coupe, EX35 and FX premium crossover SUV. The refined FM platform positions the engine behind the front axle. This positioning results in an optimized front-to-rear weight balance, which factors in weight transfer during key handling maneuvers.
The M suspension is an independent double-wishbone design in front and multi-link independent system in the rear, along with front and rear stabilizer bars. The Infiniti M's large diameter wheels and tires are positioned out near the corners of the vehicle, helping to further enhance handling and driving excitement.
The 2009 M features split 5-spoke 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and P245/45VR18 tires. Unique split 5-spoke 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with titanium finish and aggressive P245/40WR19 low-profile tires are utilized with the Sport Package.
The M also utilizes standard 4-wheel power-assisted vented disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). The steering system is an electronically controlled vehicle-speed-sensing variable-assist power rack-and-pinion design.
Every Infiniti M features Infiniti's advanced Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS). VDC adjusts brake pressure and engine torque automatically in understeer, oversteer or slippery road surface situations, helping the driver keep the intended path.
For drivers seeking the enhanced all-climate performance of all-wheel drive, the M35x and M45x models feature the intelligent ATTESA E-TS(TM) (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All Electronic Torque Split) all-wheel drive system. It uses an advanced torque split control strategy that automatically transfers optimum torque to the wheels according to road and driving conditions.
The ATTESA E-TS(TM) system provides sports car-like handling and cornering capability due to optimum torque distribution between the front and rear wheels (front and rear 0:100 up to 50:50). ATTESA E-TS(TM) also provides high starting traction performance and smooth, stable acceleration, especially in snow-covered or off-road situations with a 50:50 torque split at standing start. Combined with the vehicle's VDC system, each wheel receives the appropriate amount of torque when needed.
"The M45x and M35x are ideal for areas of the country that experience inclement weather conditions, as well as for drivers seeking the added handling and control benefits of all-wheel drive," said Igo.
The handling and stability of the Infiniti M Sport Package-equipped models is further optimized by Infiniti's Rear Active Steer system. Unlike passive rear steering systems, this design features precise, electronic motor-driven control. This system helps improve the M's handling performance by adjusting the geometry of the rear suspension according to steering input and vehicle speed. The system's electronic control unit calculates the desired vehicle dynamics from a series of sensors, including vehicle speed and steering angle, and directs the system actuator to change the rear geometry by moving both rear suspension lower links. The result is sports car-like agility, combined with luxury sedan stability and ride quality.
Advanced Lane Departure Prevention System
The 2009 Infiniti M is available with Infiniti's advanced Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) system. The LDP system made its worldwide production debut last year on the 2008 M. LDP utilizes the M's Vehicle Dynamic Control system to apply slight brake pressure to the wheels opposite the side of the lane departure direction to help prevent the vehicle from inadvertently traveling out of its intended lane.
The LDP system uses a small camera installed behind the windshield to detect lane markers in front of the vehicle, calculate its position relative to those lane markers and warn the driver of lane drift (pending lane change without use of the turn signal) with a visual display and audible buzzer. If the driver does not return the vehicle in the direction of the center of the travel lane, the LDP system assists the driver by using gentle control (generating part of the necessary yaw movement), using the VDC's brake actuator to control the brake pressure of each individual wheel to generate the intended movement.
"More than 55 percent of fatal auto accidents in the United States are caused by lane departures, including single vehicle and head-on accidents. With the LDP system, Infiniti continues to advance vehicle safety technology," said Igo. "With LDP, the driver never gives up control - it's a safety feature, not an override."
Other safety features include standard Infiniti Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors; standard front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags; and standard roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection. The 2009 M also offers standard 3-point ALR/ELR seat belts (driver's seat ELR only), front seat belt adjustable shoulder height anchors with pretensioners and load limiters, front seat Active Head Restraints with 4-way manual adjustments and standard brake-operated front pre-crash seat belts, which tighten under emergency braking in anticipation of an evasive maneuver or crash.
Every 2008 M also includes Zone Body construction with energy-dispersing side structure, LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tether for CHildren) and Zone Body platform design with front and rear crumple zones.
Four Well-Equipped Models
The 2009 Infiniti M is offered in four well-equipped models: the M35 (V6 rear-wheel drive), M35x AWD (V6 all-wheel drive), M45 (V8 rear-wheel drive) and M45x (V8 all-wheel drive). The M35 and M45 are also offered with a comprehensive Sport Package with Rear Active Steer, unique suspension tuning, 19-inch 5-split spoke wheels and tires, sport-bolstered and trimmed front seats, sport steering wheel and shifter, aluminum trim and pedal accents and unique body styling.
Available option packages include the Technology Package, Advanced Technology Package, Premium Package, Sport Package, Wood Trim (standard on RWD and AWD models, optional with Sport Package models) and Infiniti Mobile Entertainment System Package.
"The Infiniti M is an expression of power, refinement, technology and design - all the things that make Infiniti owners' hearts pound," said Igo. "The M captures the soul of the Infiniti brand, expressing it in invigorating, forward thinking ways."