The all-new 2008 Infiniti EX coupe crossover, revealed this week at the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, will form part of a four model premium range that will be launched across Europe starting from Autumn 2008.
The EX is a new addition to the global Infiniti range. To be badged EX35 when it goes on sale in the US at the end of this year, this all-wheel drive crossover slots in below the iconic FX and offers an exceptional combination of seductive design, elegant interior and advanced technology systems. These include the world production car debut of the advanced Around View Monitor (AVM) system, which utilizes four small cameras to give the driver a “top-down view” of the outside of the vehicle while parking. The new EX35 also becomes the second Infiniti production vehicle, following the Autumn introduction in the US of the 2008 Infiniti M-series, to offer the new Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) system, and the first to feature “Scratch Shield,” a special “self-healing” clearcoat paint. Launch timing of these technologies in Europe is to be confirmed.
Designed by the Infiniti design centre in Japan, the EX35’s sculpted elegance should have a timeless appeal. Sleek lines portray speed, grace and finesse combining the look and feel of a luxury coupe with the elevated cabin of a 4×4.
The sporty proportions include a long hood, short front and rear overhangs, rearward cabin and smooth coupe-like roofline arching over the windows to the C-pillars. “The EX35 is the perfect fusion of a luxury coupe and a sporty 4×4,” said Jim Wright, Vice President Infiniti Europe.
The EX35 has a length of 4631mm and a width of 1803mm making it maneuverable in town. While a height of 1589mm gives it a more dynamic stance and a lower centre of gravity than most other 4x4s.
EX35’s exterior includes many signature Infiniti touches, including a double-arch grille, large L-shaped headlights with available Bi-Xenon Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS), integrated fog lights, distinctive LED taillights and “dynamic arch” profile. Other exterior features include a high-mounted rear hatchback spoiler, chrome-finished dual exhaust pipes, an available power tilt/sliding sunroof with one-touch activation and optional roof rails and crossbars. The EX35 also features a standard puddle lamp integrated in the driver’s side door mirror as part of the Hospitality Lighting Concept.
Eight exterior colors will be offered including two shades new to the model.
One of the unique features of the new EX35 is the special “Scratch Shield,” a special “self-healing” clearcoat paint, which is designed to maintain its gloss-level over time. The paint repairs fine scratches, such as fingernail scratches under door handles, restoring the EX35’s surface close to the original state. The process, which takes anywhere from one day to one week (depending on the surrounding temperature and the depth of the scratch), is accomplished through the use of a special highly elastic resin. This resin is combined with a conventional clearcoat to increase the paint’s flexibility and strength by raising the resin density.
Like all Infiniti vehicles, the EX35 is conceived to offer an invigorating and engaging interior environment. And one that is both indulgent and inspiring.
The driver-focused “wave-inspired” cabin layout features an Infiniti signature “double-wave” instrument panel, easy-to-read high-contrast gauges with white-and-violet illumination and hospitality lighting with a pin LED light mounted over the center console and Infiniti-signature analog clock.
The instrument panel also features a 7-inch color display with Infiniti controller for the trip computer and additional vehicle information, including the available Infiniti Hard Disk based Navigation System with 9.3GB Music Box hard drive for music storage and playback.
Other technology systems include available Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System and standard Infiniti Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition. Available technology features include RearView Camera (available separately, or as part of the Around View Monitor system), front and rear parking sensors, Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) and Bose® Premium Audio System with 11 speakers including 2 subwoofers, 6CD in-dash changer and iPod® connectivity.
The interior is offered with cloth or leather-upholstered seating surfaces, available in four different colour concepts, reflecting Infiniti’s desire to offer the customer a high level of personalisation. A special Black Lacquer trim comes standard on the center console, with optional genuine Maple wood trim for the centre.
An 8-way power driver’s seat with 2-way manual lumbar support is standard, along with a 4-way power passenger’s seat. A driver’s seat memory system is also offered, along with available heated front seats and 8-way power front passenger’s seat. Also available is an unusual 60/40 split power-folding 2nd row seat (operated from the front or hatch area) making it easier to get the best out of the interior space.
“The EX35’s interior is all about driving pleasure and passenger comfort,” said Wright. “Like the exterior, it offers a coupe-like feel but surprising versatility – ideal for today’s active lifestyles. Its design is elegant and made using beautiful materials that indulge as well as calm. “
Under the EX35’s dramatic body is an equally advanced platform and powertrain based on the latest Infiniti performance technology. Its advanced FR-L platform provides the same high levels of handling precision and balance as it does for the Infiniti M, FX and G Coupe and Saloon.
Every 2008 US-specification Infiniti EX35 comes as standard with the fourth-generation VQ35HR 3.5-liter V6 engine (shared with the new G35 Saloon), rated at 290-plus horsepower (estimated) and 5-speed automatic transmission with manual mode, DS sport mode with Downshift Rev Matching (DRM), and Adaptive Shift Control.
The engine block features ladder frame construction, variable exhaust cam timing (eCVTCS), asymmetric piston skirts, twin knock sensors and Iridium spark plugs. Its symmetric twin ram air intake system helps reduce airflow resistance, while the dual exhaust system has been designed with equal length exhaust manifolds and reduced muffler exhaust pressure help improve engine breathing.
Both are tuned to create authoritative harmonies, helping enhance driving pleasure, an exciting engine sound and expected improvements in emissions and fuel economy (versus the previous generation VQ engine).
The fourth-generation VQ engine design also includes a long list of advanced systems found on the previous design – including a Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), a "noiseless" timing chain for quiet operation, an electronically controlled "drive-by-wire" throttle system, microfinished crank journals and cam lobes, and molybdenum coated lightweight pistons.
Every EX35 utilizes a subframe-mounted independent front double-wishbone suspension with aluminum-alloy upper and lower links, high-performance dual-flow pass shock absorbers and anti-roll bar. The rear suspension is an independent multi-link design with aluminum-alloy upper and lower links and axle housing, high-performance dual-flow pass shock absorbers and anti-roll bar.
Steering is provided by a speed-sensitive power-assisted steering system with power-assisted front and rear discs (vented front) and standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA).
Also standard is Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS), while an advanced Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) with Preview Braking is optionally available.
Available wheel and tire combinations include an 18-inch 8-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels with 225/55R18 tires.
EX35 features Infiniti’s ATTESA E-TS (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All Electronic Torque Split) all-wheel drive system, which is also utilized on the 2008 M, FX and G Saloon.
The system utilizes an active torque distribution management system with an active centre clutch designed for smooth starts and better traction and maneuverability on snowy and wet roads than conventional all-wheel drive systems, plus minimal compromise of rear-wheel drive performance characteristics on dry roads.
Advanced New Technology
The EX35’s advanced technology design is highlighted by one system that is the first production version available in the US and Europe: the Infiniti Around View Monitor.
It utilizes small front, side and rear-mounted cameras to project an all-around view of potential objects on every side of the vehicle – helping reduce blind spots when parking.
“Conventional mirrors, no matter how carefully you use them, just can’t provide a view around the car that the Around View Monitor’s four-camera system does,” said Wright. “Rear bumper parking sensors help detect objects behind a car, but again they can’t give the view of the space around the vehicle that the AVM does.”
The information given above relates to the US market EX35. Specifications of the European version will be confirmed closer to the on sale date.
In terms of positioning, it is difficult to find any direct rivals for the EX being arguably the first of a new wave of coupe crossovers. But looking at other cars available currently, the EX might be lined up against rivals as diverse as the BMW X3 3.0si and Audi A4 3.2FSI quattro avant.
The EX will get its first European showing at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. The brand will be launched across Europe, city by city, starting in the autumn of 2008 – a process that will take two years. Infiniti Europe will reveal more details of its launch schedule towards the end of 2007.
Four models will be available in Europe from launch. These will include the G saloon, the G coupe, the EX as detailed above, and a successor to the iconic FX to be unveiled next year. A replacement for the M-series will join the European range early in the next decade along with the option, on the M-, EX- and FX-series, of a high performance V6 diesel.
Superior customer service will be as important to Infiniti as the product. This starts with the retail network, all of which will employ the new Infiniti Retail Design Environment Initiative (IREDI) that has a look and feel more akin to a luxury designer hotel than a car showroom, and continues with Infiniti’s Total Ownership Experience (TOE) philosophy that covers all contacts the customer will have with the brand.
Said Wright: “The launch of a premium car brand in Europe is a rare and special event. Infiniti will have the simple philosophy of offering the independently minded customer a new alternative of vibrant product teamed with excellent service. The cars are all elegantly designed, comprehensively equipped and aimed at the enthusiast. But they are only half the story. Effortless ownership will be equally important as you will discover closer to the launch.”