The FX45 was first seen as a concept vehicle in 2001 and then appeared in second-generation form at Detroits North American International Auto Show in January 2002. The sport utility vehicle is now being readied for production with the goal of going on sale early in 2003.
The styling of the second concept model continues the Bionic Cheetah theme that marked the original. Infinitis goal is to combine sports car performance with SUV utility and all-wheel drive (AWD) in a vehicle similar to the new Nissan Murano.
When the concept FX45 was exhibited, Vice President and General Manager Mark McNabb noted that it represents the shape of things to come for our production SUV. It also represents our intention to stand out from the pack of less exciting, less confident vehicles currently in the market. How much of the concepts styling and technology will remain in the production version cannot be pinpointed yet, and Infiniti has not provided any details.
Based on the full-size Infiniti Q45 sedans power plant, the 4.5-liter V-8 engine generates 315 horsepower and teams with a five-speed-automatic transmission that incorporates a manual-shift mode. AWD will be standard, and the FX45 has a four-wheel-independent suspension.
Infinitis crossover model is more boldly styled than most SUVs by having a wide stance and a relatively long wheelbase. Infiniti has promoted its aggressive image and notes that the exterior suggests sports-car shapes. The cabin is set farther to the rear than some competing SUVs, and it has long doors. In concept form, the FX45 rode 21-inch alloy wheels and featured LED taillights and a unique roof pillar design. Built on a 112.2-inch wheelbase, the FX45 concept measured 188.5 inches long overall, 76.7 inches wide and 65 inches high.
The FX45 concept was set up to seat four occupants, and it featured handcrafted brick-colored leather upholstery with polished-aluminum accents and foot pedals. A floating instrument cluster faced the driver, who could make use of a large, 9.5-inch video screen for the navigation system. A rear-seat video entertainment system has also been installed.
Under the Hood
A 4.5-liter V-8 engine produces 315 hp. The power plant mates to a five-speed-automatic transmission that features manual-shift capability.
All-disc antilock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist will be included in the production version of the FX45.