Infiniti celebrates its 10th year in business with an anniversary edition of its flagship Q45 sedan. The anniversary package includes wood interior trim, a leather and wood steering wheel and body-color door handles.
Infiniti is the luxury division of Nissan, and the rear-drive Q45 is its most expensive model. Main rivals include the Lexus LS400, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and S-Class and BMW 5 Series and 7 Series.
A redesigned Q45 with more dramatic styling is due to debut early in calendar 2001 as a 2002 model.
The Q45's last redesign was for 1997, when it lost a couple of inches here and there and a couple of hundred pounds. At 200 inches bumper to bumper, it is a few inches longer than the Lexus LS400. A prominent chrome grille is flanked by twin round headlamps enclosed in a rectangular frame.
Seats for five are standard in the leather-clad interior, but the center rear passenger seat straddles the driveshaft, making it impractical for the long haul. Trunk space is a modest 12.6 cubic feet.
Standard amenities include eight-way power front seats, automatic temperature control, a power-operated rear sunshade and an eight-speaker, 200-watt Bose audio system with an in-dash CD player.
Under the Hood
This sedan comes two ways, as the standard Q45 and the Touring model (Q45t), and both have a 266-horsepower 4.1-liter V-8 engine (now with 100,000-mile spark plugs).
The Q45t comes with 17-inch wheels and tires (the base model has 16-inchers) and an electronically adjustable suspension with Sport and Auto settings.
Active head restraints for the front seats are newly standard. The head restraints move upward and forward in rear-end collisions to reduce the chances of whiplash injuries. Side-impact airbags that protect the heads and chests of front-seat occupants, anti-lock brakes and traction control are standard.