2011 Infiniti IPL G Coupe Review

Infiniti-IPL-G-Coupe-2011_i022011 Infiniti IPL G Coupe

The Infiniti ‘G’ range is expanding into a proper premium product portfolio. A convertible model recently joined existing G37 coupe and sedan models, as did a G25 sedan with a smaller and more fuel-efficient engine. Intended for shoppers more concerned more with fuel mileage than all-out firepower, the G25’s smaller V6 develops 218 horsepower to the bigger unit’s 330.

The IPL G Coupe is Infiniti’s most recent addition to the G family – and it sends power output in the other direction.

The first machine to wear the brand’s new ‘Infiniti Performance Line’ badge, it benefits from upgrades intended to make things faster, tighter, more powerful and more exclusive.

The IPL isn’t like an M car, an AMG or a Shelby. It’s just a bit more of everything, rather than a full-out, fire-breathing, go-fast do-over.

348 horsepower

A lightly reworked version of the Infiniti VQ37VHR V6 sits under the IPL’s hood. In standard form, this gem blasts out 330 free-breathing horsepower, loves to rev, and boasts smooth-as-a-baby’s-freshly-moisturized-backside performance.

A specially tuned dual exhaust system and recalibrated engine computer bump power output up to 348 for IPL duty; the extra ponies making their appearance at a slightly elevated 7,400-rpm peak. The whole setup exhales through a pair of fist-swallowing tailpipes which look fantastically ignorant on such a classy coupe.

Oh, the noise

And you should hear them. Sound effects are wickedly infectious as the big six cranks out a uniquely mechanical, deliberate and almost artificially-pleasing hum that escalates into a shrill, high-pitched wail. Loud-pedal jammed, the IPL-tweaked mill makes no apologies for blasting its high-revving battle cry off of nearby cars and buildings. Aurally, nothing’s hidden here.

Of course, a couple more pipes and ponies don’t make a great sports car that much greater, so Infiniti also modified the suspension spring rates, added a higher-performance braking system, fitted a gorgeous body kit, some great wheels and a set of Potenza performance tires. There’s some extra badging on the trunk lid and engine cover to tie it all together.

2011 Infiniti IPL G Coupe

But it’s modest looking. Sort of. The IPL doesn’t solicit much more attention than the G37’s sexy, scowling bod already demanded. It’s like that hot girl at the office, wearing an extra-sexy getup on dress-down Friday.

In traffic, it gets big reactions from those in the know, but slips gracefully by the motoring masses without much second thought. Or blows by them with a howling exhaust note in its wake. Driver’s call.

Blasting along

Acceleration is generous, liquid-smooth and potently peaky as the tach reaches for redline – though the extra 18 horsepower are perhaps lost in the pack. The IPL is quicker than the standard G37 Coupe, but not incredibly so.

The tester shifted gears via a 7-speed, paddle-shiftable automatic with downshift rev matching and throttle-cut upshifts. Translation? Pleasingly quick and smooth shifting is available in both directions. Manly men can opt for a 6-speed manual transmission, too.

The IPL braking system bites down with authority from the first press of the pedal. Though occasionally abrupt, strong pedal feel, easy modulation and a precise, powerful character to the entire setup inspire confidence should one’s radar detector start beeping.

Steering is light and loose during low-speed work, though it firms up nicely to bridge the gap between fingertips and tarmac at higher speeds. On a winding side road, the IPL’s steering gives drivers a clear sense of vehicle weight and attitude. It feels locked down and heavy in both the front and rear, but also eager, confident and naturally athletic.

Comfortable, too

Best off, the IPL pulls off a gratifying handling experience with surprising comfort – even on poorly-maintained roads. It still rides like an Infiniti, not a ‘93 Civic hatch with concrete bushings and eBay lowering springs. They’ve nailed the ride quality, here.

Add in the nicely-trimmed cabin, mighty Bose stereo and unanimously-loved seats, and things impress readily when intentions shift away from making arcade-game exhaust sounds and towards a peaceful road trip.

Best off, cruising around 115 km/h sees the VQ37VHR put away about 8.9 litres of premium per 100 km. That’s very decent given power output. My overall test drive average consumption landed at just under 11L/100km.

High-performance, meet high-comfort?

2011 Infiniti IPL G Coupe

The cabin is a smidge snug for larger folks, but those up front should find wearing the IPL G more like slipping into a precisely fit leather glove than an awkwardly tight pair of jeans. Typical coupe complaints about limited trunk space, at-hand storage and kid-only rear-seats apply, of course.

Ultimately, there’s a great balance between comfort and performance here.

The IPL has a body kit, rims and specifications that will appeal to your inner 18-year old. The comfort, sophistication and overall sense of sport-injected classiness will appeal to your inner adult. The exhaust sound appeals to anyone with ears, testosterone, and a heartbeat.

The IPL G Coupe is entertaining, comfortable, sexy, well put together, and it loves to sing. It’s a machine that loses little switching from a back-roads rocket to a boulevard cruiser or anything in between.

Pricing starts around $57,000.