Infiniti I30 Origins
The I30 launched in the United States as a replacement for the J30 rear-drive luxury sedan that the brand produced from 1992 to 1997. The Cefiro actually debuted in 1988, with a rear-drive similar to that of the performance-centric Nissan Skyline and Nissan Laurel. However, the subsequent models of the car, the A32 and A33, dropped this sports car characteristic and switched to conventional front-wheel drive. These two series models sold as the Infiniti I30 and later as the I35 in the North American market.About the Infiniti I30
The Infiniti I30 was the top seller under the luxury brand. It represents the first rebadged Nissan model to sell under the Infiniti brand, and it sold as an entry-level model until the G20 entered the North American market in 1999. The Infiniti I30 led its class for as long as sold. The first generation gained praise as a great entry-level luxury sedan, and the second generation Infiniti I30 further refined this model.Infiniti I30 Features
The 2001 model year marks the last for the Infiniti I30 models. All models in this year feature a 3.0-liter V-6 engine under the hood that delivers 227 hp and 217 lb-ft of torque. The engine couples with an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission.
The previous generation Infiniti I30 models use the same displacement engine, but with a power of 190 hp and a torque of 205 lb-ft. The significant increase in performance in the 2001 Infiniti I30 results from a larger intake chamber, equal-length exhaust pipes, the addition of the Nissan Variable Induction System (NVIS) and a variable capacity muffler that reduces exhaust system backpressure at 2000 rpm and above. All these improvements help refine the performance of an already refined V-6 engine that uses micro-finished cam lobes and crank journals, digital knock control, molybdenum coated pistons, a cross-flow coolant system, and six coils.
The Infiniti I30 also has a relocated control module for the engine that improves the car’s reliability. The radiator is thicker, and cooling fans improve on this model, which helps cool down the engine and lower vibration levels, respectively.
The 2001 Infiniti I30 uses the same multi-link beam suspension, which offers great handling and the ability to execute sharper and more aggressive cornering. The stability of the Infiniti I30 boosts even more with the presence of thick stabilizer bars in the front and rear. The rack-and-pinion steering is sensitive to engine speed, which in turn makes the car easier to drive and handle.Infiniti I30 Evolution
The Infiniti I30 launched in 1995 for the 1996 model year. The car was manufactured and imported from Nissan’s assembly plant in Oppama, Japan. Production began in the plant on June 27, 1995. A 3.0-liter VQ30DE V-6 engine sits under the hood of the car. The Maxima uses this same engine.
Over the years, the Infiniti I30 received several revisions, with the first significant one being the addition of standard front side airbags in 1998. The exterior also flaunted revised headlights and taillights the same year. The touring model of the Infiniti I30 received five-spoke alloy wheels during this period. Most cars sold until 1998 came equipped with a four-speed automatic gearbox. However, a small percentage of the models have five-speed manual transmission gearbox and Viscous Limited Slip Differential (VLSD). By the time the first generation of the Infiniti I30 ended, a hands-free car phone accessible from the dash came as an optional feature.
The Nissan A33 series debuted in December 1998, in Japan. However, the A33 series was sold as an updated Infiniti I30 in the U.S. market for the 2000 model year. These models no longer offer the manual transmission option. The car has a more powerful engine than the Nissan Maxima because of the addition of the Variable Capacity Muffler. The body styling also shows changes, as well as the dashboard design, gauge cluster design, and foot-pedal emergency brake level. The Infiniti I30 also features a rear sunshade that the Nissan Maxima lacks. These differences address complaints about the striking similarities between both car models.