Infiniti Q45

The Infiniti Q45 is a full-size luxury sedan manufactured by Nissan Motors under its Infiniti brand from 1990 to 2006. Nissan manufactures the car at the Tochigi plant in Japan and exports it to the United States.

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Infiniti Q45 Origins

The generations of the Infiniti Q45 until 1997 draw from Nissan’s flagship sedan in the Japanese market, the President. Models produced after 1997 through the end of production in 2006, pull from the smaller Nissan car, the Cima. The Infiniti Q45 sells as a direct competitor to the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes Benz S-Class, and Lexus LS.

Exports of the Infiniti Q45 to the United States stopped after 2006, and Nissan replaced the car with the redesigned Infiniti M sedans.

About the Infiniti Q45

The Infiniti Q45 set many precedents for Infiniti and luxury sedans in general. First, the Infiniti brand debuted in the United States with the Q45 in 1990, along with the M30. Second, the Infiniti Q45 became the first rear-wheel drive luxury sedan in the U.S. market produced by a Japanese company, which directly competed with the European sport sedans.

The Infiniti Q45 was a worthy competitor too; it won critical acclaim for its powerful engine, firm suspension, responsive transmission, warm cabin, and overall refined look and feel. However, the sales rate was relatively poor compared to its competitors and even other Japanese models. Nissan can attribute the lack of popular response to several factors, including the bad advertising campaign during the initial stages, the understated and sometimes bland styling, and the lack of awareness or trust in the brand.

The second generation tried to address the comfort issues in the first one, but it ended up sacrificing performance. Infiniti then returned with a third generation of performance-centric Infiniti Q45s. Sales picked up, but they were never great. Nissan eventually discontinued the Q45 to make way for the M sedans because the latter had better performance, suspension, interior, and ergonomics.

Infiniti Q45 Features

The 2006 Infiniti Q45 is part of the third generation and has a powerful V-8 engine strapped under its hood. The engine delivers a whopping 340 hp of power coupled to a smooth five-speed automatic transmission gearbox. The 2006 model carries the same signature Gatling gun-type HID headlights introduced with the third generation in 2002. The exterior styling is also sharper and more detailed than the previous generations.

The Infiniti Q45 provides a spacious interior. The cabin flaunts plenty of wood elements, as well as brushed aluminum accents and leather touches. The instrument cluster is quite simple and goes well with the dash. Passenger space remains good at the front and rear, and the driver’s seat offers power adjustment. The steering wheel tilts and telescopes to accommodate the driver’s preference. The clumsy interface, however, leaves a black mark on an otherwise good interior.

The 2006 Infiniti Q45 comes in a Sport variant that offers sport suspension tuning, active rear steering, and 19-inch alloy wheels. Bluetooth connectivity and a lane-departure warning system also come as optional features, exclusively for the Premium package of the 2006 Infiniti Q45.

Infiniti Q45 Evolution

The Infiniti Q45 launched in 1989 as a 1990 model in the United States. The car received positive reviews, and special note was made of its performance. The 4.5-liter V-8 engine underneath the hood makes the Infiniti Q45 go from zero to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, which buyers find exceptional for its class. The car also has good handling capabilities. Its engine delivers 278 hp and 292 lb-ft of torque.

The Infiniti Q45 comes in three variants: Q45a, Q45t, and base. The first two variants use multi-link suspensions on both front and rear wheels, have a stabilizer bar at the rear, and a slightly smaller sway bar at the front. Other features found in these variants include BBS alloy wheels and four-wheel steering. The car’s styling is unconventional for its class, but it does not appeal to many customers. The most negative elements in the styling include the grille and the lack of chrome or wood trim in the interior.

Nissan based the first generation Infiniti Q45 on the Nissan President, but the second one draws on the Nissan Cima. The company exported to the U.S. beginning in 1997, and Infiniti incorporated feedback from the last generation by making the appearance more conventional. The engine downsizes to a 4.1-liter V-8, which results in poor performance. The suspension also changes to struts in front for greater comfort. However, sales did not pick up until the brand redesigned the vehicle completely for the 2002 model year.

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