INFINITI M35X MAKES SWEET WATER
by Casey Williams
If you’re seriously into recording, audio production, and high-end instruments, you are probably familiar with Sweetwater Music Instruments & Pro Audio in Ft. Wayne, IN. Having been there with my partner and friends recently, I can tell you the place is impressive. Housed in a work of modern architecture that is responsible to the environment are multiple recording studios, an instrument retailer, and perhaps the most high-tech concert hall in the mid-west that can re-produce sound perfectly, change its direction, or damp it completely. It’s Carnegie Hall on the prairie. The only thing missing is an Infiniti dealership to complete the experience.
When Infiniti formally introduced the M35 in Detroit several years ago, they hired Herbie Hancock to play a Steinway while journalists sipped martinis and bourbon over the hood of their new sport sedan. It was all ridiculous, but nobody complained about the enjoyment provided. Hancock was amazing!
I doubt anybody will complain about the M35’s interior either. Turn or move any of the controls and you immediately sense an attention to detail reserved for top luxury cars. The gear selector feels almost mechanical as it slips into gear and the heated leather seats sooth and caress – especially when equipped with tiny Bose speakers near the headrests. Infiniti hired Herbie to bring due attention to the stylish woodgrain control console, which is arranged to imitate a piano’s keys.
The sound that comes out of the Bose audio system, with XM Satellite Radio, is pretty sweet. Besides filling the cabin with concert sound, the system includes a 9.3GB Music Box hard drive to store a library’s worth of music. Your iPOD can be USB-plugged directly into the car and controlled through the regular knobs and buttons. Touch screen navigation, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone, and back up camera enhance one’s convenience. As with Sweetwater’s concert hall, occupants have total control of their environment.
Infiniti upgraded its Intelligent Cruise Control and Lane Departure Prevention by combining them with the car’s electronic stability control system to apply slight brake pressure to wheels opposite of the center line, thus bringing the car into its lane without removing control from the driver through steering wheel inputs. Headlights swivel with the front wheels Tucker-style to better illuminate curves and driveways.
Which could be important as the new powertrain can move around corners in a hurry. An enhanced 3.5-litre V6 engine that produces 303 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque is shared with the new FX35 crossover. All-wheel-drive takes the skitter out of the M35’s poor weather behavior. Fuel economy ratings of 17/25-MPG city/highway are reasonable for a car of this cloud.
If Sweetwater ever branded a car, the Infiniti M35X would be a great choice. It offers hot style, nirvanic sound, immense luxury, and the thumping rhythm that only a world-class engine and chassis can provide. Just as modern electronic pianos have weighted keys to let musicians communicate with their instrument, controls in the M35 are precise and reaffirming. The BMW 5-Series, Mercedes E-Class, Lexus GS, or Cadillac STS are great cars, but the Infiniti M35X might be the most rewarding instrument you could buy.
2009 Infiniti M35X
Five-passenger, AWD Sedan
Powertrain: 303-HP 3.5-litre V6, 5-spd auto. trans.
Fuel economy: 17/25-MPG city/hwy.
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