Thursday, April 12, 2012

REVIEW: 2012 Infinity FX35 AWD

Jumbo Shrimp.
Seriously Funny.
Accurate Estimate.
Airline Food.

Oxymorons have become the comparative coin of the realm. We nearly never have a conversation without interjecting one or more into a thought.
Add to this list: Luxury SUV.

You associate luxury with the finer things in life, and in the context of fine automobiles: leather, chrome, power-everything, and all the lagniappe a manufacturer can cram into a model.

Similarly, the acronym, SUV, for Sport-Utility Vehicle, conjures images of ruggedness, agility, and ample capacity for carting around goods or people or both--not necessarily stylishly, but effectively.

The 2012 Infinity FX35 AWD
Infinity has combined its expertise in crafting fine automobiles with its reputation as builder of sturdy vehicles to create an incredibly seductive Luxury-SUV called the FX35 AWD.

This amazing sport-ute combo is as appropriate for a black-tie evening as it is for delivering your small squad of urban commandos to an after school function. Somehow Infinity packed a heapin’ helpin’ of go-anywhere ruggedness into a seductive, shapely package that is a joy to drive, or just sit and stare at as the light plays tricks on its curves.

Here’s the hard-body part: The FX35 AWD boasts a 303hp 3.5-liter V-6 mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission that is an absolute thrill to drive. The rubber meets the road through 21-inch rims sporting low-profile tires. A dual exhaust system followed me around with my own personal soundtrack. 

And did I spy twin air intakes in that engine compartment?

(I will confess that after a few days in a brand-new fleet vehicle with which I am unfamiliar, and just a little gingerly to the touch, I usually find myself longing for the familiar comfort of my own, two-seater drop top. Not so with this loaner—I really did not want to turn it in!)


But the shape…ah, the shape of the FX35 is truly mesmerizing. I found myself taking it to the roof top of a parking garage just to watch the sun come up and illuminate its features.

The view from the cockpit, forward over the provocatively curving hood, framed by beefy front fender swells, is exhilarating. And the sharp, downward taper of the rear deck, blending into a tightly-tucked, electrically-powered hatch lid, is the automotive equivalent of a come-hither look.
Can you tell I fell in love with this vehicle?

It handles like a sports car (I would know) with its speed-sensing steering and all-wheel traction, and it purrs at freeway speeds, gliding effortlessly with a .35 drag coefficient (my drop top has a .34!) 

Leather seats with cheek-warmers, a power sunroof, and a verrry cool 360-degree camera system are the icing on the cake.  The Iridium Blue demo I drove for the week had a sticker price of $52,445 with all its goodies; definitely not an entry-level vehicle. But when you’ve arrived, and you want to arrive in style that will turn heads, and turn you on every time you hit the start button, you can’t beat the FX35 AWD.

I can’t wait to drive the 2013 (hint, hint).

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