February 8, 2013

Review: Nissan Skyline, Infiniti G37

Infiniti's "G" sedan can be traced back to the Skyline, introduced by Japan's Prince Motor Company in 1957. The Prince Skyline was a luxury car whose 1.5L, 60HP engine could get it to speeds up to 140kph (87 mph).

The name "Skyline" was a constant through the decades that this car was marketed by Prince, then by Datsun, and now by Nissan and its luxury division, Infiniti. Both the car itself and its engines kept growing over the years, its engine now a huge 3.7L V6 with 328 HP.

The sleek lines of the G / Skyline are preserved in all its manifestations as a sedan, a coupé and a convertible; there is a crossover version as well (called the EX in the US).

The reason it's called the Infiniti G37 is that you can only buy it with the 3.7L V6 engine. In Japan it is equivalent to the Nissan Skyline 370GT; the cost of the "S" trim is ¥ 4,095,500 (US$ 44,200). In comparison, the Skyline 250GT, with the 2.5L V6 engine, has a price tag ¥ 3,759,000 (US$ 40,500): one of those examples where the more frugal version of a model is also less expensive in the puchase.

Under the Japanese JC08 test schedule, the 370GT fuel efficiency specification is 9.4km/L (22 mpg), while for the 250GT it is 11.4 km/L (27 mpg). Six-cylinder engines are just thirsty. The 328HP in the G37 can probably get you over 120mph, pretty much over the top, unless you live in Minnesota and/or don't mind coughing up for the speeding tickets. I mean, back in 1957 the Skyline reached 87mph on a 60 HP engine: who needs five times that much?

As for acceleration, a 2.2L diesel engine can generate torque equal to that of the G37, but at much (30%) higher fuel efficiency. So if Nissan decided to install a nice small diesel engine in the Skyline / G37 it would serve that car well enough, but at a much reduced carbon footprint.

I've always been puzzled about the engineering advantage of putting an engine in the front of a car that has rear-wheel drive. As a driver, I don't think rear-wheel drive serves anyone living in a climate that sees snowfall regularly.

As the caretaker of a cello, I don't go for sedans in general, because I hesitate to put the cello by itself way back in the trunk. I suppose I could go for the crossover - it's handsome enough - but its higher profile implies increased weight and air resistance, which you can see by its reduced fuel efficiency: only 17 / 25 mpg (cty/hwy). At this stage, I'm past 5-passenger cars that do less than 30 mpg.


Infiniti G37, Nissan Skyline Sedan

Infiniti G37, US Nissan Skyline, JP
Type Journey 250GT "S"
Year 2013 2013
Emissions rating
MSRP ¥ 4,095,500 (Japan)
$ 37,350 (US)
¥ 3,759,000
CelloMom Rating
Fuel Economy:
City/Hwy quoted 19 / 27 mpg
Avg. quoted  
22 mpg
11.4 km/L (JC08)
(27 mpg)
Avg. actual
Engine 3.7L 24-vlv V6 2.5L V6
Power 328 HP @ 7000rpm 223 HP @ 6400rpm
Torque 269 lb-ft @5200rpm 258Nm @ 4800rpm
Transmission 7-spd auto 7-spd auto
Fuel Premium gasoline
Length, mm(in) 187.9 in 4780 mm
Width, mm(in) 69.8 in 1770 mm
Height, mm(in) 57.2 in 1450 mm
Weight, kg(lbs) 3628 lbs 1610 kg
Trunk volume, liters(cuft) 13.5 cuft  
Turning radius, m(ft) 35.4 ft c-c 5.4m
Top speed, kph(mph)



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