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Infiniti Affinity

The sensations through the 2007 Infiniti G35’s steering wheel are the first clue that something’s up: Fingertips meet the pleasing resistance of a coiled spring, an athlete’s muscle. The Infiniti’s helm, not coincidentally, feels remarkably like that of a BMW 3 Series, that perennial ruler of sports sedans. The original G35 strode boldly onto BMW’s performance turf while falling short in interior luxury and craftsmanship, but this redesigned model, out in November, shows the Asian interloper battling the pricier Bavarian on all fronts. Its 3.5-liter V-6 pumps out 306 horsepower, matching the Lexus IS 350 as the most potent player in the class. All-wheel drive is offered, along with active four-wheel steering: Rear wheels turn in slight opposition to the fronts, which subtly but noticeably improves cornering. The rack-and-pinion steering, meanwhile, automatically adjusts to sharpen reflexes at lower speeds and boost stability when driving fast.

As noted, however, the most visible transformation of the G35 is its interior, an inviting cabin trimmed in either aluminum or lovely low-gloss African rosewood. And the Infiniti’s premium Bose audio system justifies its audiophile tag: It is perhaps the most thrilling and tuneful stereo ever available in a production automobile. The new G35 maintains its own class edge with a spacious backseat, making it ideal for those who won’t sacrifice practicality for style and speed. The happiest news, however, may be found on the window sticker: While pricing wasn’t set at press time, expect a well-equipped G35 to fetch no more than $35,000.

SCORECARD

INFINITI G35
Base Price: $32,000 (est.)
Engine: 3.5-liter V-6
Horsepower: 306
Torque: 268 pound-feet
Weight: 3,497 pounds
Zero to 60 MPH: 5.3 seconds (est.)

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