The Infiniti Q45 was a full-size luxury car produced and sold by the Infiniti division of Nissan Motor Company Ltd. As a rear-wheel, V8-powered luxury car, the Q45 served as the flagship of the then-burgeoning luxury marque. The Q45 evolved over three generations from a high-performance sedan with luxury appointments to a softer and more sedate vehicle that was loaded with the latest technology.
The sole engine choice for the third generation Q45 was a 4.5-liter V8 engine. Attached to a 5-speed automatic with overdrive, the 4.5-liter engine produced 340 horsepower at 6400 rpm and 333 pound feet of torque. EPA fuel economy estimates for the Q45 were 17 miles per gallon for in-city driving and 24 miles per gallon on the highway. These figures are well in line with other competing vehicles.
The Q45 entered the U.S. market in 1989 as a 1990 model, competing with the then-new Lexus LS400 for market supremacy. The Q45 also had to contend with competitors from Mercedes Benz, BMW, Jaguar and Cadillac. The first generation model featured a grille-less design with a Cloisonne front insignia. With a limited-slip differential, multi-link suspension and powerful 278 horsepower V8 engine, the Q45's performance bested the LS400 and other competing vehicles. Unfortunately, an ill-conceived ad campaign meant the public was not as aware of the flagship Infiniti and sales suffered. The public's unfavorable view of the Q45's front end design lead it to be tweaked in 1994, adding a waterfall grille to the front of the vehicle. The second-generation Q45 used a smaller, more conventional platform with a smaller 4.1-liter engine producing 266 horsepower. The third-generation Q45 restructured its performance even further with a new 340 horsepower V8 engine and suspension upgrades.
The Sport trim was the only trim available for the 2006 model year, which was the last production year for the Q45. The Q45 offered an all-leather interior, front power seats with 8-way adjustments, 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome accents, remote keyless entry, rain sensing wipers, 8-speaker Bose system with CD changer and voice-activated navigation. Interior decór features included double-stitched seats, dark maple trim and white luminescent gauge markings.
Unfortunately, the public's awareness of the Q45 was relatively low, leading to poor sales. As a result, the Q45 was discontinued after the 2006 model year in favor of the M35 and M45. The M45 inherited the Q45's 4.5-liter V8 while having more interior room and better performance than the Q45, despite its smaller size.
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