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Infiniti's Newest IPO - The IPL

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On: Wed, Sep 15, 2010 at 1:24PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Infiniti's Newest IPO - The IPL

BMW has M, Mercedes has AMG, Cadillac has V, Audi has S, while Acura has Type S and Lexus has taken F.  In the alphabet soup of performance divisions, it feels like there are only a few more combinations to go around before companies start resorting to fraternity and sorority-like Greek lettering to distinguish their higher horsepower hot rods. And just as companies are running out of letters, it seems letters are running out of car companies to be adopted by. One of the last is now come and gone, as Infiniti has chosen IPL as their intra-name plate to add to models that are tweaked a bit more than the stockers.  

The Infiniti Performance Line has chosen the G Coupe to be its first model. The IPL G Coupe will follow more of an Acura Type-S structure than BMW's M stylings. The car itself will essentially be a stock G37 with mild upgrades. The same VQ engine will be employed, albeit a slightly breathed-on version, sporting 348 horsepower compared to the stock 330. If a bump of 18 horsepower on a VQ engine sounds familiar, that's because the G Coupe to IPL G Coupe is exactly the same as the change its 370Z corporate stable mate makes when it transforms into the NISMO 370Z, going from 332 @ 7000 rpm to 350 horsepower at 7400 rpm. Torque makes the same jump exactly from 270 for the G Coupe and 350Z to 276 lb-ft at  in the IPL G Coupe and NISMO 350Z.  

The transmission choices for the IPL G Coupe are either a traditional six-speed manual with a short throw shifter, or a seven-speed auto complete with steering column mounted paddle shifters. Aside from drivetrain upgrades, the IPL G Coupe is also replete with suspension upgrades to make it clear from the driver's seat that this car is different than your run of the mill G. Standard brakes are the same as those on the G37 Sport:  Four-piston front calipers, and two-piston rears. New shocks adorn the IPL suspension and improve handling, as well as an upgraded steering rack and stiffer springs (20-percent higher in the front and 10-percent higher in the rear). The list of mods ends with a mechanical-type limited slip differential to help put the power to the road.  

To let the world know you spent a little more on your own G Coupe, there are of course the obligatory visual cues including: A more aggressive body kit that provides lower hanging side skirts, a bigger front grille, model-specific spoiler, and dark-grey wheels, and the all-important IPL badges. Other bits include red interior stitching on the steering wheel and seats, along with aluminum accents and pedals finish off the upgraded sport motif on the IPL G Coupe. Optional equipment on other G Coupes is all standard on the IPL version including a Bose Stereo system, satellite navigation system, sunroof, and a rear-view camera.

It should come as no surprise that the IPL G Coupe is expected to hit the showrooms at about the same time as the new BMW 335is. But it seems Infiniti may be setting their sights a little low with the introduction of a performance line. Yes, BMW's IS line is impressive, but any 335 driver will tell you that an M it is not. Of all the jumbled performance alphabet stylings, it seems IPL most closely resembles Acura's Type-S variant, which keeps about 90% of the car as-is, and tweaks the suspension, frees up about 20 horsepower, and adds a little visual flare.

One would think that being one of the last luxury brands to bring around a sport line, Infiniti would be able to learn from the best of the bunch and come in with a model line that would blow away the competition. Perhaps a G Coupe that employed a tuned version of the 5.6 liter V8 from the QX56 that currently produces 320 horsepower and 393 lb-ft of torque in full size SUV trim, or even a detuned GTR motor a la Cadillac CTS-V did with the supercharged ZR1 derived LSA motor would make for a very impressive M fighter. But to be fair, the G Coupe is Infiniti's first attempt at a performance variant, and the company has said other IPL models will likely be offered like the M Sedan and FX variants in the future. So maybe Infiniti is just giving us a small sample of things to come.

Expect to see the first IPL by the end of the year and pricing to come in just shy of the 50 grand BMW wants for the 335is. It seems that the streets are heating up and the only downside to the new IPL G Coupe is that enthusiasts have three more letters to commit to memory.

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