The Infiniti FX, one of those rare vehicles that is equally seductive whether in motion or standing still, enters the third year of its second-generation design in 2011 with a number of refinements and its performance spirit firmly intact. As one of the most radical expressions of sport and utility prowling the streets today, FX is again available with a choice of a 390-horsepower 5.0-liter 32-valve DOHC V8 engine with VVEL (Variable Valve Event & Lift) or with a 303-horsepower 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC V6 engine. Both engines are paired with a standard 7-speed automatic transmission featuring Adaptive Shift Control (ASC).
The FX is also offered with Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (standard on FX50), double-wishbone front/multi-link rear suspension and large 4-wheel disc brakes, along with available Continuous Damping Control (CDC®), Rear Active Steer, Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) and 21-inch lightweight aluminum-alloy wheels.
Enhancements to the FX for the 2011 model year include: the addition of standard power rear liftgate on all models (late availability); the previous Navigation Package content is added to the Premium Package on FX35 (Premium Package content comes standard on FX50); a new Deluxe Touring Package for the FX50, with Maple interior accents, 21-inch wheels and tires and aluminum pedal accents; black lacquer interior trim is now standard on FX50; and one new color, Malbec Black, is added to FX’s exterior color palette.
As a showcase of Infiniti’s groundbreaking technology capabilities, the FX offers available Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA), Distance Control Assist (DCA), Intelligent Cruise Control (Full-Speed Range), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP), and the Around View® Monitor (AVM) – which provides a virtual 360° view of objects around the vehicle, helping to maneuver it in tight spots.
The 2011 FX is offered in three models: FX50 AWD with 5.0-liter V8, FX35 AWD with 3.5-liter V6 and FX35 RWD with 3.5-liter V6.
Dramatic Styling, A Driver-Oriented Interior
Once again in 2011, FX’s aggressive styling serves notice of its performance underpinnings with its long hood, stretched wheelbase, short front and rear overhangs, and low center of gravity. The design’s distinctive side air vents, located behind the front wheels, allow air to flow through the engine compartment and out the side of the vehicle, reducing front end lift.
FX’s pronounced performance appearance also features a lustrous Infiniti signature double-arch front grille, fog lamps and iconic High Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-functional xenon headlights. The aggressive silhouette is highlighted by a strong front-to-rear shoulder line, tight greenhouse, kicked-back roofline and integrated rear spoiler. The large LED taillights extend beyond the body, helping create aerodynamic downforce, while large dual exhaust outlets with chrome finishers cap the action-ready appearance.
FX is offered in eight exterior colors: Malbec Black (new for 2011), Umbria Twilight, Liquid Platinum, Platinum Graphite, Blue Slate, Black Obsidian, Midnight Mocha and Moonlight White.
Under FX’s polished, assertive styling is an equally advanced body structure, offering room for five adults and the capacity to hold four full-size golf bags. FX utilizes the rigid FM (for Front Midship) platform architecture, with a balanced front-to-rear weight distribution to help provide exceptional handling performance. Efforts were taken to reduce weight, including the use of aluminum doors and hood, and enhance body strength.
The Infiniti FX’s interior includes a command center-style cockpit designed to enhance the driving experience. The leather-appointed front seats offer 10-way driver’s side/8-way passenger side power adjustments and are available with a heating and cooling function for maximum comfort in any season.
The available driver’s sport seat adds power-adjustable side bolsters and a manual thigh extension. The high-tech interior design includes an Infiniti signature double-wave instrument panel and Fine Vision electroluminescent gauges.
Also available is an automatic driving position system, which moves the steering wheel and outside mirrors adaptively into the correct position when the seat is adjusted – allowing the driver to change the seat position and keep the same mirror viewpoint and relationship between the steering column and driver’s shoulder position.
The FX interior’s array of comfort and convenience equipment ranges from a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob to dual front and rear cupholders, four 12-volt power outlets, power windows with front one-touch auto-up/down function, power door locks and available tonneau cover and aluminum pedal accents. Hospitality features include the Infiniti Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition and Sequential Welcome Lighting Illuminated Entry system that starts with turning on the outside mirror courtesy lights as the driver approaches the FX and continues to light key areas as driver and passengers settle into the interior. Three available interior colors are offered: Wheat, Graphite and Java.
Standard on FX50 is the Advanced Climate Control System (ACCS) with auto-recirculation, Grape Polyphenol and Plasmacluster™ air purifier) standard on FX50) that reduces interior airborne contaminants. The system includes a “Clean Mode,” which uses ionization to reduce unwanted airborne particles. An “Ion Mode” creates a high concentration of negative ions to impart a freshness and crispness to the air, similar to what people experience after a thunderstorm or near a waterfall. This system utilizes a filter using fiber impregnated with natural grape seed polyphenol, which has the ability to reduce allergens that conventional filters cannot remove due to their incredibly small size (0.3 to 0.5 microns).
The FX comes equipped with an advanced Bose® Premium Audio system, acoustically engineered to optimize sound within the FX’s interior. It features 11-speakers, an AM/FM/CD player, 2.0GB Music Box® (800 MB for music storage) and USB connection port for iPod® Interface and other compatible devices.
Also standard are XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately), diversity antenna and steering wheel-mounted remote audio controls.
The advanced Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System – standard on FX50, available on FX35 – features XM NavTraffic® with Real-Time Traffic Information and XM NavWeather™ with Real-Time Weather Information (requires active XM® subscription, sold separately), Zagat Survey® restaurant guide and Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, along with a 9.3GB Music Box® Hard Drive for digital music storage and playback and the Infiniti Voice Recognition system for navigation and audio systems.
Two Advanced Engines
The Infiniti FX50 features a standard 5.0-liter V8 engine design rated at 390 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. It utilizes Infiniti’s Variable Valve Event & Lift (VVEL) valve control technology, which continuously adjusts valve timing and lift amounts, enabling higher fuel efficiency with higher torque and improved emissions over conventional variable valve designs. The VVEL intake camshafts, which feature continuously variable lift control teamed with a Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), allow for a 6,800 rpm redline.
Also offered is an advanced 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6, available on FX35 models. The V6 engine features an aluminum block and heads and electronically controlled throttle system and has been tuned specifically for use in the FX35. The engine is rated at 303-horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque.
The advanced V6 engine design also features a symmetric twin ram air intake system that reduces airflow resistance, Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), a silent timing chain for quiet operation, microfinished crank journals and cam lobes, and Teflon-coated lightweight pistons, a dual exhaust system with equal length exhaust manifolds and low muffler exhaust pressure to help improve engine breathing.
Only one transmission is offered on the 2011 FX – a refined 7-speed transmission that offers both a wide ratio of coverage and a wide lock-up area, as well as a manual shift mode, Downshift Rev Matching and Adaptive Shift Control (ASC).
The standard ASC system adapts the transmission’s shift timing depending on driving style. Solid magnesium paddle shifters are available with the FX50 Sport Package, while Infiniti’s advanced Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system with Traction Control System (TCS) is standard on all FX models.
FX50 AWD and FX35 AWD models are equipped with Infiniti’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system, which uses an advanced torque split control strategy that automatically redistributes torque to the wheels (0:100 up to 50:50 front to rear) according to road and driving conditions.
FX offers independent suspension at all four corners, with a double-wishbone suspension design in front and a multi-link design in the rear. Large diameter stabilizer bars are utilized at both ends. The suspension system also incorporates special Dual Flow Path™ shock absorber technology with rebound springs for responsive yet comfortable ride and firm, tight handling. An available Continuous Damping Control (CDC®) suspension system offers special electronically controlled shock absorbers. Using input from a variety of sensors, the system continuously alters the damping of the shocks to provide optimal ride and handling. A driver-selectable switch with two settings, “Auto” and “Sport,” allows the driver to choose the desired damping mode.
The FX50 is also available with an advanced Rear Active Steer system, which uses precise, electronic motor-driven control to turn the rear wheels up to one degree, helping generate a nimble steering response at low speeds and enhance handling feel at high speeds. Braking is provided by 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes with Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD). The FX50 includes 4-piston front/2-piston rear opposed-piston brake calipers and large brake rotors (14.0-inch front/13.8-inch rear).
FX35 models come standard with 18-inch split-5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels mounted with P265/60R18 V-rated all-season tires, while FX50 models feature 20-inch 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels with P265/50R20 V-rated all-season tires (optional on FX35).
Six-spoke 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P265/45R21 V-rated all-season tires are offered as part of the Deluxe Touring Package on the FX50.
Advanced Technology and Safety Systems
The 2011 FX makes available an array of advanced technology systems. The FX’s available advanced Around View® Monitor utilizes four small superwide-angle cameras – mounted on the front, side and rear of the FX – to provide a virtual 360° view of objects around the vehicle, helping to maneuver it in tight spots. The system uses advanced image processing to combine the images from the four cameras and provide a unique “Birds-Eye View” of the vehicle’s surroundings.
The available Distance Control Assist (DCA) system helps reduce the burden of driving by helping the driver maintain a distance to the vehicle ahead in traffic conditions that require frequent braking. Whereas Intelligent Brake Assist is on by default, Distance Control Assist is available at the touch of a button. DCA utilizes the accelerator pedal to provide feedback to the driver. If the distance falls below a certain threshold when approaching the preceding vehicle from behind, when the driver releases the accelerator pedal the vehicle will automatically apply the brakes to help maintain distance to the preceding vehicle.
If the driver is on the throttle and the system determines that braking may be necessary, DCA will signal to the driver that the throttle should be released by “pushing back” via the accelerator pedal. Initially a subtle push can be felt by the driver as a gentle reminder to maintain a more appropriate distance. If the driver continues closing in on the vehicle ahead, a more insistent double impulse from the pedal plus an audible signal will urge the driver to release the throttle. Upon release of the throttle, DCA will automatically engage the brakes. If necessary, the driver can override the system at any time by depressing the accelerator pedal.
The available Intelligent Cruise Control (Full-Speed Range) brings the benefit of cruise control to another level, helping to maintain a preset distance to the vehicle ahead whether in heavy traffic or on open freeways within a speed range of 0 and 90 mph.
ICC can be a stress reliever particularly when driving in congested freeway traffic. The ICC system operates across a wide speed range and helps the driver manage speed and distance down to a complete stop. This allows the FX to flow with traffic even at “crawling” speeds and then resume the desired cruising speed once the road opens up again.
The available Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) system with Forward Collision Warning (FCW) uses the laser sensor unit from the Intelligent Cruise Control’s (ICC) system and continuously monitors and analyzes closing speeds to a vehicle ahead. IBA will warn the driver if it determines a frontal collision is imminent. If the driver does not respond to the warning and the collision can no longer be avoided, IBA will automatically engage the brakes to help reduce the impact speed and thus help mitigate the consequences of the accident.
Also available on all 2011 FX models is the advanced Infiniti Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) system, which takes Infiniti’s Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system one step further. If the system senses that the vehicle has drifted toward the edge of its lane, LDP utilizes the FX’s Vehicle Dynamic Control system to gently apply the brakes on the wheels on the opposite side, assisting the driver in returning the vehicle back towards the center of the current lane.
Safety features found on every 2011 FX include a seat belt reminder system; standard Infiniti Advanced Air Bag System (AABS); dual-stage front supplemental air bags with occupant classification and seat belt sensors; seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags; and roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for enhanced outboard seat occupant head protection.
Also standard are 3-point front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, ALR/ELR seat belts in all passenger seating positions (driver’s side ELR only), adjustable upper anchors, front seat Active Head Restraints, and LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system. A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with individual tire pressure display is also standard.
FX also includes available Front Pre-Crash Seat Belts. Utilizing patented technology (licensed to other automakers), the system automatically retracts some seat belt webbing if the system detects emergency braking or an emergency handling situation. In addition, the FX front seat belts also have a function that automatically self-adjusts the seat belt when buckled to help provide a comfortable and relaxed fit.
Three Well-Equipped Models
The 2011 FX is offered in three engine/drive configurations: the V8-powered FX50 AWD, the V6-powered FX35 AWD and the V6-powered FX35 RWD. Each comes equipped with exceptional levels of standard equipment.
For 2011, just five option packages are offered. The FX35 is available with the Premium Package (equipment standard on FX50), with climate-controlled front seats, dual-occupant memory system, entry/exit assist system for driver’s seat and steering wheel, aluminum roof rails, Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System, 8-inch color touch-screen display, Around View® Monitor with Front and Rear Sonar System, quilted leather-appointed seats and more. The FX35’s Deluxe Touring Package includes 20-inch wheels and tires, aluminum pedal accents, Maple interior accents and tonneau cover. The FX50’s Deluxe Touring Package ups the wheel and tire size to 21-inches and includes Maple interior accents and aluminum pedal accents.
The Sport Package (FX50 only) features sport-style front seats, solid magnesium paddle shifters, dark-tinted side air vents and lower door trim, Continuous Damping Control (CDC®) and Rear Active Steer. Finally, the Technology Package (FX50 and FX35) includes Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP), Intelligent Cruise Control (Full Speed Range), Distance Control Assist, Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Front Pre-Crash Seat Belts, rain-sensing windshield wipers and Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) with auto-leveling headlights.