I'm not sure if this content is exclusive to AOL, or something written by on of the magazines, but I thought it was pretty good.
Infiniti Puts On the GlovesReview: 2006 Infiniti M45 By: Eric Peters
If the high tech and high horsepower of a BMW 5-Series luxury sport sedan appeals to you -- but the idea of paying high dollars to get it doesn't -- you might be very interested in Infiniti's new M45.
The M45 is a Beemer Buster (and Mercedes Mauler) of the first order; see it hit a double bicep in the form of its class-leading 335-hp 4.5 liter V-8 engine. Marvel at the state of the art technology -- including a Lane Departure Warning system, Active Rear Steering and Adaptive headlights. Recline -- in the back seats -- and enjoy the Studio Surround sound audio.
And do it all for pocket change -- relatively speaking.
For $450 less than the base price of a 530i -- and $8,850 less than the base price of the power-equivalent 325-hp V-8 545i -- you get to play with that 335 horsepower eight -- instead of make due with an arguably undersized, underpowered (in this class, for this kind of money) 255-hp in-line six. (That's $46,950 for the base M45 vs. $46,500 for the 3-liter Beemer).
In today's market, 255-hp is nothing special; Accord/Camry/Altima/$25k power -- certainly not what you expect to get (or at least, have a right to expect) for nearly $50k.
Or, turn it around this way: You could also get a $6,400 discount courtesy of your pals at Infiniti by going with the V-6 powered, 280 horsepower M35 ($40,100) and still walk away with a 25 horsepower advantage. Want all-wheel-drive? The M cars have that, too -- and for a whole lot less. The MSRP of the M35 w/AWD is $42,600 -- vs. the $48,700 BMW hits you up for to get the AWD-equipped version of its 5-Series sedan -- which just happens to be a mere grand less expensive than the MSRP of a loaded to the electric moon roof V-8 M45 equipped with the new-for-'06 Sport Package which includes biggest-in-class 19x8.5-inch alloy rims hogged out with monster 40-series ZR speed-rated tires comparable to what you'd get in an M series BMW (and we know how much BMW wants for one of those) or AMG-tuned Benz.
The Sport version of the M45 also features that very cool Active Steering system mentioned earlier; it adjusts the geometry of the rear wheels during aggressive cornering by up to one degree, which is noticeable in very hard left or right-handlers -- where the tail would otherwise begin to swing wide earlier and faster -- or the stability/traction system would have to cut in to keep that from happening. It's a more driver-oriented way to keep the car on track than the use of electronic stability Band-Aids, which are designed to correct for driver error more so than let the driver push the car even harder -- right to the edge of the car's limits of grip.
The Sport model also features a 5-speed shiftable automatic transmission that has a "throttle blip" feature on downshifts to match engine RPMs to the gear. If you've never mastered the art of the double clutch, no worries -- the M45 does it for you.
As an enthusiast's machine, the only real advantage the 5-Series has over the Infinit is the availability of a manual transmission -- which you can't get in either the V-6 M35 or the V-8 M45. But an 85 horsepower advantage (V-8 M vs. six-cylinder Beemer) makes up for the absence of a clutch when you punch it. The M45 walks away from the six-cylinder 530i like a mugger making tracks after grabbing some ancient hunchbacked dowager's purse -- with 6-second 0-60 times vs. the 6.6-6.8 seconds (manual and automatic, respectively) the 530i needs to cover the same ground.
Sure, the V-8 545i makes it a closer race -- but again, you're out of pocket almost nine grand more to equalize things. And still no Active Rear Steering.
The M (either version) also matches the 5-Series in terms of interior roominess, trunk space, overall size -- etc.
And it has gadgets galore, if that's what you're into -- including Adaptive HID headlights that swivel with your direction, just like a '48 Tucker, the Lane Departure Warning system that beeps if you inadvertently drift over the center line -- even a mouse-like input controller on the center console that controls the various functions a la BMW's notorious iDrive system. Thankfully, there are conventional secondary controls in case you'd rather work things the old-fashioned way -- at least until you've mastered the mouse.
The M45's seats are top notch -- supportive but not hard -- and offer fanny warmers and coolers. Your ears will ring to the clarity and sheer power of the Bose Studio Surround Sound audio with 14 speakers positioned all around the cabin and a DVD audio player in addition to MP3 and XM radio hook-ups. Backseat passengers get an 8-inch LCD screen to watch DVDs as they get comfy in their reclining rear seats. The driver gets his own 7-inch LCD monitor for various functions, including the DVD-based nav. system with voice recognition/command. The array of instruments get electroflourescent backlighting that glows cheerily at night and lets you imagine you are at the controls of a Gulfstream IV on the way to some ultra-exclusive, members-only club for an afternoon of golf with your buddy, The Donald.
Infiniti's determination to meet the Germans -- and anyone else -- horsepower for horsepower, feature for feature -- and for less money, to boot -- is nowhere more evident than in the new M45.
BMW and Mercedes better wake up and sip the Sake.