I dug these out. Happy reading!
July 19, 1992The Indianapolis Star By George Moore
The personal car trend in today's automobile industry has brought about cars with a personality. Not to be left wanting, Infiniti Division of Nissan Motor Corp. has introduced a 1993 Infiniti J30 model that definitely has a personality all its own.
Many regard the new J30 as the best-looking Infiniti ever turned out by the division, and with good cause.
Styled at Nissan Design International in La Jolla, Calif., the car's fluid, rounded form gives a clear indication of the company's view of the future. Dealers say customers bought the predecessor J30 because of the quality of the workmanship and the amenities offered. These obviously have been retained' but a third dimension, a bold look, is playing an increasing role in attracting purchasers.
The '93 J30 offers a dramatic front view that is highlighted by twin projector-beam headlights and a broad aerodynamic stance. The body is a series of blended curves that provides a low coefficient of air drag and results in reduced wind noise at high speed.
The J30 sedan that David Holscher, general sales manager for Dreyer & Reinbold Infiniti, provided for a test car had an air of virtual mortuary silence about it. But the four-door was far from deceased.
If it is true that man does not live by bread alone, then it can be said that an automobile doesn't exist on styling alone. And the J30 doesn't. Technology has been mated with styling to produce a sedan that performs like a silken-gloved sports car while offering the accouterments of a luxury four-door.
Powered by V-6 engine
The Infiniti's power comes from a high-tech V-6. The 3.0-liter (180.56-cubic-inch-displacement) engine has four overhead cams and four valves per cylinder. It produces 210 horsepower.
Four-cam, 24-valve V-6s are not all that uncommon anymore, but Nissan has gone a bit further with this one. The J30's engine is based on the V-6 in the Nissan 300ZX. It utilizes a valve timing control system that adjusts valve overlap in response to engine load and engine speed.
This enhances the torque in all speed ranges, as drivers will find when they drop the hammer for maximum acceleration. The J30 is a rear-drive with limited slip differential, and the rear wheels just keep pushing all the way up the engine's speed range.
Maximum horsepower comes in a 6,400 rpm and maximum torque at 4,800 rpm. The four-cammer is so smooth and quick revving that the sensation of speed is almost absent until you look at the instrument panel.
Performance enthusiasts may throw up their hands at the thought of the car being available only with an automatic transmission, but the shift points are high enough that the V-6 can flex its muscle.
In order to shift smoothly but without burning the clutch, engine power is retarded for an instant just prior to shifting. It all happens so quickly you never even know there has been a power drop, and full-throttle gear changes are made without a trace of a lurch.
Today's thinking relative to perf ormance handling characteristics has shifted away from a ride that is about a stiff as a slab of cement. Now it's toward more supple wheel movement.
The thought is that for control it is better to have the wheels in contact with the pavement rather than having the vehicle leap from peak to peak over a rough road surface.
The J30's four-wheel independent suspension system rides on front and rear subframes, with the rear multilink suspension being similar to that of the bigger Infiniti Q45. The ride is luxury-car easy without being soft, and there is high-speed stability and excellent cornering response.
The sedan is not a dirt- track racer, so if you go into a corner hard enough there is a trace of body lean. But at no time do you get the impression the car is going to play tricks on you.
J30 has luxury price
As with any luxury automobile, all this comes at price. On the test car it was$33,400.
In return, the J30 will stand up with the best of the luxury automobiles relative to accessories and appointments. Everything is standard -- all the expected driver/passenger power systems, stereo, climate control, tilt steering column, power sunroof and the like. There even is wiring for a cellular telephone.
And a safety feature not found in all luxury sedans was both driver-side and passenger-side air bags.
I would have liked a telescopic wheel to go with the tilt steering column, because that lets the driver get way back from the pedals. But with eight-way power front seats, it still was easy to find a driving position where I felt like I had hold of the machine.
Seats 5 passengers
The J30 is a five-passenger automobile with exterior and interior dimensions to match. The rounded doors extending into the roof made getting in and out easy, and there was plenty of legroom and headroom once seated behind the wheel.
I also would appreciated a bit more rear-seat legroom when the driver or passenger seats were in their rear-most positions. But unless you're the size of a Colts lineman, you won't find seating cramped.
As personal luxury cars go, this new J30 is pretty personal. And it constitutes one of the better efforts by Infiniti Division. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
April 27, 1992Chicago Tribune By Jim Mateja
``If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, then it must be a duck,`` the old saying goes. Well, there`s a new saying making the rounds: ``If it rides like a Jaguar, handles like a Jaguar and looks like aJaguar-and it works-then it must be an Infiniti J30 sedan.``
Those who believe that the Japanese are experts at copying anything willhave a field day in pointing out the styling similarities between the Japaneseand British luxury sedans. As if ``borrowing`` from the sheet metal isn`tenough, the J30 goes a step farther by placing a round clock with hour andminute hands, and not digital numbers, in the center of the instrument panel, long a Jaguar trademark.
``Let`s just say that Gerry Hirshberg is a real fan of Jaguar,`` saidThomas Mignanelli, president and chief executive of Nissan Motor Corp. U.S.A.,parent of the Nissan and Infiniti Divisions.
Hirshberg is Nissan`s top U.S. designer, and the J30 began to take shapeunder him at Nissan Design International, the company`s design studio in LaJolla, Calif. The J30 was the first Infiniti designed in the U.S. A few years back, the industry went wild copying Mercedes, especially the trademark grille. Now the stylists have fallen fenders over bumpers in lovewith Jaguar. Pontiac and Oldsmobile officials get in a snit if you don`t saythe Bonneville and Olds 88 look like a Jaguar, and Chrysler folks becomeapoplectic if you don`t mention the British sedan at least once in anyconversation regarding the upcoming 1993-model LH sedans. The 1993 J30, which has gone on sale at dealerships in the last few days, is the newest addition to the Infiniti lineup, a $33,000 midsize sedan thatrepresents a move up from the compact G20 sedan, which starts at $19,000, and a step down from the full-size Q45 sedan, which starts at $44,000. At leastthat`s where Mignanelli positions the J30.
After test driving the machine, we`d rank it the best Infiniti,regardless of size or price, a vehicle that offers just about everything theQ45 does, but for $11,000 less. The Q45 has more power and more room, but not $11,000 worth.
And there is no comparison between the J30 and the smaller, lesstechnologically advanced G20, which is a pretender to the Infiniti familybecause it`s sold elsewhere in the world under the Nissan Primera nameplate.
The J30 is offered in two versions, base and touring. We test drove thetouring edition, which for an extra $1,700 adds four-wheel steering, revisedspring rates for firmer road feel, a rear-deck-lid spoiler, forged alloywheels and performance tires to an impressive list of standard equipmentoffered in the base model.
Standard equipment includes driver- and passenger-side air bags, poweranti-lock brakes, power steering, leather seats with wood accents, heatedremote outside mirrors, rear-window defroster, power door locks with keylessentry, AM/FM stereo cassette/compact disc p layer, prewiring for a phone,cruise control, all-season tires and four-wheel independent suspension.
If the J30 only looked like a Jaguar, it wouldn`t merit much attention.That it performs like one, and in some respects outperforms one, makes itspecial. The 3-liter, 24-valve, 210-horsepower V-6 is quick and quiet teamed withthe four-speed automatic transmission. There`s no hesitation moving from thestoplight or into the passing lane. The mileage rating is 18 miles per gallon city/23 m.p.g. highway. It would be nice if the highway rating were 2 to 4m.p.g. higher, for cruising on the open road, but at least there`s no gas-guzzler tax as there is, to the tune of $1,000 to $2,000, on the Q45`s V-8.
The rear-wheel-drive J30`s ride and handling benefit from excellentbalance, weight distribution and four-wheel independent suspension.
The four-wheel-steering system, a version of the one offered in the Q45,makes the J30 agile for a sedan. One drawback with Jaguar is the heaviness in the wheel. The J30 is nimble. The four-wheel-steering system uses a computer-controlled, hydraulic rear steering unit to increase cornering power on therear wheels. An advanced microprocessor controls the timing, degree anddirection of rear steering.
At high speeds the rear wheels steer slightly in the same direction as the front ones, which means quick, right-now lane changing when you pull out to pass or head for the exit ramp.
At medium speeds the system momentarily turns the rear wheels opposite the front wheels in quick cornering maneuvers, to help point the rear of the car into the turn for quicker steering response.
It all means the nose basically goes in the direction you point itwithout hesitation and without the rear end having a mind of its own.Regardless of the maneuver, the suspension system holds you in place behind the wheel.
Take one of those sharp roundhouse turns onto the merge ramp or off the exit ramp from the expressway, and the body sits flat. You can accelerate,rather than back off the pedal, in that turn. We hung a pair of eyeglasses from a cord on the rearview mirror before heading for the expressway ramp. Theglasses seemed to levitate on the cord as they moved over and nearly touched the steering wheel halfway through the turn, but we sat up straight, without leaning or swaying, and maintained full control despite the leather covering on the bucket seats. The J30 with four wheel steering corners better than German sedans costing thousands more.
Other nifty features of the luxury sedan that performs like a sportscoupe are labeled plastic parts to make them easy to recycle; 24-hour roadsideassistance; free use of a car during scheduled service appointments; atransmitter/key fob that you can press to lock or unlock the doors or toactivate the turn-signal lights so you can spot the car in a crowd in the malllot; and a hidden compartment on the console in which you push a button toexpose dual cup holders.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
April 9, 1992 LA Times By Paul Dean
From ends that slope until they droop, through a styling magic that has softened the bulk of a sedan into the visual delicacy of a coupe, the Infiniti J30 suggests one car in a rather unusual condition: It's a 1961 Jaguar Mark X that melted.
But wait a minute. There's also a touch of mid-60s Ferrari in that broad mesh grille backing an elliptical front air intake.
Look closely enough at the short, steep slope of the rear deck, and vague reminiscences stir for the GM shape of early Firebirds and the 1973 Pontiac Grand Am.
None of these touches, however, are backward glances, nor do they imply a lack of originality in this latest luxury car from Infiniti. So see the shape and silhouette of the J30 as an intentional break from the norms of high-tailed automotive wedges and today's loyalty to aerodynamics before aesthetics.
Or as Gerald Hirshberg, head wizard of the J30 design team at Nissan Design International in La Jolla, explains: "It's the first car in what we see as a trend toward breaking away from the long tyranny of the wedge. "The result is an almost classic design quality without being retro. We wanted a car that was aware of the evolution of auto form . . . (the) subconscious ways of cars that have been."
Draw a horizontal egg. Lay an arc through its length. The egg is the passenger compartment. The arc becomes the dorsal line of trunk and hood. That's how the NDI group conceived the J30 before massaging its drawings into clay and metal.
Granted, the molten look may be an acquired taste. Like anchovies. Yet there is an unquestioned balance between these ellipses and arches, the curved glass and broadly rounded ends, that should satisfy anyone aching for pure distinction in their wheels.
And although positioned in price ($33,000) and market category between Infiniti's entry-level M30 coupe (at $25,000) and flagship Q45 sedan (at $43,000), the J30's styling and stance remainclearly apart from its siblings. Mechanically, the car offers nothing radical. The power plant is a smoother, quieter, 210-horsepower version of the 24-valve V-6 that has done wonderful things for the reputation of parent Nissan's 300ZX sports car. Of course, with 12 less horsepower to haul around 3,500 pounds--or about a quarter ton more of fine leather, twinkling wood and assorted mechanical metal--the J30 doesn't have the punch of the 300ZX. In fact, with a 0 to 60 m.p.h. time of nine seconds and a maximum speed of only 128 m.p.h., performance drivers will find the J30 somewhat pale in both acceleration and top end.
Then again, this is a five-passenger luxury sedan equipped much more for boulevards than back straights. Its points of examination should be creature comforts, ride quality and handling ease. In those departments--with the exception of cramped rear seating and reduced headroom because folks sitting back there are in the blunt end of the e gg--the J30 is a confident, high-value smoothie.
There must also be the matter of how these qualities come together, especially in a pricey luxury car where all buyer expectations must be filled and then some. What of the balance between suspension and steering? How much engine snarl is allowed to enter the passenger cocoon? How fluid is this meld of transmitting engine power through a drive shaft to the rear wheels, and how much effort is required to tame fast pace in an emergency?
In the J30, there is absolute harmony. And the list of goodies accompanying this concert of mechanicals and function is a pretty plush inventory. The audio system is by Bose and a compact-disc player is standard. So are leather seats, wood door and dashboard accents, eight-way power adjustments of driver and front passenger seats, and a keyless remote that can zap locks, trunk lid and interior lights from the next county.
Then there are air bags for the driver and whomver is at her or his elbow. Three-point front seat belts have pre-tensioners to snug up the straps when panics stir and solid objects threaten. And anti-lock brakes, of course.
An extra $1,700 buys a "touring package" bolted to a car badged as the J30t. It includes Infiniti's all-wheel steering system and admission to an infinite debate: Does all-wheel steering actually improve turning response and high-speed stability?
The J30t also offers a slightly firmer suspension, a rear deck spoiler, performance-rated tires and forged alloy wheels.
Internally, the car is ergonomically sound with armrests precisely at elbow height. The instruments are exactly where the eyes fall, and standard knobs and buttons are poised squarely where fingertips flutter. The deep, comfortable and supportive seating makes the term "bucket seats" an upholstered lie. They also allow enough adjustments and room for the longest of leg and torso. Cabin vision is generally good, although the combination of windshield pillars and robust mirror mounts may distract some.
On the road, in traffic or when bolting free, the J30 performs to a level of smoothness, precision and secure sense of everything working in unison that in a very short period of years has become an impressive standard of Japanese luxury cars.
Steering, braking and cornering manners are impeccable. The handling is secure and sure-footed. But remember, this remains a luxocar with a softer side, and tires certainly will whine and groan at drivers who try turning country roads into rally courses. And thank Infiniti for one large mercy. The J30's badging is the corporate logo, an oval with one pie slice removed. May that horrific hood badge of the Infiniti Q45--a rounded rectangle that is a television screen writhing with snakes--be consigned to trademark purgatory.
1993 Infiniti J30
The Good No mistaking this for any other Infiniti. Easy, quiet performance from smooth luxury. Air bags on both sides of the dashboard. Full menu of options as standard equipment.
The Bad Luxury never comes cheap. Short on rear space. Short on pace. The Ugly No fouls here.
Cost Base: $33,000. As tested, $34,700 (includes touring package with modified suspension and all-wheel steering, passenger- and driver-side air bags, anti-lock brakes, climate control, Bose audio system with CD player, passenger and driver power seats, leather upholstery, wood accents). Engine 24-valve V6 developing 210 horsepower. Type Front-engine, rear-drive, five-passenger luxury sedan. Performance 0-60 m.p.h., as tested with automatic transmission, nine seconds. Top speed, as tested, 128 m.p.h. Fuel economy, EPA, city-highway, 18 and 23 m.p.g. Curb Weight 3,527 pounds.