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Its a skyline but not as we know it !
The article was from Car and Driver a USA Publication

Nissan finally seems to be getting serious about its luxury division, Infiniti. New this year is the powerful and much-improved U45 that should jump-start lnfiniti92s weak full-size-sedan sales.
By the spring of 2002, Infiniti will enter perhaps the most critical market for a luxury automaker these days, the so-called near-luxury sports-sedan class that includes the BMW 3-series, the Audi A4, the Mercedes-Benz C-class, and the Lexus 1S300. Its entry them, the powerful mar-drive Infiniti 635, will be virtually identical with a new generation of the legendary Nissan Skyline performance car sold only in Japan. There92s angst in Japan about the Skyline losing its traditional round brake lights and 2.5-liter in-line six-cylinder engine. Nissan has replaced these items with strange, angular LED brake lights and a V-fl engine. Nissan conceived this sedan for a world market and decided to diverge from the accepted Skyline definition.
As the new kid on the sports-sedan block, North Americans will take the 635 at face value. It must deliver the goods. And that means it must look purposeful and stylish, handle well, and offer decent interior and luggage space. The front styling boasts simple, understated lines. The overall look of the 635 comes from the XVI show car seen at the 20011 Detroit auto show. At 184.0
inches overall on a 112.0-inch wheelbase, the 635 will be one of the biggest cars in its class. That pays off in ample head- and legroom throughout the cabin.
Its wheelbase is mighty six inches longer than that of the BMW 3-series or the Lexus 1S300.
Comfort is one thing, but if Infiniti expected to compete with proper sports sedans in a way that its front-drive 130 never did, it had to focus on performance.
It 92s a good omen that the man in charge of the design was Nissan92s former Le Mans and Group C racing team manager, Kazutoshi Mizuno. Performance begins with packaging, and Nissan refers to the 635 as having an FM package, for 93front midship,94 because the V-fl is located rearward of the front axle for better weight distribution. Drawing on his racing experience, Mizuno sculpted the Skyline/ 635 to an amazingly low coefficient of drag (0.27) and attained a zero-lift aerodynamic package97no need then for unsightly rear wings.
The Skyline92s body is a dual bulkhead design that helps damp vibrations and isolate the cabin from noise and heat The test car we drove in Japan was the top-of-the-line Skyline with a 3.0-liter V-fl producing 260 horsepower at 6400 rpm. The 3.0-liter delivers superbly progressive acceleration with strong low- to midrange torque. The five-speed automatic shifts smoothly and has a responsive manumatic function. We can expect similarly low NVH levels in the 635.Early next year, when the 635 goes on sale in the U.S., it will be powered by a version of the 3.5-liter V-B from the Nissan Maxima that pumps out about 270 horses. Mizuno wanted a flatter, more balanced ride compared with that of the previous Skyline, so he revised the predecessors four-wheel multilink set-up. By incorporating alloy arms and a double pivot system on the front, unsprung weight was reduced by 25 percent compared with the old car. The ride and handling capabilities for the new car am outstanding.
By relocating the attachment points of the springs and shock absorbers on the mar suspension, Nissan has reduced friction by 70 percent The new model employs 93ripple control94 shocks that work to absorb the smallest of bumps or road undulations. This is said to maximise time contact with the road. The brake-pedal stroke is short, and the pedal feels firm. Mizuno set up the brake-force distribution to use the rear brakes mom heavily than on the previous car (63 per
cent front, 37 percent mar). A long wheelbase with a weight distribution of 52-48 (front to rear) helps to maximise stability under braking. An improved ABS
also appears on the new model, and the American-market 635 will come with a stability-control system.The end result is a luxury sports sedan that redefines high-speed stability, cornering, and braking. Body roll is minimal even when thrown hard at a corner.
Steering is well weighted and precise. Pushed hard, a touch of understeer has been dialed in for safety. And Nissan chose the 17-inch Bridgestone Regno tyres (215155R-17) fitted on our Japanese test car not for maximum grip but for the 93best match of grip and ride comfort:92
The instrumentation is simple, easy to read, and well laid out. Depending on your definition, the interior design is either conservative and ugly or retro and chic.
In addition to manual and automatic transmissions, Infiniti might offer a toroidal continuously variable transmission with six-speed function for U.S. models, providing a few low-temperature issues can be resolved. We can also expect to see a two-door version sometime in 2002. Infiniti has yet to set pricing, but it 92s a sure bet it will be competitive with the other cars in the class. Figure a base price just a nudge over $30,000 97right on top of Lexus 1S300 pricing at $30,805.
The U.S-bound 635, which will slot in between the upcoming Infiniti 135 and the unloved four-cylinder 620, offers Nissan92s most sporting sedan ever to
come to America. We told you Infiniti was getting serious.

ARTICLE BY Peter Lyon
Edited by Daniel Pund


Car photography link :)
 

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