The gen 1 Infiniti Q45 (G50) deserves a full-on CC. But when I stumbled unto these two together in CA over the holidays, I realized how incredibly rare the gen2 Q45 (FY33) is. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in Eugene. Well, it was a sales bomb, and from an enthusiast’s point of view, a well deserved one. The original Q45 (’90-’96) was such a remarkable beast, one of the best things to ever come along in its era. It had a killer motor, rated conservatively at 278 hp, which put the big German sedans to shame at the time. It had a fast steering ratio, and its suspension tuning was all about the right stuff. But except for the (limited) enthusiast crowd, it never broke through in sales like it Lexus LS 400 competitor. And then it went downhill.
The ’94 update put an affected little grille on its nose, and the steering ratio was slowed down, and suspension tuning headed towards softness. But it’s gen2 successor of ’97 (front) destroyed any equity the gen1 built up as a legitimate 7-Series competitor. Now it was almost a Lincolnesque Mercedes/LS 400 imitator, with a downsized engine and everything else softened up. A well deserved dud.