2011 Infiniti M: The Sports Sedan That Doesn't Want To Be Driven Fast

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

When Infiniti’s new M sports sedan hits the market next year, it will be available with an optional tech package that includes a mighty strange feature for a sports sedan. A so-called Eco-pedal will actually resist you overactive right foot, providing feedback that Nissan says is intended to discourage inefficient (read: enjoyable) driving styles. The payoff is supposedly a five to ten percent improvement in efficiency, although convincingly proving causality for those results can’t be easy. After all, if you’re driving for efficiency, you don’t need the gas pedal to be telling you to go easy. Luckily, even if you do pay more for the package that includes this feature, it will be switch-offable. Or ignorable. “The driver can easily disregard the resistance,” Infiniti product planning director John Weiner tells Automotive News [sub], “or turn it off altogether. But if you heed the signal and do as prompted, it can improve fuel economy.” Whatever happened to those “upshift now” lights that were so popular on the dashboards of cars in the 80s?

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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6 of 38 comments
  • Mjz Mjz on Dec 02, 2009

    Hope it's just the angle of the photo, but that thing looks like a curly, lumpy mess.

    • FreedMike FreedMike on Dec 02, 2009

      Car and Driver has a full set of photos. It looks far better in profile and from the rear three quarters. And the interior is flat out gorgeous.

  • Mistrernee Mistrernee on Dec 02, 2009

    This sounds like it might make driving fast more fun.. Like pushing the throttle into the extra barrels on an old 4 barrel carb. I would personally leave the system on and push past the extra resistance with a big grin on my face. Whenever the car said "you should probably ease off to save fuel" I would automatically do the opposite in an attempt to burn as much fuel as possible just because I am not supposed to. If I actually did want to drive efficiently I could probably resist the urge and behave, but probably not. I got out of my way to avoid the skip-shift in my current car just out of spite.

  • Salhany Salhany on Dec 02, 2009

    The recent Nissans I've driven have all had very soft gas pedals, too soft for my taste as my foot would naturally sink to the floor with any exertion and it was tiring to hold my foot up so I wasn't flooring the pedal all the time. I think I'd welcome anything that firmed up the gas pedal on this car.

  • Vent-L-8 Vent-L-8 on Dec 02, 2009

    This is a nice looking car. The fluid lines almost appear organic and dare I say it, natural.

    • Theflyersfan Theflyersfan on Dec 02, 2009

      You and me both. I've been a huge fan of what Infiniti has done inside and out especially given the Q45 mess, I/Maxima clones, and the WTF of the Armada clone. I just had a 2009 FX35 as a recent rental was was bowled over by the quality inside and out. Of course this M better have more cargo space than the FX! The M seems to flow better than the somewhat tortured Mercedes/BMW designs. BTW - like the avatar. You from the Cincinnati area also?