Infiniti Q45

The Infiniti Q45 went from suavely understated to staid and anonymous with the 1994 facelift. Before, it was easy to pick out the alien face of the Q45 among the trifecta of Japanese flagship luxury cars (Lexus LS, Acura Legend, and the Infiniti). It had two, wide oval lights and an Inifinit logo on the flat surface between them; it was an odd look for a car to not have the grill as the centerpieece of the design. This visual strangeness, along with the much criticised initial advertising, undoubtedly limited the success of the Inifiniti.

By 1994, the Infiniti had a grill in the traditional sense and revised, wraparound headlights. The conformist look also consisted of an upright, chrome waterfall grill barren of any defining insignia. It was extremely anonomyous and remains hardly distinguishable as an Infiniti to the uninformed. It looks like any generic Japanese full-size car of the time appearing much like the Mitsubishi Diamante. The restyling was unfortanate because, as you come around the back of the car, its smooth curves and well-done proportions come into focus. The stale, overly formal front end nearly overcomes the subtle lines and deatiling of the rest of the car.

The interior is a typical luxury car of the period, I believe the criticism citing sparten accomodations was unfounded. It felt spacious and looked resonably nice with an analog clock and warmly colored surfaces.  Yet it couldn’t help but date itself with the curved shape of the dash.

Even with strong performance from a 4.5 liter V8 and very forward-thinking engineering efforts, Nissan’s flagship never seemed to have gained the status of the LS400 and Legend. By now, it has faded completely into the background of used car lots. This daring attempt at striking success in that era of lavish luxury from Japanese automakers looks like its hideing shamefully behind an uptight, unsuspecting face.


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