New York Auto Show: 2009 redesigned Infiniti FX gets more powerful engines

2009 Infiniti FX

Along with the new redesign, Infiniti will be making some powertrain upgrades for the new 2009 Infiniti FX.

Currently the range-topping Infiniti FX tops out at 320-hp, with an entry level 275-hp. When the redesigned 2009 FX arrives in showrooms this June, to new choices will be introduced. The entry level model will come with a 3.5L V6 that produces 303-hp. The range-topper will now be powered by an outstanding 5.0L V8 producing 390-hp. Infiniti will continue to offer a rear-wheel-drive FX35 with a 3.5-liter V6.

Infiniti will offer four packages with the FX including Sport, Technology, Entertainment and Premium. Pricing will be announced closer to launch date.

Click through for live images from the 2008 New York Auto Show and the press release.

2009 Infiniti FX:

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Press Release:

2009 Infiniti FX Offers Luxury, Performance and SUV Utility,
Along With New Advanced Safety Technology

““ All-New Infiniti FX Offers More Power, Refinement and Exhilaration ““
The all-new, second-generation Infiniti FX, which goes on sale at Infiniti dealers in the United States and Canada in June 2008, is a radical expression of sport and utility ““ offering exceptional levels of power, refinement and driving exhilaration. 

Created as a fusion of luxury, performance and the utility of an SUV, it offers head-turning styling and an advanced sports platform, along with a choice of a new 390-horsepower 5.0-liter 32-valve DOHC V8 engine with VVEL (for Variable Valve Event & Lift) or 303-horsepower 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC V6.  Each engine is paired with standard 7-speed automatic transmission featuring Adaptive Shift Control and available solid-magnesium paddle shifters.

The 2009 FX is also offered with available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, double-wishbone front/multi-link rear suspension and large 4-wheel disc brakes, along with available Continuous Damping Control (CDC)® suspension system, Rear Active Steer and 21-inch Enkei super lightweight aluminum-alloy wheels.

“The Infiniti FX combines sporty performance with the utility of an SUV ““ an unbeatable combination that we”ve taken to even higher levels with the new second-generation FX design,” said Mark Igo, vice president and general manager, Infiniti.  “For 2009, FX continues the technology leadership that was a hallmark of the original, including a new, advanced 5.0-liter V8 design, 7-speed automatic transmission and an incredible array of innovative safety features designed to reduce the stress of everyday driving.”

As a showcase of Infiniti”s innovative technology capabilities, the new FX offers a number of available advanced safety systems ““ including Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA), which provides forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking if a collision with the vehicle ahead is imminent; Distance Control Assist (DCA), which reduces the burden of driving in heavy traffic by intuitively helping to release the throttle and apply the brakes to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead; and Lane Departure Warning/Lane Departure Prevention system, which helps keep the vehicle in its travel lane.

Inside, the new FX interior provides a warm, modern, inviting environment highlighted by a driver-oriented cockpit with intuitive controls, available sport seating and advanced audio, navigation and technology ranging from an 11-speaker Bose-developed audio system to Infiniti Intelligent Key, available Intelligent Cruise Control (Full Speed Range) and available Around View Monitor system.

The all-new FX is available in three models: FX50 AWD with 5.0-liter V8, FX35 AWD with 3.5-liter V6 and, and FX35 RWD with 3.5-liter V6. 

Enhanced Styling and Body Structure

The all-new FX continues with the head-turning exterior styling and sporty proportions that helped the first-generation FX stand out from all other performance luxury crossovers on the market ““ a long hood, stretched wheelbase, short front and rear overhangs, and low center of gravity.

“The Infiniti FX”s aggressive styling serves notice of its performance underpinnings, yet FX also offers room for five and the cargo capacity to hold four full-size golf bags,” said Igo.  “FX proves that utility comes in all shapes, including a beautifully elegant one.”

For 2009, distinctive side air vents have been added behind the front wheels.  Like everything else on the FX, the new side air vents are about function, not mere ornamentation.  They allow air to flow through the engine compartment and out the side of the vehicle, reducing front end lift by a full five percent, improving high speed stability.
 
The new FX”s wheelbase has been stretched approximately 1.4 inches, with the front wheels moved forward and out ““ providing an even more pronounced performance stance.  The front end look has also been refined, though it retains the FX”s traditional, lustrous Infiniti signature double-arch front grille, fog lamps and iconic High Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-functional projector headlights.

FX”s aggressive silhouette is once again highlighted by a strong front-to-rear shoulder line, tight greenhouse, kicked-back roofline and integrated rear spoiler.  The large LED taillights extend beyond the body, helping create aerodynamic downforce, while big dual exhaust outlets with chrome finishers cap the action-ready appearance.

The coefficient of drag has been lowered to 0.35 (FX35) from 0.37, with the engineers finessing even the smallest details to help manage airflow, including the front bumper sides, rear spoiler angle and, again, taillight shape.

Under FX”s polished, assertive styling is an equally advanced body structure.  FX utilizes the rigid platform architecture used on the performance-slanted Infiniti G Sedan, G Coupe and M Sedan.  The FM platform offers a performance foundation and balanced front-to-rear weight distribution for exceptional handling.  

Efforts were taken to reduce weight and enhance body strength, including the use of new aluminum doors.  The overall FX body structure weighs nearly 200 pounds less than the previous generation FX (overall total vehicle weight has increased slightly for FX50 due to additional standard equipment). 

The new FX also utilizes Infiniti”s advanced Scratch Shield paint, a special “self-healing” clearcoat paint that repairs fine scratches, such as fingernail scratches under door handles, over a period of several days, using sunlight to heat the clearcoat, causing small scratches to fill in.  Scratch Shield paint is standard for all available exterior colors.

A Driver-Oriented Interior

The 2009 Infiniti FX”s interior features a command center-style cockpit designed to enhance the driving experience.  The available leather-appointed 10-way power-adjustable sports driver”s seat includes variable air-inflating lumbar support and available manual thigh extensions.  The front passenger seat offers 8-way power adjustments, and both front seats are available with a new quieter, more efficient heating and cooling function for maximum comfort in any season.

The high-tech interior design includes an Infiniti signature double-wave instrument panel and white/violet Fine Vision electroluminescent gauges.  Also available is a new automatic driving position system, which moves the seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors adaptively into the correct position ““ allowing the driver to change the seat position while driving and keep the same mirror viewpoint and relationship between the steering column and driver”s shoulder position.

The FX interior also includes an array comfort and convenience equipment, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, front door pockets, front seatback pockets, dual front and rear cupholders, locking glove compartment, four assist grips, overhead sunglass holder, four 12-volt power outlets, power windows with front one-touch up/down function (rear one-touch auto up/down function is added on FX50), power door locks and available cargo area cover, cargo net and aluminum pedals.  Hospitality features include Infiniti Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition and a special Welcome Lighting system with 12-point sequential lighting that starts with turning on the puddle lamps under the side mirrors as the driver approaches the FX and continues to light key areas as driver and passengers settle into the interior.

Another new available feature is an Advanced Climate Control System (ACCS) with Plasmacluster ionizer that removes or neutralizes interior airborne contaminants.  The system includes a “Clean Mode,” which emits a low concentration of negative and positive ions that attach to airborne particles (mold, fungi, spores, etc.), causing an attraction to interior surfaces so they are no longer floating around, while rendering them harmless. 

An “Ion Mode” creates a high concentration of negative ions to impart a freshness and crispness to the air, similar to what people experience after a thunderstorm or near a waterfall. 

In addition, FX50 utilizes a new filter using fiber impregnated with natural grape seed polyphenol, which has the ability to neutralize allergens that conventional filters cannot remove due to their incredibly small size (0.3 to 0.5 microns).

The new FX comes equipped with state-of-the-art audio ““ an advanced Bose® audio system, acoustically engineered by Bose® to optimize sound within the FX”s interior.  The 11-speaker system features an AM/FM/6CD player, an advanced Burr-Brown digital-to-analog converter (DAC) system, XM® Satellite Radio (requires active XM® subscription, sold separately), diversity antenna and steering wheel-mounted remote audio controls.

The available advanced Infiniti Hard Drive (HDD) Navigation System features XM NavTraffic® with Real Time Traffic Information (requires active XM® subscription, sold separately) with a 9.3GB Music Box Hard Drive for digital music storage and playback, Interface System for iPod®, Compact Flash (CF) card slot and Voice Recognition system for climate control, navigation, audio system and phone functions. 

Other high tech features include RearView Monitor and an available Infiniti DVD Mobile Entertainment System with 9.0-inch flip-down console-mounted rear monitor, two wireless headphones and remote control.  Both the front and rear screens can display DVD content (front only when parked).

Two Advanced Engines
Performance has always been the hallmark of the Infiniti FX ““ both acceleration and braking, along with tight, responsive handling.  The 2009 FX ups the standards in all areas.

The new Infiniti FX50 model, which replaces the previous FX45, features a dramatic new 5.0-liter V8 engine design rated at 390 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque (versus the previous generation FX45″s 320 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque).  

The new engine also offers a high rev limit, a powerful engine sound from a specially tuned exhaust and improved fuel economy versus the previous 4.5-liter V8.

One of the keys to the new V8″s impressive performance is the adoption of Infiniti”s patented Variable Valve Event & Lift (VVEL) valve control technology, which was first introduced on the high-performance 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe.  The VVEL system continuously adjusts valve event and lift amounts, enabling higher fuel efficiency with higher torque and improved emissions over conventional variable valve designs.  The VVEL intake camshafts, which feature continuously variable lift control teamed with a Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), allow for a 6,800 rpm redline.

Also offered is an advanced 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6, available on FX35 models.  The V6 engine features an aluminum block and heads and electronically controlled throttle system and has been tuned specifically for use in the FX35.  The engine is rated at 303-horsepower at 6,800 rpm (versus the previous generation FX35″s 275 horsepower) and 262 lb-ft of torque, and is expected to offer similar acceleration to the previous V8-equipped FX45 ““ along with improved fuel efficiency versus the outgoing model.

The advanced V6 design also includes a symmetric twin ram air intake system that reduces airflow resistance, Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), a silent timing chain for quiet operation, microfinished crank journals and cam lobes, and Teflon-coated lightweight pistons, a dual exhaust system with equal length exhaust manifolds and low muffler exhaust pressure to help improve engine breathing. The FX35″s exhaust note has been tuned for a sporty, high-performance sound.

Only one transmission is offered on the new FX ““ an all-new 7-speed transmission, the first ever offered on an Infiniti vehicle.  This new transmission offers both a wide ratio of coverage and a wide lock-up area, as well as a manual shift mode, Downshift Rev Matching and Adaptive Shift Control (ASC).

The standard ASC system adapts the transmission”s shift timing, depending on driving style, ensuring more responsive performance.  ASC can switch between several different programs ““ adjusting gear hold and downshifting, helping the FX feel more like a manual shift transmission when desired. 

Solid-magnesium paddle shifters (standard on FX50, available on FX35) enable drivers to shift the transmission without releasing their hands from the steering wheel, helping maintain stability for the driver when accelerating or decelerating on winding roads. 

Infiniti”s advanced Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system with Traction Control System (TCS) is standard on all FX models ““ with a cancel switch for drivers who desire less vehicle intervention.

FX50 AWD and FX35 AWD models are equipped with Infiniti”s advanced ATTESA E-TS (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All Electronic Torque Split) all-wheel drive system, which uses an advanced torque split control strategy that automatically transfers optimum torque to the wheels according to road and driving conditions.  The system provides outstanding handling due to optimum torque distribution from front to rear (0:100 up to 50:50).  ATTESA E-TS also provides high starting traction performance and smooth, stable acceleration, especially in snow-covered or off-road situations with a 50:50 torque split at standing start.

FX offers independent suspension at all four corners, with a new double-wishbone suspension design in front, tailored for FX”s large wheels and tires, yet similar to that utilized on the Infiniti G Coupe and Sedan and Infiniti M sedan.  It replaces the previous generation FX”s front strut-type suspension and offers better ride and improved handling.  FX”s rear suspension utilizes the multi-link design from the previous generation, refined to weigh less and provide more wheel travel ““ again for improved ride and handling.  Large diameter stabilizer bars are utilized front and rear.

The suspension system also incorporates special Dual Flow Path shock absorber technology with rebound springs for responsive yet comfortable ride and firm, tight handling.

A new, available Continuous Damping Control (CDC)® suspension system offers special electronically controlled shock absorbers.  Using input from a variety of sensors, the system continuously alters the damping of the shocks to provide optimal ride and handling.  A driver-selectable switch with two settings, “Auto” and “Sport,” allows the driver to chose the desired damping mode.

The FX50 is available with an advanced Rear Active Steer system ““ the first of its kind available in an SUV, which uses precise, electronic motor-driven control to turn the rear wheels up to one degree, helping generate a nimble steering response at low speeds and enhance stability at high speeds.  The result is a vehicle that is able to change direction with improved quickness, precision and stability.

Secure braking performance is provided by the FX”s 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes with Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD).  The FX50 system includes 4-piston front/2-piston rear (opposed piston) calipers, similar to those utilized on the new Infiniti G37 Coupe, and large brake rotors (14.0-inch front/13.8-inch rear).

New superlight six-spoke aluminum-alloy 9.5Jx21-inch wheels, developed by Enkei, are offered as standard equipment on the FX50.  The wheels are created using a special type of ultra-lightweight casting and are as light as a competitor”s 18-inch wheels.  They are mounted with 265/45R21 all-season tires.  W-rated high-performance summer tires are available as on option with the Sport Package.

FX35 models come standard with 8.0Jx18 split-5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels mounted with 265/60R18 all-season tires. The Deluxe Touring Package includes with 8.0Jx20 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels with metallic finish and 265/50R20 all-season tires.

Advanced Technology and Safety Systems

The new FX includes an array of advanced available technology systems.  The new FX”s available Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) system with Forward Collision Warning uses the infrared laser sensor unit from the Intelligent Cruise Control”s (ICC) system and continuously monitors and analyzes closing speeds to a vehicle ahead or a stationary obstacle.  IBA can determine an imminent collision and will provide a two-stage warning to the driver as the vehicle moves towards a potential impact.  If the driver does not respond adequately to both consecutive warnings and a collision can no longer be avoided, IBA will automatically engage the brakes to help reduce the impact speed and thus help mitigate the consequences of the accident.

The industry”s first Distance Control Assist (DCA), another new available feature on FX, reduces the burden of driving by intuitively helping the driver release the throttle and applying the brakes as needed in slowing traffic.

Whereas Intelligent Brake Assist is on by default, Distance Control Assist is available at the touch of a button to assist the driver in managing the distance to the vehicle traveling ahead.  DCA is the first system ever to utilize the accelerator pedal to provide feedback to the driver.  When approaching the preceding vehicle from behind and the distance falls below a certain threshold, DCA will signal to the driver that the throttle should be released by “pushing back” via the accelerator pedal. Initially a subtle push can be felt by the driver as a gentle reminder to maintain a more appropriate distance.  If the driver continues closing in on the vehicle ahead, a more insistent double impulse from the pedal plus an audible signal will urge the driver to release the throttle immediately.  Upon release of the throttle, DCA will automatically engage the brakes and decelerate the vehicle in order to reestablish a safe distance.  In slowing traffic DCA will bring the vehicle to a complete stop.  Also, the driver can override the system at any time by depressing the accelerator pedal.

The available Intelligent Cruise Control (Full Speed Range) brings the benefit of cruise control whether in heavy traffic or on open freeways, maintaining a proper distance to the vehicle within a speed range of 0 and 90 mph.  ICC can be a stress reliever particularly when driving in congested freeway traffic.

This latest-generation ICC on the new FX now operates across a wider speed range and helps the driver manage speed and distance down to a complete stop.  This allows the FX to flow effortlessly with traffic even at “crawling” speeds and then resume the desired cruising speed once the road opens up again.  This helps reduce driver fatigue, especially on long and monotonous commutes, and thus contributes to a safer driving environment.

Available on all 2009 FXs is the advanced Infiniti Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) system, which takes Infiniti”s existing Lane Departure Warning system (introduced on the previous generation FX) one step further.  LDP utilizes the FX”s Vehicle Dynamic Control system to apply slight brake pressure to the wheels opposite the side of the lane departure direction to help prevent the vehicle from inadvertently traveling out of its intended lane.

The Infiniti FX”s Around View Monitor system, first introduced on the new Infiniti EX35, utilizes four small superwide-angle cameras ““ mounted on the front, side and rear of the FX ““ to project an all-around view of potential objects on every side of the vehicle, helping to maneuver it in tight spots. 

The system uses advanced image processing to provide a unique “Birds-Eye View” of the vehicle, making it easy for the driver to position the FX for parallel parking by simultaneously confirming the exact placement of the front and rear of the vehicle.

Safety features found on every 2009 FX include a seat belt reminder system; standard Infiniti Advanced Air Bag System (AABS); dual-stage front supplemental air bags with passenger seat occupant classification system and seat belt sensor; and seat-mounted side-impact air bags and roof-mounted curtain air bags for enhanced outboard seat occupant head protection.

Also standard are 3-point front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, ALR/ELR seat belts in all passenger seating positions (driver”s side ELR only), adjustable upper anchors, front seat Active Head Restraints and LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system.  A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is also standard.

FX also includes available Pre-Crash Seat Belts.  Utilizing patented technology (licensed to other automakers), the system automatically cinches-up the FX”s seat belts if the system detects emergency braking, skidding movement or an emergency handling situation ““ based on information from the brake pedal stepping speed and stroke, IBA activation, vehicle speed and steering angle.  In addition to its automatic cinching function in emergencies, it also automatically removes excess slack and self-adjusts to a comfortable and relaxed fit.

Models and Options
The new FX is offered in three engine/drive configurations: the V8-powered FX50 AWD, the V6-powered FX35 AWD and the V6-powered FX35 RWD.  Each comes equipped with exceptional levels of standard equipment. 

Four packages are offered for the FX50: Sport Package with sport leather seats, dark-tinted headlight bezels, AFS, Continuous Damping Control and Rear Active Steer; Technology Package, with Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Prevention, Intelligent Cruise Control (Full Speed Range), Distance Control Assist, Intelligent Brake Assist, Pre-Crash Seat Belts and rain-sensing wipers; DVD Mobile Entertainment System; and 21-inch high-performance summer tires.

The FX35 is available with the Premium Package, with climate-controlled front seats, 2-Position Driver”s Memory Seat, paddle shifters, roof rails and more; Navigation Package, with navigation system, 8-inch color display, Around View Monitor and more; Technology Package; DVD Mobile Entertainment Package; and Deluxe Touring Package, with 20-inch wheels and tires, AFS and hand-stained Maple wood trim.

“The new Infiniti FX ““ like the original ““ remains a radical expression of sport and utility ““ designed to stand out by every measure,” said Igo. “Its concept and execution come from the spirit of pure auto enthusiasm ““ and the desire to keep stretching the envelope in search of the perfect performance luxury SUV.”

 

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