2003 Infiniti M45
Twin New York debuts from Nissan’s upscale Infiniti division will add a new sedan and coupe to the luxury marque. The M45 recalls one of the first Infinitis, the M30 — only this time the letter designation applies to a luxury four-door based on the Japanese-market Nissan Cedric. Looking very much like the last Q45, the M45 sports the same 340-hp, 4.5-liter V-8 as the current Q, as well as a five-speed automatic and Vehicle Dynamic Control. A Bose seven-speaker stereo, DVD-based navigation and intelligent cruise control are standard on the 5-Series/E-Class intender, which goes on sale in November for a price in the low $40,000 range.
2003 Infiniti M45Enlarge Photo
2003 Infiniti G35 CoupeEnlarge Photo
2002 Acura DN-X conceptEnlarge Photo
ACURA DN-X GOES HYBRID-LUX
The same technology that brings high fuel efficiency to the Honda Insight and Civic might bring 400 hp and all-wheel drive to a future Acura luxury sedan, the brand said on Thursday. The DN-X concept, a high-end, aluminum-bodied concept that bristles with technology, is a mid-engined design powered by both a 300-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine and a 100-hp electric motor. Together the powertrain could achieve 42 mpg, Honda says. A clutchless six-speed manual gearbox, Vehicle Stability Assist and Active Torque Transfer System, and four bucket seats round out the concept.
2003 Isuzu AscenderEnlarge Photo
UP AND DOWNS AT ISUZU
Increasingly uncertain about its future, Isuzu brought its new Ascender to New York, a vehicle some observers fear could mark the start of the automaker’s final decline. The Ascender is slightly larger than mid-sized, and is based on the same platform as the three-row Chevrolet TrailBlazer XL—and built at the same Ohio assembly plant. “Many of our owners have grown out of our current SUVs and need to graduate to something larger,” said Marketing Vice President Rick Bolsiger. With a 129-inch wheelbase, a 275-horsepower in-line six running through an on-demand four-wheel-drive system, the Ascender will launch late this year as a 2003 model. An optional 285-horsepower V-8 will be available as well. To try to drum up support, Isuzu announced the SUV would carry a 10-year/120,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, the longest in the industry. With the Japanese brand posting substantial losses, many analysts fear Isuzu’s U.S. partner, General Motors, may soon pull the plug on the brand and leave what’s left of the company to focus on building diesel engines, one of its few profitable business operations.