2005 Infiniti FX45

2005 Infiniti FX45

Jimmy Durante, a famous entertainer from the 20th Century, had a big schnozzola, (nose). It was so big, most people remember him only for his striking caricature and the humorous reactions it garnered, and less for his accomplishments as one of the first jazz recording artists.

The Infiniti FX45 has a similar significant front profile. It too is so large, that during my week long test drive, several people approached me to comment on it without even being asked. That’s funny? I guess size really does matter after all.

For reasons different than those associated with the late Mr. Durante, the substantial facade of the Infiniti FX45 is also sure to make you laugh out load.

Why? Because under the hood resides the heart of a beast waiting to be unleashed on unsuspecting sports car enthusiasts.

The powerful 4.5L V8 tucked beneath the “schnozzola” of the FX45 produces a whopping 315 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and a pavement pounding 329 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm.

A double overhead cam engine with 4-valves per cylinder and CVVTCS, (Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control), the FX45 is capable of accelerating from 0-100 km/h in approximately 6 seconds. Take that BMW X5 4.8is, (6.1 sec.) and Porsche Cayenne S, (6.8 sec.).

Gear changes are provided by an electronically controlled, 5-speed automatic transmission. Driver adaptive technology incorporates driving style, while a manual shift mode offers a second option for shifting gears.

Performance, however, isn’t limited to straight-line acceleration.

The chassis of the FX45 is based on the FM platform, the same rigid design employed so successfully on the Infiniti G35 and Nissan 350Z. By building an SUV on what is essentially a sports car chassis, it provides the FX45 with incredible handling.

The FX45 is AWD, with traction control and Vehicle Dynamic Control, (VDC). Fore and aft suspension is fully independent. A sophisticated strut design defines the front, while in back a multi-link setup with aluminum uppers, coil springs and outboard shock absorbers is employed to optimize driving prowess.

Massive 8-spoke, 20” wheels shod with 265/50R20 V-rated all-season tires leave no doubt the FX45 means business when it comes to road performance and style.

Unfortunately, to achieve handling this strong in a vehicle weighing 1936 kg, (4,268 lb) a price was paid in ride comfort. Every undulation is transmitted back to the passenger compartment, leaving the distinct impression this is very much a sport vehicle with utility overtones.

That is not to say the FX45 is uncomfortable. But it will sure keep you on your toes around city potholes and speed bumps.

Four wheel disc brakes measure 12.6” and 12.1” respectively front and back, with 4-channel ABS that includes Electronic Brake Force Distribution, (EBD) and Brake Assist.

Designing the exterior shape of the FX45 was no easy task. Extensive wind-tunnel testing and countless hours spent on the drafting table enabled the engineers to achieve a 0.35 coefficient of drag and wind noise levels rivaling most sedans.

The undercarriage is purposely designed to allow air to flow unchallenged, further reducing wind resistance. Lift is minimized through the use of a rear deck spoiler.

The resultant interior quiet is sure to inspire sporty drivers to engage the accelerator as frequently as possible and soak in the wonderful sounds of the throaty V8 emanating from in front of the firewall.

High intensity, Bi-Xenon headlights offer performance lighting in both high and low settings. LED taillights present a unique look, while providing superior brightness and extending bulb life over conventional lighting.

Inside, the Infiniti FX45 demonstrates it takes the business of driving very seriously.

Brushed aluminum accentuates the gear shift housing and center console. Drilled aluminum pedals speak to the true character of the FX45. Heavily bolstered seats offer leather and heat as standard equipment. Power lumbar support, 3-function driver’s memory seating that includes steering wheel and mirror adjustment, and heated outside mirrors are also standard.

Seat adjustment is not limited to the front, as both outside rear passengers have the option to independently adjust seating positions.

A 3-spoke steering wheel makes sporty driving easy, while audio controls adjust the dynamic 300-watt, premium Bose® stereo system with AM/FM Cassette, 6-disc CD changer and 11 speakers. A tilt glass power sunroof is also included, along with remote power-opening windows.

Trunk room is first-class, with over 776 litres of rear storage space with the rear seat up and 1,710 litres of space available when the rear seats are folded flat. The FX45 is rated for towing up to 1,588 kg.

Like the infamous Jimmy Durante, the Infiniti FX45 makes a conclusive argument that it is possible to be unique and still surpass everyone’s expectations. In fact, being different is often what separates the best from the rest.

With so many SUV’s taking the cookie cutter approach to design, it’s nice to see Infiniti grabbing the lead and daring others to follow. If Mr. Durante was around to comment, I think he would wholeheartedly agree and tip his hat in respect.


Description: Large Sport Utility Vehicle
Model options: FX45
Wheelbase: 2850 mm
Overall length: 4803 mm
Engine size: 4.5-liter 32-valve V8
Transmission: Auto/5 with manual shift mode
Drive: AWD
Steering: Electric power rack and pinion
Braking: Power 4-disc, ABS/EBD
Air bags: 2 (front) 2 (side) 4 (side curtain)
MSRP: $ 60,800- $ 69,700

Related links:

Infiniti Canada

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