Friday, November 18, 2011


Sometimes I fear the luxury car segment is going to drown in alphabet soup.
Luxury imports long have filled their portfolios with a multitude of alpha-numeric designations, and even Cadillac and Lincoln, which once went by full names like El Dorado and Town Car, have succumbed.
Now it’s the Caddy CTS, DTS, STS, and SRX (with the XTS and ATS coming) and the Lincoln MKS, MKT, and MKZ. Only the Escalade (Caddy) and Navigator (Lincoln) survive among full names.

If that’s not enough, luxury automakers append tags like V and S and R to separate the run-of-the-mill luxury models with their upgraded “performance” brethren. Plus Mercedes has the AMG-tuned models in its fleet.
I’m not complaining here, mind you. I love to drive any and all of them. I’m just having trouble keeping up.
Infiniti has joined the party now with its IPL line, IPL being shorthand for Infiniti Performance Line, the first model of which is the IPL G Coupe.
What Infiniti has done is taken a G37 Coupe Journey and given it not just more juice under the hood (up 18 horsepower to 348 total and a mild jump to 278 pound-feet of torque for the 3.7-liter V6) but tuned the suspension, steering, and exhaust systems for more sportier performance as well.

Design treatments both on the outside, like a standard rear spoiler, and the interior, like sports seats with red stitching, also give the IPL a sportier appearance than the standard G37 Coupe, which is quite handsome in its own right.
Ah, and there’s the rub, as they say.
I’m not sure the IPL offers enough over the regular ole G37 to justify its starting price of about $10,000 higher. For the IPL version, with its seven-speed automatic transmission, standard navigation system, and premium Bose sound system, you’re going to pay around $50,000.
I’ve always been a big fan of the Infiniti’s G lineup since the company boosted it from the G20 that served through the 1990s to the G35 sedan and coupe it introduced for the 2003 model year.
The G37 (which replaced the G35 a couple of years ago) is hard to beat when it comes to sporty performance, a nice sound, and luxury touches inside and out.
In fact, you can take what I wrote about the G25, a somewhat smaller version of the G35, back in July and apply it to the IPL G Coupe. They are in many ways the same, high-class vehicle.
Except the IPL is going to get you moving quicker. Much quicker.

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