With only 5.8 seconds required to reach 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) from a dead stop and an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h, the Infiniti FX 50S is not exactly the embodiment of your everyday-slouch SUV. The five-liter naturally-aspirated V8 does a pretty good job at moving over two tonnes of steel, aluminium and magnesium, while the seven-speed automatic transmission is fast enough at gear-changing, also adding a yummy rev-matching feature.
Naturally, the 21-inch alloy wheels, fitted with high-performance tires, don't exactly scream "off-road ready", but that's pretty much the generic response that pops into someone's head when you mention "higher ground clearance" and "advanced all-wheel drive" in the same sentence.
In other words, even though the ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system is as modern and as efficient as they get, and despite the rather high ground clearance (over 20 centimeters, or 7.9 inches), the Infiniti FX 50S is clearly a car made for the road. Sure, you can always use it without too many problems in the snow or muddy backroads through mountain forests (as long as you have the right tire/wheel combination, of course), but it can offer the most fun on tarmac.
With so much power on tap and an advanced suspension, that's using the multi-link principle both in the frond and in the rear while also having electronically-controlled dampers, you can pretty much guess that you can have lots of fun with this car, despite its gargantuan size and weight. There are two settings for the suspension's hardness, just like on the seven-speed automatic, which at its fastest setting can change a gear in just 200 milliseconds.
As soon as the fun is over, mainly because of a police radar or if you have your mother-in-law in one of the passenger seats, you can also gently cruise with the FX 50S in absolute comfort. By using the laser-based Intelligent Cruise Control system, you can even forget about using your feet on the highway.
Working in a somewhat similar manner with the "tractor beam" from Star Trek, the system sends a radar signal towards the car in front and it can brake or accelerate the car by its own to keep a safety distance from the traffic in front. Of course, you can also use it as a "normal" cruise control system, by giving it a designated maximum speed at which it can operate. Great stuff!
As far as the open road fuel consumption, we again didn't manage to get very close to the official 9.8 liters per 100 kilometers (US 24 mpg), but that was mainly because we drove it in a somewhat sportier manner, given the car's specifications. The lowest figure we achieved was around 12 liters per 100 kilometers (US 19.6 mpg), while a "drive it like you stole it" manner of driving rose those figures to over 15 liters per 100 kilometers (US 15.7 mpg). All in all, the Infiniti FX 50S is a very potent grand tourer that comes with the benefit of all-wheel drive and a higher ground clearance.Continue reading
Hold on, Mary would like to say something...
So, this is like the last Infiniti you guys made me drive, only that it's much larger, much uglier and more expensive, right? Oh it isn't? At first glimpse, and after a couple of seconds of battling my eyelashes at it I felt absolutely nothing going for it
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