2009 INFINITI FX - LUXURY, PERFORMANCE AND SUV UTILITY
- All-New Infiniti FX Offers Power, Refinement, Safety and Exhilaration -
Already a strong contender in the competitive performance luxury SUV segment, the all-new, second-generation Infiniti FX performance luxury crossover SUV takes a major step forward with a newly designed 5.0-liter V8, enhanced 3.5-liter V6, new standard 7-speed automatic transmission, enhanced exterior styling, advanced interior design and innovative technology and safety equipment.
[Source: Infiniti Press Release] AT A GLANCE
- The Infiniti FX represents a fusion of luxury, performance and SUV utility, with head-turning styling and a sports sedan platform
- Offered in three extremely well-equipped performance luxury models FX50 AWD, FX35 AWD, FX35 RWD with enhanced chassis, body and interior designs
- Advanced "Infiniti Safety Shield" technologies, including industry-first Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) with Forward Collision Warning, Distance Control Assist (DCA), and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP)
- Two new engine choices:
- New 390-horsepower 5.0-liter 32-valve DOHC V8 with 369 lb-ft of torque
- Refined 303-horsepower 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC V6 with 262 lb-ft of torque
- New 7-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control (ASC), Downshift Rev Matching and available solid magnesium paddle shifters
- Available Infiniti Intelligent All-Wheel Drive
- Standard Vehicle Dynamic Control with Traction Control
- Available Continuous Damping Control (CDC)® suspension and Rear Active Steer
- Available super-lightweight 21-inch Enkei wheels with 265/45R21 tires
- Advanced interior and technology, providing hospitality with thoughtful functions
- High quality interior materials, with special attention to detail and safety
- Long list of standard amenities, including leather-appointed seats, Fine Vision electroluminescent gauges, Welcome Lighting, Infiniti Intelligent Key, Advanced Climate Control System (FX50), power moonroof
- Scratch Shield paint
- Available Infiniti Hard Drive (HDD) Navigation System with XM NavTraffic® with Real-Time Traffic Information (requires active XM® subscription, sold separately) and 9.3GB Music Box Hard Drive music storage system
The original Infiniti FX crossover SUV was designed to convey a unique, extreme dual personality - the mechanical features of a performance vehicle wrapped in the body of a crossover SUV. The new second-generation FX maintains the strengths of the first, adding higher performance levels, improved design and refinement, and increased passenger comfort.
The all-new 2009 Infiniti FX will be available at Infiniti retailers in the United States and Canada beginning in June 2008.
First introduced in the North American market in January 2003, the FX's design roots go back to a pair of dramatic concept vehicles shown at the 2001 and 2002 North American International Auto Shows in Detroit.
Breaking new ground at the time, the 2001 Infiniti FX45 Concept included personalized zones for driver and passengers, a rear game system with DVD video player, an advanced navigation system and an exterior marked by oversized wheels and tires, a wave-like hood with a large grille and headlights, and a sharply sloped rear body. Its concept positioning was described to the media as a "Bionic Cheetah" - fast, nimble, able to change directions with a silky ease, yet precise and mechanical underneath.
After a strong reception by consumers at a number of North American auto shows where the FX45 Concept was displayed, Infiniti returned to Detroit the following year with a much more refined concept vehicle (again known as the FX45 Concept). The second iteration of the "SUV inspired by sports car design" was accentuated by a long wheelbase, wide stance, 21-inch wheels and tires, LED taillights and unique roof pillar design. The styling, while still radical for the time, was more practical for everyday use. It retained the first FX45 Concept's aggressive front end styling, high shoulders and dramatic stance - along with a new cutting-edge techno-inspired, yet opulent, interior.
Powering the second FX45 Concept was an advanced 300+ horsepower 4.5-liter V8 based on the class-leading 2002 Infiniti Q45 powerplant. A few months later, at the 2002 New York International Auto Show, an announcement was made that the FX45 would go into production as a 2003 Infiniti model.
At introduction, the 2003 Infiniti FX offered luxury SUV buyers an attractive, versatile crossover vehicle with exceptional utility, performance, style, safety and luxury. It was - and remains - the first true "sports" crossover.
The original FX was available in three models, a V8-powered FX45 with all-wheel drive and V6-powered FX35 models in either all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. For the 2006 model year, the FX underwent a major revision, with Infiniti continuing to evolve FX's standard and optional equipment offerings to retain its position as a showcase for Infiniti technology and attention to customer needs.
Demand for the Infiniti FX soon extended beyond the U.S. and Canada. As part of Infiniti's global expansion, FX is now available in all Infiniti world markets - including Taiwan, Korean, Ukraine, Russia, the Middle East and China. The all-new 2009 Infiniti FX - with a new FX50 designation for the V8 model - is scheduled to go on sale in North America in June 2008, followed by other markets, including Western Europe, later in 2008 and 2009.
FX PRODUCT CONCEPT
The overall goal in the development of the all-new Infiniti FX crossover was to enhance its "sporty performance" while adding refinement - without compromising either side of the equation.
As a design and performance leader in the competitive performance luxury crossover segment, it was critical to remain focused on both "big picture" items such as increased engine performance and improved ride quality, as well as attention to the smallest details in areas such as interior conveniences, amenities, body aerodynamics, cabin quietness and overall quality. The new FX's creators also wanted to give the vehicle a more "human" feel, despite its mechanical strengths, by integrating the latest technology with owners' lifestyles.
The new Infiniti FX is also designed to be highly adaptive to both the driver and driving conditions, utilizing a long list of available Infiniti technologies and systems, including:
- Infiniti Safety Shield, including Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) with Forward Collision Warning, Distance Control Assist (DCA), Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) and Intelligent Cruise Control (Full Speed Range)
- Variable Valve Event & Lift (VVEL) for the 5.0-liter V8
- Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS)
- Adaptive Shift Control (ASC)
- Continuous Damping Control (CDC)® suspension
- Rear Active Steer
- Advanced Climate Control System (ACCS) with Plasmacluster, ionizer, Auto Recirculation Mode and grape polyphenol filter
- Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS)
- Pre-Crash Seat Belts
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Around View Monitor
Following are additional details about the all-new 2009 Infiniti FX.
2009 INFINITI FX EXTERIOR
Styling and Design
The all-new FX continues with the head-turning exterior styling and sporty proportions that helped the first-generation stand out from all other performance crossovers on the market. The FX blends the substantial lower body of an SUV with a long hood, stretched wheelbase, short front and rear overhangs, low center of gravity and an elegant upper body more commonly found on performance vehicles - conveying its strong performance personality and breakthrough design architecture in a single glance.
For 2009, distinctive side air vents have been added behind the front wheels. Also, the front wheels have been moved forward approximately 1.4 inches from the previous generation FX (113.6-inch wheelbase versus 112.2-inch) and the front track has been widened by approximately 1.7 inches (64.4-inch front track versus 62.7-inch) - providing an even more pronounced performance stance.
The design of FX starts with a new front end appearance, led by a black chrome double-arch front grille, standard fog lamps and iconic High Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-functional projector headlights. FX also includes available Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) with optional dark chrome headlight finishers (FX50 Sport Package).
FX's aggressive silhouette is highlighted by a strong front-to-rear shoulder line, "taut canopy" greenhouse with chromed window frames, rearward-sloping roofline, integrated rear spoiler and available aluminum roof rails.
In the rear, FX's simple, bold appearance features LED taillights that extend beyond the body to help create aerodynamic downforce and large dual exhaust outlets with chrome finishers. Standard on FX50 are 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and 265/45R21 W-rated high-performance tires.
A unique styling cue, added as part of the second-generation redesign, are the functional side air vents located behind the wheels on the front fenders. In addition to their sporty appearance, the vents allow air to flow through the engine compartment and out the sides of the vehicle, reducing front end lift by five percent for improved high-speed stability.
FX's coefficient of drag has been improved to 0.35 from 0.37 - the result of the FX's engineers finessing even the smallest details, including the front bumper sides, rear spoiler and taillight shape, to help manage airflow.
A Strong, Rigid Body with an Emphasis on Weight and NVH Reduction
Under FX's polished, assertive styling is an equally advanced body structure. FX utilizes the rigid FM (Front Midship) platform architecture used on the Infiniti G Sedan, G Coupe and M Sedan. The FM platform offers a balanced front-to-rear weight ratio for exceptional handling - 52/48 for FX35 RWD, 53/47 for FX35 AWD and 54/46 for FX50 AWD.
Additional development was undertaken to enhance body strength and reduce weight. Enhancements include the use of body continuation welding (laser welding), which helps create a stiffer, more rigid frame, and reinforcements were added throughout the vehicle's structure. Other body rigidity enhancement measures included additional reinforcement of the C-pillars, cowl top and front side members, along with a new floor cross member, tunnel stay and a new "moon-shaped" bar near the rear of the engine compartment.
The new FX's body is now 1.6 times more resistant to twisting and 3.4 times more resistant to bending than the previous generation FX design. This greater body stiffness contributes to the tight, precise feeling of the FX's handling and steering by reducing the delay between front axle and rear axle response to driver inputs. It also helps ensure lower vibration levels and improved resonance to the rear suspension, enhancing ride comfort.
Other noise and vibration reduction measures include the use of improved sound insulation materials; a retuning of engine intake and exhaust systems; enhanced body sealing measures, including door glass seals; and expanded use of cavity foam-fill to reduce transmissions of outside and road noise to the FX cabin.
Despite increased body rigidity and noise reduction efforts, the new FX's extensive weight reduction measures result in a nearly 200 pound reduction in body structure weight alone (overall total vehicle weight is increased over the previous generation due to additional standard equipment), allowing FX to maintain power-to-weight ratios that are among the best in class.
Examples of these efforts include FX's aluminum front and rear doors, which have the same strength and stiffness of conventional steel doors, but are over 44 pounds lighter (total for all four doors); an extensive use of lightweight aluminum suspension components; and utilization of an easy opening/closing lightweight rear cargo door with an electric closure assist system.
Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS)
The new FX's available Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) automatically controls the lighting pattern and directional aim, based on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. The system can swivel headlights up to 17 degrees to help provide better visibility of road conditions at night and also includes an automatic leveling system. An additional sense of security is provided by an automatic-on feature, which switches on the headlights automatically in low ambient light conditions.
Flat Blade Wipers with Available Rain-Sensing Feature
The new FX adopts flat blade windshield wipers and a new wiper arm design for optimized aerodynamic performance - helping improve wiping performance at high speeds and reducing wind noise. Additionally, wiper blade height has been reduced (1.0 inches versus 1.3 inches for conventional blades), improving front visibility. These speed-sensitive and variable intermittent wipers are available with a new rain-sensing feature, which automatically tunes their pace and speed according to the frequency of the precipitation (as detected by sensors).
"Scratch Shield" Paint
The new FX also offers Infiniti's advanced Scratch Shield paint, a special "self-healing" paint designed to maintain its gloss-level over time. The paint repairs fine scratches and swirl marks, such as fingernail scratches under door handles, restoring the FX's surface close to its original state. Scratch Shield paint is standard for all available exterior colors.
The process, which takes anywhere from one day to one week (depending on the surrounding temperature and the depth of the scratch), is accomplished through the use of a special highly elastic resin, which is combined with a conventional clearcoat to increase the paint's flexibility and strength by raising the resin density. Applied to entire exterior, sunlight heats the clearcoat, causing small scratches to fill-in. The process only works for scratches to the clearcoat - deeper scratches that penetrate to the paint aren't repairable.
The new FX will be offered in eight exterior colors: Moonlight White, Liquid Platinum, Black Obsidian, Platinum Graphite, Blue Slate, Midnight Mocha, Umbria Twilight and a special FX signature color, Mojave Copper.
2009 INFINITI FX INTERIOR
Styling and Design
FX's sporty interior is designed to combine a driver-oriented cockpit/command center with a warm, modern, comfortable passenger environment - all wrapped in rich, natural materials, such as leather, wood and aluminum. The advanced interior includes an Infiniti signature "double-wave" instrument panel and white/violet Fine Vision electroluminescent gauges.
FX's sporty proportions also pay benefits in the design and layout of the interior. The low overall height and wide track ensures a high level of road handling and security, while the raised seat height supports the SUV driving feeling and sense of secure control. A standard large-sized electric sliding moonroof adds to the open, natural feeling environment of the FX interior.
The FX comes with a new, available front sport seat design with an adjustable air-inflating side bolsters for the driver's seat, adding increased lateral support during sporty driving sessions. The driver's seat features 10-way power-adjustability with lumbar support, while the passenger's seat is 8-way power-adjustable. The front sport seats are covered in a special quilted leather design and include manually adjustable thigh support, which add an extra level of comfort for drivers and passengers with long legs or for long distance travel. The 60/40-split rear seats are easily accessed through FX's low step-in and slide-in heights and can be remotely folded from the cargo area.
An available 2-Position Driver's Seat Memory system (standard on FX50, available on FX35) allows the driver's seat position, tilt/telescoping steering column and outside mirrors (with reverse synchronization) to be set for two different users.
Also available are climate-controlled front seats with enhanced heating and cooling functions. A new air duct and fan/blower assembly shortens the time needed to reach a desired temperature, with heating performance improved 16 percent and cooling performance improved 20 percent over the previous generation design, resulting in greater performance with less noise. Climate-controlled seats are standard on FX50 and available on FX35.
Automatic Driving Position System
The new FX also offers an available Automatic Driving Position System, which moves the seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors adaptively into the correct position. This system allows the driver to change the seat position and keep the same viewpoint (mirrors) and relationship between the steering column and driver's shoulder position.
Instrumentation and Materials
The new FX interior features standard white/violet Fine Vision electroluminescent gauges with chrome rings on the instrument cluster meters and standard a 7.0-inch multi-information display monitor. A centerpiece of the FX instrument panel is the traditional, signature Infiniti analog clock. FX's shifter is accented in aluminum and the center console is finished in hand-stained Maple wood trim, giving a sense of warmth throughout. Wood trim application has been increased by 200 percent over the previous generation FX, with larger areas of wood utilized on the center console and all four door panels.
The FX interior includes a three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel and aluminum-accented shift knob, front door map pockets, front seatback pockets, dual front and rear cupholders, locking glove compartment, four assist grips and an overhead sunglass holder.
Also standard are aluminum pedals, four 12-volt power outlets, power door locks, power windows with one-touch up/down function (FX35 front one-touch up/down function, FX50 front and rear one-touch up/down function) and available cargo area cover and cargo net.
Infiniti Intelligent Key
FX's standard Infiniti Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition is another expression of Infiniti hospitality, which begins when the key's encrypted signal unlocks the door. Once the driver is inside, the seat, steering wheel and side mirrors automatically return to the preferences linked to whichever personal I-key (two I-keys are provided with each FX) is being used. A push of the illuminated, pulsing "engine start/stop" button switches on the ignition, without the driver ever removing a key from his or her pocket, purse or briefcase. Another push of the start/stop button turns off the ignition once the FX has stopped and the transmission has been switched to the "Park" position.
The second-generation FX's interior and cargo areas have been reshaped to enhance comfort and utility. A wider available modulation of the seat and steering column provides extra driver comfort and room, while the available rear cargo area cover has been raised to easily accommodate taller luggage and coolers, while securing them from outside visibility as well. With the rear seat down, the new FX will hold 62.0 cubic feet of cargo.
Advanced Climate Control System (ACCS)
Occupant comfort takes many forms in the new FX, including the air that driver and passengers breathe. Along with significantly reducing air resistance of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system - lowering noise levels by up to five decibels - FX models utilize several high-tech filtering solutions to remove or neutralize) airborne contaminants.
FX50's new Plasmacluster, ionizer generates positive and negative ions as air enters the cabin, depending on humidity levels, to help keep the cabin air clean and fresh.
ACCS has two modes. The "Clean Mode" 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 - conventional filters cannot remove allergens, pollens, dust mites, airborne viruses and the like due to their incredibly small size (0.3 to 0.5 microns). The FX50 filter has the ability to trap and/or neutralize these allergens.
Another important aspect of maintaining a clean interior environment is preventing unwanted contaminants from entering the cabin in the first place. The FX50 features a new automatic recirculation mode, which monitors the air that enters the cabin while in "fresh air mode" (where air is drawn in from the outside). If high levels of exterior pollutants or smog-producing compounds are detected - such as when sitting in heavy traffic behind a bus or large truck - the system automatically switches to "recirculation" mode (outside air is no longer drawn into the system), effectively sealing the cabin from these pollutants. When exterior pollutants subside, the system reverts to "fresh air mode."
FX's welcoming interior environment makes itself known even before the driver and passengers enter the vehicle though a special 12-point sequential Welcome Lighting system, which progressively illuminates various sets of lights as the driver approaches the vehicle. First, the exterior puddle lights located under the sideview mirrors light, followed sequentially a series of interior lights (foot lights, map lights, rear personal lights, armrest mood lights and others). Upon entering the vehicle, the Start button pulses like a heartbeat, beckoning the driver to press it.
When the engine is started, the gauges sweep from their resting position to their max position, then return to acting as normal gauges - almost as if the new FX is signaling its readiness for the road ahead.
Advanced Audio, Navigation and Entertainment Systems
Every FX comes equipped with a standard advanced Bose® audio system, acoustically engineered by Bose® to optimize sound within the FX's environment. The system features an AM/FM/6CD player, an advanced Burr-Brown digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and 11 speakers - including a 6.5-inch Nd full-range speaker in each door, two 5.25-inch woofers housed inside the spare wheel, 3.0-inch Nd mid-high range speakers in each D-pillar and one in the center of the instrument panel, and 2.5-inch mid-high range speakers at the outer edges of the instrument panel. The Burr-Brown DAC reads the pure digital data stream and converts it into an analog signal.
Other standard equipment includes XM® Satellite Radio (requires active XM® subscription, sold separately), diversity antenna and steering wheel-mounted remote audio controls, and RearView Monitor.
An advanced Infiniti Hard Drive (HDD) Navigation System (standard on FX50, available on FX35) features XM NavTraffic® with Real-Time Traffic Information (requires active XM® subscription, sold separately). The system displays current traffic conditions in color-coded images overlaid on the navigation system map. A Voice Recognition system comes with the navigation system and includes voice activation for common climate control, navigation, audio system and phone functions.
Also available as part of the navigation system is an advanced 9.3GB Music Box Hard Drive for digital music storage and playback so owners can rip and store their music in the vehicle, as well as select the music based on mood (Relaxed, Upbeat, Slow, Lively). The system includes an Interface System for iPod® with touch-screen integration, along with a Compact Flash (CF) card slot that allows the owner to load music files onto a CF card, then import it to the FX's audio system.
An Infiniti DVD Mobile Entertainment System with 9.0-inch widescreen flip-down rear console-mounted monitor - complete with a DVD player mounted in the front center console, as well as two wireless headphones and remote control - is also offered. Both the front and rear screens can display DVD content (front only when parked).
Also available is a Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System, which allows hands-free phone operation, phone book transfer to the vehicle (access via the touch-screen) and phone answer/hang-up function via the touch screen or a switch on the steering wheel - all without the driver taking his or her hands off the road.
The 2009 Infiniti FX is offered in three interior color schemes - Wheat, Graphite and Java.
2009 INFINITI FX DRIVETRAIN
The all-new FX blends exhilarating performance with the best combination of handling and ride comfort. This innovative positioning, known among FX aficionados simply as "FX-ness," continues as the foundation for the new second-generation FX powertrain and suspension development.
Two Advanced Powerplants
The FX is offered in two models - FX50 and FX35 - each designating their respective engine sizes. The FX50's advanced 5.0-liter V8 is a new powerplant, while the FX35's 3.5-liter V6 was recently introduced in the popular Infiniti G35 Sedan. Both engines are mounted low in the chassis to help lower the FX's center of gravity.
New VK50VE 5.0-liter V8
The goals for the development of the FX's all-new VK50VE V8 started with outstanding power output - 390 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 369 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm (versus the previous generation FX45's 320 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque) - a high rev limit, a powerful engine sound from a specially tuned exhaust and improved fuel economy versus the previous 4.5-liter V8.
The engine design also includes twin symmetrical air intakes, titanium valves, modular cylinder heads, microfinished crankshaft, lightweight pistons, super-silent single stage cam drive chains and a hydraulically driven cooling fan to help optimize performance. Even small details were evaluated in designing the new engine, including how the oil mist circulates within the engine for reduced friction.
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, featuring continuously variable lift control teamed with the Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), allow for a 6,800 rpm redline.
VVEL works with a rocker arm and two types of links closing the engine valves by transferring the rotational movement of a drive shaft with an eccentric cam to the output cam. The movement of the output cam is varied by rotating the control shaft within the DC motor and changing the fulcrums of the links, which makes a continuous adjustment of the valve lift amount possible. Throttle response has been improved by directly controlling the amount of intake with the intake valve rather than the throttle valve, where it has conventionally been controlled.
Fuel efficiency and engine torque have also been improved by substantially reducing intake resistance, which conventionally occurs when the throttle valve of an engine running at low revs is closed. By reducing the amount of valve lift when the engine is running at low revs, the intake flow rate is increased and full combustion becomes easier.
This reduces emissions of hydrocarbons, which can be produced during partial combustion cycles. VVEL stabilizes combustion in cold temperatures as well, enabling a quicker warm-up of the catalytic converter.
Refined VQ35HR 3.5-liter V6
Both all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive FX35 models come equipped with a standard 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine with aluminum block and heads and electronically controlled throttle system.
The V6 has been tuned specifically for use in the FX35, with a rating of 303-horsepower at 6,800 rpm (versus the previous generation FX35's 275 horsepower) and 262 lb-ft of torque at 4800 rpm, and is expected to offer similar acceleration to the previous V8-equipped FX45 - along with improved fuel efficiency versus the outgoing model.
The VQ-series V6, which has been named one of the "Ten Best Engines" by Ward's Auto World magazine for 14 consecutive years, is now in its fourth generation. The block features ladder frame construction for greater rigidity and standard variable exhaust cam timing (CVTCS), a high redline 7,500 and high compression ratio (10.6:1), asymmetric piston skirts, twin knock sensors, improved coolant flow and double fine-tipped Iridium spark plugs.
The advanced V6 design also includes a symmetric twin ram air intake system that reduces airflow resistance, dual exhaust system with equal length exhaust manifolds and low muffler exhaust pressure to help improve engine breathing. The FX35 exhaust note has been tuned for a sporty, high-performance sound.
The VQ engine design also includes a long list of advanced systems - including a Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), a silent timing chain for quiet operation, microfinished crank journals and cam lobes, and lightweight pistons.
All-New 7-Speed Automatic Transmission
An all-new 7-speed transmission, the first ever offered on an Infiniti vehicle, is standard on every FX. This new transmission offers both a wide ratio of coverage and a wide lock-up area, as well as a manual shift mode with available solid magnesium paddle shifters, Downshift Rev Matching and Adaptive Shift Control (ASC).
Designed to offer improved acceleration, drivability and fuel efficiency over the previous generation FX's 5-speed automatic, the transmission's shift points have been tuned to keep the engine operating in its high torque output range - ensuring that there is always a healthy reserve when the driver applies the throttle, such as in passing situations.
This new transmission design enables 7th gear to be tuned to provide greater fuel economy on the highway without compromising the other six gears in terms of flexibility and drivability.
The new FX transmission also has a slip-lockup mode that allows for a near-complete lockup at lower vehicle speeds for improved fuel efficiency, while allowing a very small amount of slip to help quell undue vibration and harshness that can occur with complete torque converter lockup at low speeds.
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, including normal, urban, high speed cornering and sports driving - adjusting gear hold and downshifting, helping the FX feel more like a manual shift transmission when desired.
A special Snow-Mode function, activated by the driver, changes the throttle input algorithm in low-speed slippery road conditions for enhanced traction control.
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. The paddle shifters are mounted on the steering column, so they remain stationary no matter how many degrees the steering wheel is turned.
In addition to the new 7-speed transmission, FX's rear differential was enlarged to handle the higher power output of the FX50's new 5.0-liter V8 engine.
Standard Traction Control System (TCS)
Infiniti's advanced Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS) is standard on all FX models. VDC adjusts brake pressure and engine torque automatically in understeer, oversteer or slippery road surface situations, helping the driver keep the intended path. A cancel switch allows the driver to override the VDC system when desired.
Intelligent All-Wheel Drive
Infiniti's advanced ATTESA E-TS, (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All Electronic Torque Split) all-wheel drive system uses an advanced torque split control strategy that automatically transfers optimum torque to the wheels according to road and driving conditions. It is standard on FX50 AWD and FX35 AWD. 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.
Under "normal" conditions, engine power is primarily sent to the rear wheels. When accelerating from a stop, the system provides power to all four wheels to help the FX launch off the line. Once up to speed, if the system's sensors detect that all-wheel drive is not needed, up to 100 percent of the power is sent to the rear wheels. This rear-bias offers better handling balance and improved fuel efficiency. The system can then divert power forward at any time as traction/road conditions dictate, helping ensure that power always goes where grip is the greatest. The system is most active when encountering poor climate or road conditions, such as snow, ice, sand or dirt - continuously apportioning power to the wheel or wheels with the best traction.
Suspension: Combining Nimbleness With High Ride Quality
Utilizing the new FX's enhanced body stiffness - which allows the vehicle's suspension to work precisely as designed without chassis bend altering its movement or dulling its responsiveness - the goal for the new FX was to retain the previous generation's trademark nimbleness while improving ride quality.
Infiniti FX's dynamic handling is a result of its advanced 4-wheel independent suspension, which makes extensive use of aluminum-alloy components in the front and rear to reduce unsprung weight (weight not supported by the springs), helping to improve both ride and handling.
FX's new double-wishbone front suspension design, similar to that utilized on the Infiniti G Coupe and Sedan and Infiniti M sedan but tailored for the FX's large wheels and tires, replaces the previous generation FX's front strut-type suspension. The suspension's upper and lower A-arms help provide superior motion control, especially when the suspension compresses and extends, offering more travel than the previous strut design. The net result is a 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. A lightweight, high-strength steel rear subframe is utilized to isolate the FX's body and its passengers from road noise and vibrations. Its compact design increases room in the rear passenger and cargo areas.
The suspension system also incorporates special "Dual Flow Path" (DFP) shock absorber technology with rebound springs for responsive yet comfortable ride and firm, tight handling. Large diameter stabilizer bars are utilized front and rear.
Continuous Damping Control (CDC)®
The new FX50 with Sport Package includes a Continuous Damping Control (CDC)® suspension system with special electronically controlled shock absorbers. Unlike conventional fixed damping force shock absorbers, Continuous Damping Control controller gathers the input from a variety of sensors and continuously alters the damping of the shocks to provide optimal ride and handling. These sensors include two axle-mounted G-sensors, three upper-body g-sensors, a steering-angle sensor, a vehicle speed sensor, a brake sensor and an engine torque sensor.
The system features a driver-selectable switch with two settings, allowing the driver to chose the desired damping mode.
The "Auto" mode provides a good balance between ride comfort and handling performance, while the "Sport" mode provides optimal handling performance (high level of damping stiffness is retained at all times, maximizing handling capabilities).
Rear Active Steer
The FX50 with Sport Package also offers Infiniti's advanced Rear Active Steer system, the first of its kind available in an SUV. Unlike passive rear steering systems, Rear Active Steer features 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.
Rear Active Steer moves the rear wheels in accordance with the steering angle of the front wheels, as well as vehicle speed, rather than passively following the front wheels. The system's electronic control unit calculates the desired vehicle dynamics from a series of sensors, including vehicle speed and steering angle, and directs the system actuator to change rear geometry by moving both of the rear suspension's lower links.
The result is a vehicle that is able to change direction with improved quickness, precision and stability - even above the standard FX's already high level of dynamic abilities.
Rear Active Steer also assists in emergency lane change or accident avoidance maneuvers by helping overcome the tendency of rear-wheel drive vehicles to oversteer in such situations - without the need for aggressive traction control intervention.
Wheels and Tires
Standard on FX50 are new superlight six-spoke aluminum-alloy 9.5Jx21-inch wheels developed by Enkei. These 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 P265/45R21 all-season tires. W-rated high-performance summer tires are available as an option on FX50s equipped 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 8.0Jx20 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels with a metallic finish, wrapped in P265/50R20 all-season tires.
The new FX features a smaller turning radius than the previous generation, despite its large wheel and tire packages. FX engineers focused on improving steering feedback from the advanced Twin-Orifice Power Steering (TOPS) engine-speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering system and reduced "play" in the steering mechanism for more direct vehicle response to steering input.
Standard 2009 FX braking system components include 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes, Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD). The FX50 system features opposed 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).
The braking system (dimensions and high thermal capacity) has been tailored to European driving needs (higher speed limits), providing a secure and stable feeling at very high speeds and high deceleration rates in every country, including the U.S. and Canada.
2009 INFINITI FX TECHNOLOGY AND SAFETY SYSTEMS
The new Infiniti FX offers a wide range of available advanced technology and safety systems, helping reinforce the strong sense of communication between the FX and its driver. FX technology is not "technology for technology's sake." It is desired to be intuitive, unobtrusive and to enhance the overall Infiniti driving experience.
Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) with Forward Collision Warning
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.
Distance Control Assist (DCA)
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.
Intelligent Cruise Control (Full Speed Range)
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.
Intelligent Cruise Control versus Distance Control Assist
The following chart compares the actions of ICC and DCA:
Around View Monitor and Parking Sensors
For highway driving
For city driving
Automatically accelerates to keep up with traffic
Driver must depress accelerator to move with traffic
Will slow to a stop, but won't maintain a stop without driver depressing the brakes
Will slow to a stop
If driver taps brakes, must press "Resume" button to re-activate system
If driver taps brakes, system automatically re-activates
The new FX's available advanced Infiniti Around View Monitor utilizes 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 reduce blind spots when parking. First introduced on the Infiniti EX, 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.
The Around View Monitor's 8.0-inch instrument panel display enables a wide range of view settings through an intuitive and user-friendly approach. The main image on the left shows a front or rear detail (depending on if the vehicle is in "Drive" or "Reverse"). The right image shows either a top-down view, or a right-curbside detail for parking, selectable via the "Change View" button on the touch screen.
The system includes front and rear sonar sensors for camera assistance, also displayed in an easily understandable fashion on the display.
Standard on every FX is a RearView Monitor system, which, when reverse gear is selected, projects a view of what's behind the FX onto the display monitor using a small camera mounted near the rear license plate.
The same camera is utilized with the available Around View Monitor. Front and rear parking sensors are available as part of the Around View Monitor system.
Lane Departure Prevention/Lane Departure Warning
Available on all 2009 FXs is the Infiniti Lane Departure Prevention system (LDP), 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.
Like Lane Departure Warning, the patented LDP system uses a small camera installed behind the FX's windshield to detect lane markers in front of the vehicle and calculate its position relative to lane markers and warn the driver of lane drift with a visual display and audible buzzer.
If the driver does not return the vehicle in the direction of the center of the travel lane, the LDP system assists the driver by using gentle control (generating part of the necessary yaw movement), using the VDC's brake actuator to control the brake pressure of each individual wheel to generate the intended movement.
The Infiniti LDP system is temporarily disabled by driver activation of the vehicle's turn signals, which informs the system's control unit of intended lane changes. The system also features a manual cancel switch, which allows the driver to turn the system off when desired.
High-Strength Steel Reinforced Cabin
The FX's SUV-enhanced FM platform Zone Body Construction is designed to help protect occupants in a collision by helping to absorb crash energy through use of front and rear crushable zones. In a high-speed frontal collision, for example, the crushable zone crumples while the engine is designed to move under the occupant compartment.
This has the effect of expanding the crushable zone, thereby helping to reduce deceleration g-force and simultaneously helping minimize cabin deformation, especially in the lower leg area. In offset impacts, the body construction helps decrease the amount of cabin deformation. Special "die-quench steel" is used for light weight and strength.
As with all Infiniti vehicles, significant time was spent to ensure excellent passenger safety. Approximately 220 full-vehicle computer simulations were performed, and approximately 70 actual vehicles were crash-tested.
Infiniti Advanced Air Bag System (AABS)
Other safety features found on every 2009 Infiniti 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; 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.
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 excessive slack and self-adjusts to a comfortable and relaxed fit.
Other FX features that contribute to improved occupant safety include a breakaway brake pedal and double-wall bulkhead construction to help reduce lower leg injuries and a breakaway construction of the propeller shaft (connected with the engine-drop function).
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
The 2009 FX's standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with 4-corner pressure readout uses pressure sensors with transmitters mounted inside each wheel, which transmit data by radio wave to a control module, sending tire pressure information to a center display indicator on the FX's information panel. A warning lamp and display indicates when a low tire pressure condition (less than 75 percent of normal pressure) is detected.
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, smoked headlight bezels and taillights, AFS, Continuous Damping Control (CDC)® and Rear Active Steer; Technology Package, with Lane Departure Prevention and Lane Departure Warning, 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, 8.0-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.