CC Capsule: 2003 Infiniti M45 – The Closest Thing To An American-Style V8 Four-Door Hardtop In A Long Time

(first posted 12/6/2012)    Now here’s a future CC I better shoot now, because it’s going to be hard to find in twenty years. They’re already scarce, or maybe it’s just that they’re so invisible. But when it came out, I did take notice: This was the closest thing to a new, big V8 American-style four-door hardtop sedan in a very long time; sort of a neo-Pontiac Catalina. And from Japan, no less. OK; I said close, because it’s not a true hardtop, with that “invisible pillar”, but with the windows up, it’s pretty convincing.

I’m not sure just what Infiniti was thinking when it sent the M45 this way, because it was pretty obvious from the get-go that it was destined to be a wallflower. Compared to the Chrysler 300, this is so nineteen-eighties. Or even nineteen-sixties. The Japanese developed a fondness for the four-door hardtop look a long time ago, but this is likely the last exponent of the type. Or did I miss someone?

The M45 was heavily based on the Nissan Gloria, but had the Q45’s big 340 hp V8 under the hood, and its rear suspension was also upgraded. I wondered if Nissan had made it more deliberately retro, whether it might have done a wee bit better.