You knew it was only a matter of time until the G37 coupe's 3.7L V-6 trickled its way down to the G sedan. After all, since it made its debut for 2007, the four-door G, i.e. the G35, has had to battle the likes of Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, and Lexus with a 3.5L 306-hp V-6 -- a powerful engine, for sure, but not one that blows away the competition. Luckily for G sedan enthusiasts, the time for the 3.7 is now.
As its name suggests, 2009 G37 sedan gets the coupe's larger six, tuned to 328 hp at 7000 rpm and 269 lb-ft of torque at 5200, an ever-so-slight drop from the coupe's 330 hp and 270 lb-ft. Arguably as notable as the bigger engine is the sedan's new seven-speed automatic, which made its debut in the 2009 FX crossover and also finds its way into the 2009 G coupe.
Not surprising, the acceleration times for the brawnier G37 S are markedly improved over the less-powerful, five-speed G35 S. Zero to 60 now takes only 5.0 sec, with the quarter-mile obliterated in just 13.5 at 105.3 mph. Compared with numbers from our long-term G35 S -- 5.3 and 13.9 at 99.9, respectively -- it's evident the additional 22 hp and two cogs make an appreciable difference. Further, the new powertrain pays dividends at the pump as well, thanks to EPA numbers (18 city/26 hwy) that are up one mpg for city and two for highway.
Utilizing the same Bridgestone tires and suspension setup as its G35 S predecessor, which put up 0.91 g lateral acceleration and 25.9 sec at 0.69 g in the figure-eight test, the G37 S delivers comparable, albeit negligibly inferior, handling performance, recording 0.90 g and 26.4 sec at 0.68 g -- likely a byproduct of the G37 S's extra 98 pounds of curb weight over the G35 S.
Whereas in the G35 S, the "S" represented a sport-tuned suspension, 18-in. wheels, and paddle shifters, for the G37 S, it now signifies a quicker 14.7:1 steering ratio (versus the G35 S's 16.4:1) and an Akebono brake system that boasts bigger discs (14.0-in. front/13.8-in. rear versus 13.0-in. front/rear) and four-piston front/two-piston rear fixed calipers. There are also new 18-in. alloys to accommodate the beefier binders. In 60-to-0 braking, the G37 S nearly matches the performance of the lighter G35 S -- 110 ft versus 109 -- but on a long, twisty road or a racetrack, where fade resistance is the remedy for myriad hard stops, it would likely outperform its forebear.
On public roads, the overall dynamics and feel of the G37 S are quite similar to that of the G35 S -- well-balanced, easy to induce oversteer, taut ride -- except, of course, that the G37 S feels a step quicker. Turn-in, thanks to the quicker ratio, feels sharper, and the aforementioned Akebonos deliver more progressive modulation, although during the figure-eight exercise, road-test editor Scott Mortara noticed more noise than he was expecting.
As this writing went to the digital presses, we had yet to receive official pricing, but Infiniti PR folk did indicate that the '09 G37 would receive a modest hike in light of the '08 G35. So figure a base price of around $34,000, with a well-equipped Sport version like our tester, which also had the Premium and Navigation Packages, topping out at roughly $41,000. In the realm of near-luxury sport sedans, that price tag represents strong value -- a similarly outfitted Audi A4 3.2 Quattro or BMW 335i can easily fetch $50,000. Considering the state of our economy, those savings can mean having your cake and eating it, too.