Oh, it was there all right. I saw it in her eyes.
The story begins at the Infiniti store at 7:28 AM, where I was dropping off Gwendolyn for a spa day. (Actually, the agenda called for an oil change, a tire rotation, and a fresh set of front brake pads.) The last two times, they’d directed me to a 2004 G35 — in fact, the same 2004 G35 — as a loaner. Not today: they’d apparently replaced their entire loaner fleet, and I was handed this weird-looking device which was identified as Not The Key, and pointed toward a G35. A 2007 G35.
To start this little darb, Not The Key must be brandished, your foot must be on the brake (I figure manual-transmission models have a slightly-different regimen), and a button to the right of the steering column must be pushed. About a dozen lights come on, and the VQ engine, spiked to 306 hp, comes to growly life. It was almost a shame to have to drive down the freeway to work, of all places.
Having once offered, I of course delivered. Trini and I went off to lunch, and within half a mile she’d made up her mind: “I want this car.” And it struck me as highly wantable, inasmuch as the two exceedingly-minor things that bugged me about the previous-generation G — the seat controls were inexplicably placed on the inside next to the tunnel, and it was occasionally possible to find oneself in the wrong gear for a given situation — had been neatly dispatched in the new version.
What Trini really wants, as it happens, is a federalized version of the Japanese-market Nissan Skyline, which is a corporate cousin to the G, but it’s a bit easier to buy a G than to import and modify a Skyline.
Next question: Will Gwendolyn be succeeded by a G? The budget doesn’t permit, at least for now. But the G would be easier on my budget than the M35, which is at the top of my vehicular lust list.
Addendum, 23 February: The NYPD has issues with the G:
According to an internal police memo obtained by Newsday, officers on Staten Island were alarmed to learn that the 2006 Infiniti G35 is equipped with a hidden backseat storage area.
Police supervisors were notified and the department issued a memo to all commands.
“Uniformed members of the service are cautioned to use extreme vigilance and remain alert for hidden compartments when conducting car stops and searching vehicles,” the memo reads.
The same storage area is provided on the ’07 G. It’s normally stuffed with a first-aid kit.