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Kelley Blue Book has announced the winners of their 2012 Best Resale Value Awards with Toyota being the best resale value brand and their luxury counterpart, Lexus, topping best resale value luxury brand.
Coming out on top of the list of this year’s top 10 best resale value vehicles however is (In order from first to last): Audi‘s Q7, Chevy‘s Camaro, Honda‘s CR-V, Hyundai‘s Tucson, Infiniti‘s FX, Jeep‘s Wrangler, Lexus’s RX, Nissan‘s Frontier, Toyota’s FJ Cruiser and their Tacoma.
Resale value is always important to those spenders hoping to get the best bang for their buck for their vehicle down the road. But oftentimes these are just estimates and market changes should be taken into consideration as that can impact resale value of vehicles.
[Source: Kelley Blue Book]
Infiniti’s FX is clearly evolving to become a real winner, first with the Sebastian Vettel Edition and now world-famous Mercedes-Benz tuner turning their attention to the Japanese crossover. It’s rather surprising to see Lorinser working on a Japanese vehicle, with their portfolio of tuning programs almost strictly covering only Mercedes vehicles.
Even more surprising though is probably how good the package looks on the FX, giving it a clear European-inspired styling to the vehicle. The new front bumper features daytime LED running lights with some really aggressive styling. The rear bumper has also been redesigned along with a roof spoiler that reduces downforce. A pair of new side skirts finish off the styling package while a set of 22-inch wheels were paired with Continental Cross Contact rubber and bolted onto the FX.
Lorinser will also offer bespoke interior upgrades from personalized floor mats to complete leather furnishings. The package will initially launch in Russia with other markets being considered, but it will be shown off at the upcoming Essen Motor Show.
GALLERY: Lorinser Infiniti FX
Sebastian Vettel’s Version of Infiniti‘s FX is now official, packing 414-hp, improved aerodynamics, 21-inch wheels and carbon fiber components giving the FX over 101-lbs in weight savings. The special edition FX was designed to Sebastian Vettel’s vision and built by Infiniti in just six months and is based on the V8 FX50S Premium. And best of all, we’re glad Infiniti and Vettel changed more than just the FX’s good looks on their collaboration.
The aerodynamic changes on Sebastian Vettel’s FX were a result of Infiniti designers and engineers working closely with Vettel and Red Bull Racing personnel. In fact, Red Bull Racing’s RB7 was shipped over to Japan to give Infiniti real life inspiration. The FX sits about 0.8-inch lower than the standard FX, an Essence-inspired grille and sports a carbon fiber rear wing. This results in a 30-percent improvement in the coefficient of lift while the coefficient of drag is 5-percent lower. Carbon is also seen on the splitter, sills, front grille, mirror covers and rear diffusers.
The stylish 21-inch wheels are finished in a black and silver shade, giving the FX a stylish and sporty appearance. For performance, a new exhaust system along with reprogrammed ECU is all it took to free up another 30 or so hp from the factory FX50S. In the inside, more carbon fiber was used on the doors and center console while the steering wheel sports Alcantara and special seats with additional support are covered in black-quilted suede with purple stitching and “SV” logos. A metal plate on the center console features Vettel’s signature.
No word yet if production of this special edition FX will make its way to America.
GALLERY: Infiniti FX Sebastian Vettel Version
When it was first revealed that Infiniti was planning a Sebsatian Vettel edition model, the immediate assumption was that it would be some sort of G37 Coupe. Not so.
Rumors then turned towards an FX model, and those reports have proved accurate, with the Nissan luxury division releasing a photo of custom crossover. Unfortunately few details have been provided, other than the fact that it will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 13th and that Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel helped design it.
The image does, however, give away a few hints, with this FX sporting some aggressive styling, additional LED lighting, badging and wheels. And even though the FX50 already features a 5.0L V8 powerplant with 390-hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, we’re hoping Vettel designed some more performance DNA into the special edition.
The original assumption of Sebastian Vettel collaborating with Infiniti to produce a special edition IPL G37 Coupe may still be accurate, but now rumors are stirring that the Sebastian Vettel Edition Infiniti may actually be based on the FX model, rather than the G37. The belief is that Infiniti has already enhanced the G37 with the IPL line, and it wouldn’t make as much sense to further customize it by adding a Sebastian Vettel Edition.
In a new teaser video regarding the Vettel collaborating with Infiniti, a hint is dropped that the debut of the special edition model may occur at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Unfortunately everything is speculation right now, but Infiniti is causing some curiosity with how they’ll be taking advantage of their partnership with Vettel and whether or not it’ll pay off in the long run. Hopefully whatever model it is, Infiniti has done more than just some aesthetic changes but rather some serious performance modifications to give it a true Vettel-inspired driving experience.
Check out the video after the jump:
Infiniti is at your service… with a sweepstakes that could have you driving away a new car.
The Infiniti At Your Service Sweepstakes gives you the chance to win the grand prize of an Infiniti M, G Convertible or FX. Your prize also comes with a two-year Infiniti ELITE Maintenance Vehicle Service Plan. Don’t feel too bad if you don’t win the grand prize. You could be packing your bags after you win a VIP trip for two to a Formula One race in Australia, Britain, Canada, Monaco or Spain. Or you could win one of 200 instant prizes of two-year Infiniti ELITE Maintenance Vehicle Service Plans.
To enter, you need to complete service at your participating Infiniti retailer between now and September 30, 2011. You’ll receive a PIN code or VIN – just enter this number on the site before October 31, 2011. Verify and submit your personal information and you’re entered to win.
To find out more about this contest or to enter, visit Infiniti’s At Your Service Sweepstake’s page.
Infiniti has released photos of its refreshed 2012 FX ahead of its debut at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The luxury crossover gets a revised front grille and front fascia design that clearly draws inspiration from the Essence concept. Other changes on the vehicle include newly-restyled 20-inch wheels (FX35 Deluxe Touring package), an updated instrument cluster and heated seats that come standard.
The 2012 FX will be available in several models: FX35 RWD, FX35 AWD, FX50 AWD and the previously mentioned FX Limited Edition. The FX35 models will feature the popular VQ35HR powerplant with 303-hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. The FX50 models will feature the same 5.0L V8 VK50VE engine with 390-hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to a revised seven-speed transmission.
GALLERY: 2012 Infiniti FX
Automakers are stepping up their game to entice car buyers to choose their brand. Upping the ante is Infiniti – they have just launched the complimentary Infiniti Personal Assistant benefit. This service offers new Infiniti owners unlimited 24-hour access to a live team of professional assistants.
If you’re a new Infiniti owner, you can get a hold of your personal assistant using your mobile phone, either synched in-vehicle through Bluetooth or while you are away from your vehicle. Just some of the services to take advantage of are directory assistance, driving directions, dining suggestions and reservations, movie times and reviews, schedule reminders and stock market information.
“The new Infiniti Personal Assistant benefit is a great addition to the Infiniti Total Ownership Experience, providing true ‘anything, anytime, anywhere’ concierge service with the personal touch of talking to real people, not some computer data site,” said Infiniti Americas Vice President Ben Poore. “There’s seemingly no limit what Infiniti Personal Assistant can do for you – adding to the pleasure of driving and owning an Infiniti vehicle.”
The first luxury automobile brand to offer this type of service in the U.S., owners of the new Infiniti M, G, QX, FX or EX can start using this service right now. If you don’t want to talk to an assistant, feel free to get in touch via e-mails, text messaging and online portals. The service comes free for the first four years you own the car, but if you like the service, feel free to renew it for a cost – presumably, much less than it would cost to hire someone to pick up your dry cleaning and run your daily errands.
It looks as if Vilner had a light bulb go off recently, discovering that there’s a market for custom luxury interiors for various vehicles. Recently they decked out a MINI Cooper with a Bentley-styled interior package, and now they’ve added their fine touch to Infiniti’s EX and FX models. For the EX, Vilner went with a yachting theme, while the FX features your standard interior upgrades to add more luxury to the SUV.
We’re not quite sure why Vilner chose the route of outfitting the EX to address yacht owners, but a theme is better than no theme. The steering wheel has received chromium plated elements while the majority of the interior has been outfitted with Amaretta material.
For the FX37, Vilner chose to give the vehicle a more complete appearance, redoing the ceiling, front panels and upper panels in Nappa leather while the plastic decorations on the seats have been replaced with Alcantara. To Vilner, they simply wanted to add more luxury to the FX37 while the EX37 clearly got much more changes.
GALLERY: Vilner Infiniti EX 37 and FX 37
Starting out in the United States more than 20 years ago, the Infiniti brand began an aggressive expansion into markets outside North America a few years ago.
Following on from Western Europe, parts of South America and Asia, Australia is now set to become the latest country in which consumers will be able to buy Infiniti brand vehicles.
Down Under, the initial models on offer, will comprise, the FX crossover utility, G37 sport coupe and convertible and the M-sedan, or saloon as four-doors are generally known in that part of the world. The dealer network that will sell and service these vehicles promises to be up and running by the third quarter of 2012.
Heading up Infiniti’s Australian operations is Kevin Snell, who will serve as General Manager. Snell previously worked at Nissan Australia as a Senior Product Planner and before that was at Saab Automobiles.
In a recent statement he said “Infiniti is a passionate brand with inspiring cars which will provide Australian consumers a clear alternative to the traditional premium makes.”
Infiniti‘s FX crossover is getting a price cut for the upcoming model year, in light of a sales drop of 12.4% year-to-year. The FX35 gets a $1,250 reduction while the FX50 gets a $2,600 discount.
A rear-drive FX35 will start at$41,600 while the all-wheel-drive model will cost $43,050. The V8 powered FX50 tops out at $56,400.
The FX’s downturn is highlighted by its drop from 2009 sales, which were poor by normal standards. While Infiniti is up significantly this year, the FX appears to be lagging behind the rest of the lineup, and the brand is looking for ways to help move more units.
Infiniti doesn’t offer a diesel engine in North America, but not having one in Europe is tantamount to brand suicide. The first oil-burner from Nissan’s premium brand will be the FX30d GT, retailing for £45,150, or roughly $67,000. For another£2,000 ($3000), buyers can upgrade to the FX30d S, which is the “sportier” trim level. Both FX models come with all the goodies, but their Lane Departure Warning System is a first for the European market.
After the FX diesel rollout, Infiniti’s smaller EX crossover is next in line, but details are still scarce on the diminutive diesel.