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Infiniti FX50S

Flagship SUV packs a 5.0-litre V8, every luxury imaginable and has the BMW X6 in its sights

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3.0 out of 5

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There’s nothing subtle about Infiniti’s flagship. With a thirsty V8 under the bonnet and interior space that’s compromised for the sake of style, it won’t appeal to all tastes. However, as fast, luxurious SUVs go the FX is a compelling package, and significantly more exclusive than a BMW X6… As long as you can put up with the bone-shaking ride.

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Big, brash and epically fast, meet Infiniti’s flagship model - the FX50S. With a storming V8 under the bonnet, gargantuan proportions and a road presence that will scare other traffic off the road, this car is not for the faint-hearted, and it’s taking the fight directly to the equally non-pc but popular BMW X6.

Under the bonnet sits a snarling 5.0-litre V8, producing 385bhp and 500Nm of torque, although a 316bhp 3.7-litre V6 is also offered for the more reserved customers out there. The eight-cylinder unit provides serious amounts of punch, and works well in combination with the seven-speed semi-auto gearbox, which can be hesitant on manual up shifts via the magnesium paddles, but provides a seamless wave of torque in full auto mode.

Extensive use of aluminium in the FX’s underpinnings weighs in at a relatively slim 2,012kg – around 250kg lighter than the X6, despite offering space for three in the back and almost the same amount of boot space as the BMW.

And the lack of weight shows when it comes to handling. The FX turns in keener than something its size has any right to do, but there is a trade-off. Adaptive dampers let you choose between normal and sport modes, but even in the default setting the ride is rock-hard. In a vehicle as large and luxurious as this, you’d hope for a little more comfort to cope with everyday driving.

If in-your-face styling is your thing the FX is sure to appeal, with its flowing lines it manages to marry the utilitarian stance of an SUV with the grace of a coupe, but it won’t be to everyone’s taste. The real appeal is on the inside where every option imaginable is thrown in as standard.

Cameras placed strategically around the car give a 360 degree bird’s eye view, so you can avoid curbing your 21-inch alloys, intelligent cruise control keeps you a set distance from the car in front and the supportive leather seats are infinitely adjustable as well as being both heated and ventilated. There’s even emergency brake assist, which applies the middle pedal for you when it senses an impact is imminent.

The FX will be a rare sight on UK roads, but that has always been Infiniti’s intention. So, if you’re in the market for fast, stylish SUV, there are worse choices out there then the FX50… And exclusivity is guaranteed.

Rival: BMW X6 XDrive 50i
It might not have the Infiniti’s equipment levels as standard, but the BMW X6 redefines what a 2.3-tonne SUV is capable of in the corners. We’d forget the petrol engine though. Save yourself £9,000 and go for the almost-as-fast 35d.
 

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