The Infiniti FX, Infiniti’s dramatic premium crossover SUV, enters the 2006 year with an exterior facelift with new grille, bumper, wheel design and three new exterior colors. In addition, all 2006 FX models add numerous standard features, including a 300-watt Bose® audio system, RearView Monitor, 7-inch color display, Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) and more. The 2006 FX35 adds leather seating surfaces with heated front seats, 10-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support and 8-way power passenger’s seat. Additional features include driver’s seat memory and power tilt/telescope steering wheel. And the FX45 adds the Premium Package contents as standard features for 2006.
The FX is again available in both FX45 and FX35 designations. The all-wheel drive FX45 comes with a standard 320-horsepower* 4.5-liter DOHC V8 (based on the Infiniti Q45 powerplant) and includes new 20-inch wheels and tires, leather-appointed seats and a revised sport-tuned 4-wheel independent suspension with new dampers. The FX35 features a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and is available in all-wheel or rear-wheel drive. All FX models utilize a modified version of the advanced FM (Front Mid-ship) platform, enhanced for SUV duties.
The 2006 FX continues to serve as a showcase for Infiniti’s award-winning technology and engineering leadership with the available Land Departure Warning (LDW) system, Intelligent Key and Intelligent Cruise Control with Preview Braking.
“Since its introduction, the FX has been a leader in style, performance, utility and innovation,” said Mark Igo, vice president and general manager, Infiniti Division. “For 2006, with the additional standard features and exterior facelift, the FX raises the bar again in the premium crossover SUV class."
Aggressive Styling, Dynamic Platform
In creating the FX, its designers sought what they called a "cool fusion" – the blending of a substantial, SUV lower body with the sleek, elegant upper body more reminiscent of a classic sports car or sports GT.
The FX exterior features a wide, aggressive stance with a long, sleek hood, sleek roof and a "taut canopy" greenhouse. The short front and rear overhangs provide SUV-level approach and departure angles, while also helping accentuate the long wheelbase, wide track and large tires (18-inch on FX35, 20-inch on FX45). The wide yet narrow headlights and taillights give the FX an "in-motion" look, with the taillights extending past the body slightly to help create aerodynamic downforce. The exterior design also includes a large Infiniti signature grille, standard fog lights, bi-xenon headlights and large, split dual tailpipes with chrome finishers.
For 2006, the FX features a new grille, front bumper and wheel design. Polished aluminum roof rails are now standard on the FX45 and black roof rails are standard on the FX35.
A special palette of exterior colors was chosen to highlight and, at times, contrast the aggressive nature of the FX. Three new colors are available for 2006 – Liquid Platinum, Serengeti Sand and Autumn Copper.
All FX models utilize a modified version of the advanced FM (Front Mid-ship) platform, which positions the engine behind the front axle. This results in an optimized front-to-rear weight balance of 52:48 (V6 RWD), which factors in weight transfer during key handling maneuvers, such as entering and exiting corners.
The FM platform's rigidity has been enhanced for use specifically with the FX by increasing plate thickness of the front side members, side sills and rear wheel housing.
The FX's long 112.2-inch wheelbase and wide track (62.7-inches front, 64.6-inches rear) combine with large wheels and tires (standard 20-inch on FX45) to provide a stable driving foundation – as well as a large interior for both passengers and cargo.
A Choice of Two Confidence-Inspiring Engines
Two engines are available again in 2006, starting with the high-performance power of the 4.5-liter DOHC V8. This advanced powerplant, also used in the Infiniti Q45 sedan, and the M45, has been specially tuned for use in the FX45 and produces 320 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque.
The engine's advanced design includes titanium valves, modular cylinder heads, microfinished crankshaft, lightweight pistons, super-silent single stage cam drive chain and a hydraulically driven cooling fan to help optimize performance.
In addition, the VK45DE is outfitted with a variable length air induction system and Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) to enhance the engine’s power delivery and operation efficiency.
Also offered is a 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine with aluminum-alloy block and heads and electronically controlled “drive-by-wire” throttle system. Both the all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive V6 engine-equipped versions are designated as FX35 models.
The V6 has been tuned specifically for use in the FX35, with a horsepower rating of 280. Torque is rated at 270 lb-ft. A 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode, designed for high torque capacity and light weight, is standard with both V8- and V6-equipped models. A special Snow-Mode function changes the throttle input algorithm in low-speed slippery road conditions (once activated by the driver) for enhanced traction control.
Infiniti’s advanced Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system with Traction Control System is also standard on every 2006 FX. Vehicle Dynamic Control adjusts brake pressure and engine torque automatically in understeer, oversteer or slippery road surface situations, helping the drivers keep their intended paths.
The ATTESA E-TS™ (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All Electronic Torque Split) all-wheel drive system utilized on the FX45 and FX35 AWD uses an advanced torque split control strategy that automatically transfers optimum torque to the wheels according to road and driving conditions. It provides outstanding cornering capability due to optimum torque distribution for front and rear (50:50 up to 0:100). The system also provides high starting traction performance and smooth, stable acceleration, especially in snow-covered or off-road situations with the 50:50 torque split at standing start.
The FX's dynamic handling is a result of its advanced 4-wheel independent suspension, which makes extensive use of aluminum-alloy components to reduce unsprung weight. The front suspension utilizes an independent front strut design, while the rear features a multi-link design. Large diameter stabilizer bars are utilized front and rear (front only on FX35 RWD model).
The suspension system also incorporates special “High Frequency Control” shock absorber technology with a rebound spring for responsive yet comfortable ride and firm, tight handling.
Standard on FX45 models are 8.0JJx20 8-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels and 265/50R20 all-season tires (optionally available with V6 models). The FX35 is equipped with 8.0JJx18 8-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels and 265/60R18 all-season tires, with 20-inch wheels and tires optionally available with the FX35 AWD. Both wheel sets have been redesigned for 2006 (except FX35 Sport).
Standard braking system components include 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes, Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD). Responsive steering is provided by an engine-speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering system.
Also available on FX45 models with the Intelligent Cruise Control System is a special feature of the standard Brake Assist system – Preview Braking. Brake Assist with preview function is designed to help improve brake response. Whereas normally braking is activated only when the driver recognizes the need and moves his or her foot to activate the brake pedal, the preview function utilizes the ICC sensors to identify sudden braking situations (by sensing the vehicle ahead in the same lane and the distance and relative speed from it) and “pre-pressurizes” the Brake Assist system before the driver steps on the brake pedal.
An Interior That Combines High Tech with Luxurious Comfort
The five-passenger interior of the FX blends the comfort and amenities of a luxury car with an array of high tech driver and passenger features. Leather seating surfaces with driver seat memory and power lumbar, heated front seats and power tilt/telescope steering wheel are now standard for 2006. In front is a driver-dedicated automatic air conditioning, 7-inch information display color monitor and a three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel with illuminated integrated cruise and standard steering wheel-mounted audio system controls.
Available rear seat passenger features include personal reading lamps, center armrest with tray and storage, dual seatback pockets for storing DVDs and magazines, reclining seats and rear B-pillar mounted air conditioning vents for enhanced cooling performance.
New for 2006, the Premium Package contents become standard features on FX45 models, including a 300-watt, 11-speaker Bose audio sound system with 6-disc CD autochanger and mp3-CD playback and steering wheel audio controls. The FX35 adds the Touring Package contents as standard features for 2006 (already standard on FX45), including heated leather seating surfaces, driver’s seat memory, power lumbar support, power tilt/telescopic steering wheel and black roof rails.
The 2006 FX45 adds standard sunroof, HomeLink® Universal Garage Door Opener (UGDO), auto on/off headlamps, Intelligent Key, Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System, new wood and aluminum trim, aluminum roof rails and cargo net and cover.
Additional interior enhancements for 2006 include a new center console design, new electroluminescent gauges, a new Wheat and Espresso/Black two-tone (FX45 only) interior colors, and RearView Monitor (previously available in the Technology Package).
The RearView Monitor projects a view of what's behind the FX onto the display monitor using a small camera mounted near the rear license plate (the system operates only when reverse gear is selected).
Every FX model also offers exceptional utility, including a large cargo area with easy cargo accessibility, flip-down rear seats with quick-release levers conveniently located in the cargo area, three underfloor storage compartments and a lightweight, steel-reinforced composite rear cargo door with electromagnetic opener switch.
A number of special high tech features are also available, including an advanced DVD-based Infiniti Navigation System and Intelligent Key with keyless entry and engine start system (standard on FX45).
Also available is Infiniti's Intelligent Cruise Control, which uses the brakes, throttle and laser sensors, to maintain a set distance between the FX and a vehicle in front of it.
The available Infiniti Mobile Entertainment System features a DVD player with 6.3-inch roof-mounted rear LCD screen. Other interior amenities include an Infiniti signature analog clock, driver and passenger one-touch up/down front power windows and door locks, to name just a few.
Five unique leather-appointed interior color combinations are available: Wheat and Espresso/Black two-tone (FX45 only) (both new for 2006), Graphite and the signature Brick/Black two-tone.
Advanced Safety Features Including LDW
The 2006 FX’s available Lane Departure Warning system recognizes lane markings through the use of a small camera mounted behind the rearview mirror. The camera’s signal and the vehicle’s speed are sent to the system’s advanced microprocessing unit, which combines the information to calculate both the distance between the vehicle and the lane marking and the lateral velocity to the lane marking at speeds above 45 mph. A judgment is then made as to whether the vehicle is moving out of the lane (depending on the distance and lateral velocity to the lane).
The Infiniti LDW system is temporarily disabled by driver activation of the vehicle’s turn signals, which informs the system’s control unit of intended lane changes. The system also features a manual cancel switch, which allows the driver to turn the system off when desired. The system automatically resets when the vehicle is restarted.
The Infiniti LDW system is also available in the 2006 Q45 and M sedans.
Other safety features found on every 2006 include standard Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with passenger seat occupant sensor and dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors, front-seat side-impact supplemental air bags and front and rear seat curtain side-impact supplemental air bags with rollover protection for front and rear outboard seat occupants.
Also standard are 3-point ALR/ELR seat belts (driver’s side ELR only) and front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters and adjustable upper anchors. It is also equipped with the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system.
The FX's SUV-enhanced FM platform Zone Body construction is designed to help protect occupants in a collision by helping to absorb crash energy through use of front and rear crushable zones.
In a high-speed frontal collision, for example, the crushable zone crumples while the engine is designed to move under the occupant compartment. This has the effect of expanding the crushable zone, thereby helping to reduce the deceleration g-force and simultaneously helping minimize cabin deformation, especially in the lower leg area. In offset impacts, the strong body construction helps decrease the amount of cabin deformation.
Other FX features that contribute to improved occupant safety include the breakaway brake pedal and the double-wall construction of the bulkhead to help reduce lower leg injuries and a breakaway construction of the propeller shaft (connected with the engine-drop function).
Models and Packages
The fully equipped FX is offered in three engine/drive configurations: the V8-powered AWD FX45, the V6-powered AWD FX35 and the V6-powered rear-wheel drive FX35.
In addition to the long list of equipment on the FX35, the FX45 includes additional standard equipment, including sport suspension tuning, which has been revised with new shock absorbers for 2006, 20-inch tires and unique aluminum-alloy wheels, aluminum roof rails, auto on/off headlights, Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System, sunroof, Intelligent Key, auto up and down feature on front windows, aluminum pedals (accelerator, brake and footrest) and a unique V8 engine cover.
The V6 Sport Package (available only on FX35) includes 20-inch wheels and tires, sport-tuned suspension, aluminum pedals and aluminum roof rails, etched aluminum interior trim, and dark chrome exterior accents.
The Technology Package (available on all models) adds the Infiniti Navigation System, Intelligent Cruise Control, Intelligent Key (on FX35), satellite radio with choice of XM® or Sirius™ providers and the Lane Departure Warning system.
Additionally available is the Infiniti DVD Mobile Entertainment System.
A new Hands-Free Package is available in 2006 on FX35 models (standard on FX45), which includes Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System and Intelligent Key. FX35 also offers a Touring Package with sunroof, Universal Garage Door Opener (UGDO), auto on/off headlamps and cargo net.
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* All horsepower ratings are per SAE J1349 AUG2004