The Infiniti I30 maintains its segment leadership with evolutionary changes for the 2001 model year, making a great car even better. Two new exterior colors, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and a new rear view mirror with integrated digital compass add the finishing touches to an already outstanding vehicle.
"2001 I30 offers everything a mid-size luxury car customer could ever want," said Tom Orbe, vice president and general manager, Infiniti Division, Nissan North America, Inc. "It’s loaded with features and with the changes made for 2001, it is close to achieving segment perfection. There is no question that the 2001 I30 will remain Infiniti’s top seller, enhancing Infiniti’s longstanding reputation for quality, value and innovation."
Infiniti introduced the second generation of its popular mid-size luxury sedan for the 2000 model year with all-new interior and exterior styling, more luxury, more interior room, refined ride and handling, and a 37-horsepower increase to its award-winning 3.0-liter V6 engine. Two I30 models are available, the I30 Luxury model and the performance-enhanced I30 Touring model (I30t).
The original I30 was introduced in April of 1995 as a 1996 model. Immediately it won accolades, including "Best New Car, $25,000 - $35,000" from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. In the 1997 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (IQS), the I30 was ranked "Best Entry Luxury Car". One year after its launch, the Infiniti I30 was honored by the American Marketing Association with a "Gold Edison Best New Product Award".
For 1999, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance voted I30 "Best In Class, $25,000 - $35,000". Yet even with all its awards, Infiniti engineers could not leave well enough alone. Almost everything was changed for the second-generation I30.
A Second Generation Success
The most obvious changes made to the second generation I30 was to the exterior, with a complete body restyle, distinctive from the previous generation I30 and to all other vehicles in its class. Designed at the Nissan Technical Center in Atsugi, Japan, the body panels give I30 a luxurious, sensuous shape with muscular overtones.
The vehicle was made considerably larger, with a dramatic 4.1-inch overall length increase (from 189.6 inches to 193.7 inches) and a 2.0-inch longer wheelbase (increased from 106.3 inches to 108.3 inches).
A two-bulb headlight design, with high-intensity discharge (HID) Xenon headlamps (standard on I30t, optional on I30) gives I30 character with complex curves. A subtle chrome grille fills out the I30’s face to the world. Fog lights combine function and style, giving I30 an aggressive, yet subtle, look.
Large wheels and tires - 16-inch standard and 17-inch on the I30t - provide the I30 with strong sporty overtones, giving a glimpse of the performance available from the powerful V6 and revised suspension.
The rear end features a taillight design, with jewel-like lights, integrated license plate holder, an elegant bumper design. A dual tip exhaust outlet provides the finishing touch.
All 2001 I30 luxury sedans feature a 227-horsepower 3.0-liter DOHC V6 with 217 ft-lbs of torque and are backed by a 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. The previous generation I30 had 190 horsepower and 205 ft-lbs., from an engine with the same displacement and layout.
The 37 horsepower/12 ft-lbs increase was realized through use of revised intake and exhaust manifolds with a larger air intake chamber, Nissan Variable Induction System (NVIS) air intake control, equal length exhaust pipes and the addition of a variable capacity muffler adopted from the high performance Nissan Skyline GT-R. A special muffler flap valve, using high temperature aerospace spring technology and materials, opens at 2,000 rpm and above - reducing exhaust system backpressure. These improvements were in addition to the already powerful 24-valve V6, which uses micro-finished crank journals and cam lobes, molybdenum coated pistons, digital knock control, six coils (one per spark plug) and a cross flow coolant pattern. Double-tipped platinum-tip spark plugs offer a 100,000-mile tune-up interval.
Additional refinements made to the second-generation I30 include a relocated engine control module to increase reliability (located inside the passenger compartment instead of under the hood), a thicker radiator and new cooling fans to keep everything cool and to reduce vibration, a new four-point engine mount design with two electronically controlled fluid mounts.
I30 continues to use the innovative rear Multi-Link Beam™ suspension, which offers precise handling by minimizing camber change during cornering. The Multi-Link Beam was refined through adoption of larger, softer trailing link bushings and a relocation of the system’s unique lateral link to behind the rear beam. Thick front and rear stabilizer bars insure that I30 remains planted on the ground in a controllable fashion and engine-speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering gives the I30 driver superior feel with the appropriate effort levels.
Secure braking is provided by 4-wheel disc brakes with standard 4-channel/4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). A viscous limited-slip differential is standard on I30t and an available Traction Control System (TCS) is offered on all models.
A Refined Interior, with a Birdview™
All 2001 Infiniti I30s are available with an industry-exclusive three-dimensional factory-installed navigation system as part of the Infiniti Navigation System & Audio Enhancement Package. This three-dimensional Birdview map display features an easy-to-read rolling display of roads, buildings and other points of interest in addition to the traditional intersection/flat plane map images. The navigation system rises from the dashboard by electric motors and is ergonomically placed at the same height as the driver’s eyes, to minimize time looking away from the road.
Additional features include an address book, route simulation mode, a mileage figure and time-to destination setting. A night mode reverses the colors on the screen to make viewing easier and less distracting without glare and a voice-guidance system states directions throughout the driver’s journey. The Infiniti navigation system works with the standard 200-watt Bose® audio system to lower radio volume when directions are spoken and is controlled with the same head unit as the audio system.
The navigation system is only the beginning of the 2001 I30’s luxurious and thoughtful features. For 2001, there are steering wheel audio controls, an automatic anti-glare rear view mirror with integrated digital compass and a new microfiltration for the HVAC system, all designed to make the cabin a pleasant place to spend large amounts of time.
Standard luxury touches include wood tone trim, automatic temperature control and outside temperature display, rear heater ducts, overhead sunglasses storage, power-operated rear sunshade, leather wrapped tilt steering wheel, "one-touch" auto up and down front windows, auto on/off headlights, driver’s and passenger’s sunvisors with illuminated vanity mirrors and extenders, five cupholders, a second 12-volt power outlet and a custom-tuned seven-speaker 200-watt Bose® AM/FM/cassette/CD audio system. A prominent analog clock marks the combination of new technology and old-world craftsmanship evident in this luxury vehicle.
I30 comes standard with numerous safety features, including standard front seat active head restraints. The active head restraints help to minimize head movement at impact to help reduce whiplash and other more serious injuries in certain rear-end collisions.
Additional safety features include dual supplemental front air bags and front-seat supplemental side-impact air bags, 3-point seat belts for all seating positions and front seat belts with seat belt pretensions and load limiters.
The 2001 I30 is available in eight exterior colors and three interior colors - including two new exterior colors, Ruby Red and Midnight Blue.