Rare Rides: The Original Infiniti, a Q45 From 1991 (Part I)

<img data-attachment-id="1742452" data-permalink="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i/1991-nissan-infiniti-q45/" data-orig-file="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/1991-nissan-infiniti-q45.jpg" data-orig-size="1920,1440" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="1991-nissan-infiniti-q45" data-image-description="

https://www.duncanimports.com/vehicles/580/1991-nissan-infiniti-q45#

" data-medium-file="https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-5.jpg" data-large-file="https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i.jpg" class="aligncenter wp-image-1742452 size-large" src="https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i.jpg" alt width="610" height="458" srcset="https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i.jpg 610w, https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-4.jpg 75w, https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-5.jpg 450w, https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-6.jpg 768w, https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-7.jpg 120w, https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-8.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px">We’ve covered the second album of Infiniti’s ill-fated Q45 flagship previously, in a stunningly clean example from 1998. However, the first generation is much harder to find; they just didn’t have the longevity or caring ownership profile of the Lexus LS 400. But someone in Japan maintained this one, and it’s been imported to the US just for you.

It’s time for blue-green, grille-free luxury.

Today is the first of two parts on the Q45 since there’s a considerable amount of information to cover. Introduced in late 1989 as a 1990 model, the Infiniti brand was launched the same time as Lexus, and a few years behind Acura. At launch the brand had two models on offer: the flagship full-size Q45, and the much smaller (but still expensive) M30 coupe and convertible. Naturally, most of the eyes were on the Q45.

<img data-attachment-id="1742442" data-permalink="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i/1991-nissan-infiniti-q45-2/" data-orig-file="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/1991-nissan-infiniti-q45-2.jpg" data-orig-size="1920,1440" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="1991-nissan-infiniti-q45 (2)" data-image-description="

https://www.duncanimports.com/vehicles/580/1991-nissan-infiniti-q45#

" data-medium-file="https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-10.jpg" data-large-file="https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-1.jpg" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-1742442" src="https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-1.jpg" alt width="610" height="458" srcset="https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-1.jpg 610w, https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-9.jpg 75w, https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-10.jpg 450w, https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-11.jpg 768w, https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-12.jpg 120w, https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-13.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px">The Q45 was a short wheelbase version of Nissan’s JDM flagship, the President. A conservative choice in Japan, the President of 1989 was the same basic car Nissan sold since 1965, though to their credit it was revised slightly in 1973. Nissan needed a new President and knew Lexus was on its way with big new product. The company took two birds one stone approach, and Infiniti was born. The new President was shortened by six inches, given a new front and rear clip, and reworked for the American market. The project also served to create a smaller, less expensive President that Nissan could sell later in Japan, the President JS (1993 onward). The President’s rework into the Q45 was substantial, however, and Infiniti didn’t want to follow any typical large car tropes.

Thus, Infiniti sought to redefine the Modern Luxury Sedan with Q45. Rather than the floaty boat and S-Class copy approach Toyota took with the Lexus LS, Infiniti leaned more into a more BMW mindset. Then they added additional sportiness and subtracted traditional luxury car cues. There was no proud grille, no hood ornament, no wood trim, and no ruching of leather. Instead, the Q45’s nose was completely without adornment and featured only headlamps and a flat cloisonné badge with intricate floral detailing behind the Infiniti logo.

<img data-attachment-id="1742450" data-permalink="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i/1991-nissan-infiniti-q45-6/" data-orig-file="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/1991-nissan-infiniti-q45-6.jpg" data-orig-size="1920,1440" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="1991-nissan-infiniti-q45 (6)" data-image-description="

https://www.duncanimports.com/vehicles/580/1991-nissan-infiniti-q45#

" data-medium-file="https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-20.jpg" data-large-file="https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-3.jpg" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-1742450" src="https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-3.jpg" alt width="610" height="458" srcset="https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-3.jpg 610w, https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-19.jpg 75w, https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-20.jpg 450w, https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-21.jpg 768w, https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-22.jpg 120w, https://carsnspeed.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/rare-rides-the-original-infiniti-a-q45-from-1991-part-i-23.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px">Inside, would-be customers found an interior designed with assistance from Italian furniture maker Poltrona Frau. Surfaces were padded, the leather seats were covered in taut hides and provided firm support, and colors contrasted between seats, dashboard, and floor mats. It was a lot for American consumers to take in, assuming they could see the car. But that’s for next time.

In Part II, we’ll discuss the technological side of this Rare Ride, and see how making such bold moves went for the flagship of Nissan’s new luxury brand.

[Images: seller]

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