Created to replace the Infiniti QX4, the Infiniti FX has been in production since 2002. This mid-size luxury crossover SUV was first introduced to the market in 2003. And compared to its predecessor, the FX was relatively bigger than the QX4 in terms of overall size. Aside from replacing the QX4 in Infiniti’s lineup, the FX was also made to compete with Porsche’s Cayenne and Volvo’s XC90. The Infinti FX45 is actually a nameplate that refers to a specific engine of the FX model. It belonged to the first generation of FCX models and it was produced and sold for five years. Here’s a quick glimpse into the FX45 and its changes and transformations through the years.
1999-2002: Design and development
In 1999, Nissan appointed its new CEO—Carlos Ghosn. With a new leader in the company, the development of the QX4’s replacement started immediately. Together with the Nissan 370Z, the FX was created based on the FM platform. It was designed by Mamoru Aoki in 2000, but it wasn’t released until three years after. The design of the FX45 was created under the theme “Bionic Cheetah.” The concept car was introduced to the public at the 2001 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) held at Cobo Center in Detroit. And the following year, another concept FX45 model was showcased at the 2002 NAIAS. Finally, the production FX45 model made its debut the 2003 NAIAS and it was sold in the market a few days after.
2003-2008: First generation
Upon initial release, the FX was made available in two engines—FX35 and FX45. The numbers 35 and 45 were attached to the name of FX models to denote the kind of engine that they carried. For instance FX35 models were powered by a 3.5 L V6 engine that could churn out up to 280 hp while FX45 models were furnished with 4.5 L V8 engines, which could produce up to 320 hp. Clearly, FX45 models were equipped with more powerful 32-valve DOHC VK45DE gasoline engines, which had four valves per cylinder. This engine had camshafts that were microfinished and topped with aluminum-alloy block and heads. It also featured pistons that were low-friction and molybdenum-coated, intakes and exhaust valves made of titanium, and cylinder heads that were modular. Additionally, it also had lightweight pistons and a single-stage cam drive chain that almost doesn’t make a sound. Lastly, it also featured an optimized mechanism for its intake valves known as the Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System.
2004-2008: Changes and upgrades
In 2004, FX models were furnished with eight-way power front passenger seats, roof rails made of aluminum, and chrome-plated wheels. Over the next few years, they also received safety features such as a lane departure warning system that helped alert drivers whenever they were moving out of their designated traffic lanes. In the end, FX35 outsold FX45 units by a large margin. And when the second generation of FX models was unveiled in 2008, only the FX35 remained in the lineup while the FX45 was renamed as the FX50 due to its newly upgraded 5.0 L engine.