The M30 is the first vehicle released under Infiniti’s M nameplate. This mid-luxury, two-door GT coupe is basically a rebadged version of the Japan-released Nissan Leopard—a luxury sports car that was manufactured from 1980 to 1999. Below is a quick look at the changes and transformations of the Infiniti M30 during its short run.
An introduction to the M30
Internally known by its chassis code F31, the Infiniti M30 was introduced to the market in 1989 alongside the full-size luxury Infiniti Q45 model. The M30 was available in two body styles—a coupe and a convertible—both of which had two-doors. The M30 and Q45 models were released to fill a stopgap during a time when the Infiniti marque was still in the process of creating new vehicles to fill its lineup. The M30 was created based on the Nissan Leopard, but it still had several differences. For instance, since the M30 was released in the United States, it was transformed into a left-hand car to match its market. It was also equipped with several luxury features that were not present in the Leopard. And lastly, it was also equipped with a different engine, transmission, and suspension system.
Initial release in the market
Upon initial release, dealerships offered the M30 with a free cellular phone and CD player. It was also powered by Nissan’s 3.0L VG30E SOHC V6 engine that was able to churn out up to 162 hp at 180 lb-ft of torque. This engine can also be seen in other Nissan vehicles such as the Nissan Maxima and 300ZX. In fact, the Infiniti M30 had similar characteristics with the 300ZX—they were both front-engined and rear-wheel drive cars. In terms of transmission, the M30 was equipped with a RE4R01A four-speed automatic transmission with an overdrive feature that can be turned on or off with a button located on the shifter.
Coupe vs. convertible
The Infiniti M30 coupe was around 1,500 kg heavy while the convertible was around 90 kg heavier than the former. The difference in weight is due to the body and chassis reinforcements found on the convertible.
The M30 was never short of special features. For instance, it was equipped with Nissan’s Sonar Suspension II system, which furnished the car with a sonar module underneath the front bumper. This component scanned the surface of the road and adjusted the suspension settings of the car according to those readings. M30 coupes also came with standard tilting or sliding sunroofs.
Production of the Infiniti M30 lasted for only 3 years until it was finally dropped from the vehicle lineup in 1992. This was caused by its bad performance in the market. Today, this car shares a cult following with Japan’s Nissan Leopard.