The Infiniti Performance Line may have been a failure, but that means that you can score some deals.
Last week, we pitched a pair of Volvo that have become very good value on the used market. Polestar may not have the same brand recognition as AMG or M, but at least it is heading in the right direction. This week's used enthusiast bargain comes from a brand that almost everyone has forgotten about. Back in 2011, Infiniti launched its very that was meant to put the Japanese automaker on the same level as the German brands. Unfortunately, it failed spectacularly.
It was called the Infiniti Performance Line (IPL) and it only ever had one model, the G37. Infiniti eventually rebadged the G37 Coupe as the Q60 and there was also a lackluster convertible version, but the entire IPL brand was contained to what was essentially a single car. For all intents and purposes, the IPL name never expanded to other Infiniti models. Even though Infiniti now produces a twin-turbocharged V6 model with 400 horsepower, it decided to ditch the IPL name in favor of Red Sport. IPL may have been a failure for Infiniti, but that doesn't mean that the cars were a complete bust. In fact, they are now very affordable on the used market.
Part of the problem with the Infiniti G37 IPL back in 2011 was that no one took it seriously as a performance car. Lexus had released its M3-fighting IS-F three years earlier, and people were looking for Infiniti to turn the G37 into a true M3 competitor. Instead, the G37 IPL was a rival for cars like the BMW 335is or Audi S5. The car used the same 3.7-liter V6 as a normal G37, but it was tuned up to 348 hp. Unfortunately torque was low at only 270 lb-ft. These figures were good, but they were only marginally better than a normal G37S and performance times were nearly identical.
The G37 IPL can hit 60 mph in 5.4 seconds and complete the quarter-mile in 13.9 seconds. These are good numbers, but they won't scare anyone in an M3. It can't match modern turbocharged cars on performance, but the IPL sounds pretty amazing with an aftermarket exhaust.
The G37 is still a very modern looking car despite being introduced back in 2008. The interior electronics aren't very advanced by today's standards, but they handled the basics like Bluetooth and navigation. Unfortunately, the IPL only had small touches to set it apart, but the optional red leather interior made a huge difference. We would compare the driving experience to a luxurious version of the Nissan 370, which shares an engine with the G37. The G37 was tuned more for comfort than sporty driving, but the IPL was more aggressive thanks to 19-inch wheels, a freer-flowing exhaust, stiffer springs, sharper steering and bigger brakes.
Now we start getting into why we would recommend an IPL model today. Back in the 2011, the IPL started at $48,825 for the six-speed manual model or $50,725 for the seven-speed automatic. Today they can be purchased for less than half that, making them quite a nice bargain. The biggest problem that we encountered is simply finding them. Since IPL was never as established as M, AMG or even F, most car shopping websites have no idea how to categorize it. Some IPL models are listed as a trim on the G37 and Q60, while others are listed as a separate IPL model. Even when we played around with the search terms, we found that many cars were mislabeled in the system as an IPL.
The used market really doesn't know how to categorize the IPL models and we found out that it really doesn't know how to price them either. We found vastly differing prices on similar G37 IPL models that spanned from around $15,000 on the low end to $30,000 on the high end. Based on what we found, a mid-mileage 2011 to 2013 G37 IPL should cost between $18,000 to $25,000. Infiniti also sold the Q60 IPL until 2015, which was only available as a convertible with an automatic. Since the Q60 IPL models are a bit newer, their prices are more expensive and can go as high as $40,000 despite being essentially the same car.
For the best deal, we'd recommend the G37 IPL Coupe. The Q60 IPL is more expensive and harder to find and the convertible models are heavier and slower. It was difficult enough to even find used IPL models considering that almost no one bought them in the first place. Pretty much every car that we found had the seven-speed automatic, so either the manual owners are hoarding their cars or Infiniti just didn't produce many manual cars. IPL may not have been a success for Infiniti, but a 348-hp luxury coupe for less than $20,000 seems like a good deal to us.