The 2013 Infiniti EX37
Power: 325 hp, 267-lb-ft of torque
Engines: 3.7-liter V6
Fuel Consumption: 17 city/25 highway
Sebastian Vettel. He's the a three-time Formula One champion. He's the three-time consecutive Formula One champion. He's the youngest—a distressing 25-years-old—double, and obviously, treble winner of the rigorous racing series. In short, Vettel is the type of driver that makes mere desk-bound mortals feel incredibly inadequate behind the wheel.
Vettel's team, Red Bull Racing, has partnered with Infiniti
since early 2011. The champion's connection to the Japanese luxury brand extended beyond the track in October, when "The Sports Crossover For World Champions," the Infiniti FX Vettel Edition
, landed in extremely exclusive numbers—just 150 were made available globally.
Pitched as a "money-can't-buy motoring experience," the Vettel version sure ain't for mere desk-bound mortals who feel inadequate in comparison to the driving prowess of a champion. The vehicle does, however, push the idea that if a mere desk-bound mortal got hold of the keys of any FX, a real drivers experience would inevitably reveal itself at first bend.
Full disclosure: We didn't drive a an Infiniti FX Vettel Edition. Full disclosure, part 2: We didn't drive an FX37 or FX50 either. Instead, we went small and hit the highway in Infiniti's luxury compact crossover, the EX37.
Compact crossovers have an unusually sporty position in the current auto market. The Nissan Juke, most famously tuned to an eye-popping 600 hp, might be the standard bearer, but the scene deepens quicker than you can add that extra R. And, it's getting broader with each passing auto show.
The EX37 has softer lines than the big brother FX37. As such, there's a different curb appeal. Its smooth and elegant, rather than aggressive and fast. The difference in aesthetic may suggest a difference in performance: Power vs. comfort.
Hold those thoughts.