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Infiniti G20

GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

g20_autumnring.jpg
1990 Infiniti G20 dueling in the Sunday Cup

tn.jpg
1991 Infiniti G20 2.0te at Red Rock Speedway (GT2)

Year: 1990 - 1996
Class: Mid-size, Entry-level Luxury Car 
Type: 4-door sedan

Country: Japan ```````````````````````````````````` Host: GT1, GT2, & GT4

Price as Tested: $3,885 (GT2 used lot) /// $7,993 (GT4 used lot)


Length: 173" // Width: 67" // Height: 54.5"
Wheelbase: 100"
Track: 57" front & rear
Ground Clearance: 5.3"
Overhang: @6 feet 1 inch
Weight: 2,667 pounds
Tires: 195/60-14 front & rear
Brakes: vented disc / solid disc
F. Suspension: multilink / lower arms / coils / anti-roll bar
R. Suspension: struts / coils / anti-roll bar

Engine: 2.0 liter DOHC inline-4
Aspiration: normal
Fuel System: EFi
Valves per Cylinder: 4
Bore x Stroke: 3.39 x 3.39"
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
 
GT2 Redline: 7,000 // Rev Lmt.: 8,000
GT4 Redline: 7,400 // Rev Lmt: 8,000

GT2 Tested HP:       
148 @ 6,000 rpm
GT2 Tested Torque:
140 @ 4,900 rpm
 
 
GT4 Tested HP:       149 @ 6,500 rpm
GT4 Tested Torque:
136.92 @ 4,800 rpm

Lbs per HP: 18.02 (GT2) /// 17.90 (GT4)
Hp per Liter: 74 (GT2) /// 77.6 (GT4)
Credits / HP: $26.25 (GT2)  $53.64 (GT4)
 
Layout: Front Engine / Front Drive
Transmission: 5-speed automatic


``````````````````````GT2``````````````````````````GT4
0-60mph: ```8.8 seconds           8.850 seconds
0-100 mph: 24.6 seconds         22.616 seconds
 
400 M:       16.32               16.997 @ 87 mph
1 KM:         29.929               
30.318 @ 113 mph

Test Track; N/A
Brakes 100-0 mph: 3.637 seconds (GT4)
Top Gear RPM @ 60 mph: 2,750

Top Speed at Redline (GT4)
1st: 36 mph
2nd: 64 mph
3rd: 98 mph
4th: 127 mph
5th: 147.2 mph @ 6,900 rpm (GT2)
       143.63
mph @ 6,700 rpm (GT4)
 

-----------------------EXTERIOR-----------------------


Not a whole lot of folks will get excited about this one. I know. But as usual, I can't help myself, and feel compelled to write about the Infiniti G20 anyways.

Infiniti is the North American luxury division of Nissan, just like Lexus is the higher of Toyota, but Infiniti hasn't had the same impact that Lexus has on the American market, at least it didn't in the early '90s when the G20 was created. Not that it's a bad carmaker,... it just didn't seem as initially popular as Lexus. Infiniti wasn't initially grouped in the same echelon of thinking as Lexus; in other words, if you happen to be at the same Starbucks as a couple of yuppies, and the subject of cars comes up, you might hear yuppy #1 say...

“Gee Graham, I'm thinking of buying a car with all that money I secretly embezzled last week, do you think I should go with a Mercedes, a BMW, or a Lexus?”


You won't hear the G20, this "entry-level luxury sedan", put into the same group, even though technically supposed to be on the same level as a BMW 3-series or a Lexus IS. The G20 is virtually identical to the Nissan Primera 2.0 TE, so G20 fans can still race an Infiniti in Gran Turismo 1, they'll just be racing the Japanese version of it. Stylistically, the G20 is about as exciting as me sitting here trying to think of exciting things to say about it.

In the '90s, the G20 was Nissan / Infiniti's "entry-level" (as I said earlier) luxury sedan. It's a middle-weight, mid-size, front-drive model, and we're safe to say it is neither intrusive nor flamboyantly obvious in the Gran Turismo games. This is one of many cars that starts off in the used dealer's lot with not a whole lot of power, but just enough to get a beginner going. After buying the G20, there'll still be plenty of money to spend on basic engine and aspiration upgrades, transmission parts, or a weight reduction; yet most folks will not ever ponder buying this dull car, which in some scenarios winds up being a bit of a sleeper.

In GT1 or 2, racing body parts can be bought for your G20/Primera, and it'll finally shed its ordinary-ness. With all the decals, this car starts looking pretty fly, but it'll never be a super performer. The racing career of a Primera in the first game will be shorter than that of a Primera or G20 in GT2 or GT4, and it'll never be able to go all the way to the top in Gran Turismo 2 or 4. Nowhere near the top, actually.

But still, in GT2 the Infiniti G20 is highly suitable for beginners. It was one of my first GT2 cars, and my very first GT4 experience as well; though I wouldn't say it's as good for beginners here. Actually, the G20 is quite a mess starting off in GT4. I recently went back to it to write this review, but normally it sits in the garage....collecting cyber-dust while others get chosen to see glory.

 

------------------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN-----------------------

Our econo-luxury car is equipped with the DOHC 2.0 liter engine found in lots of Nissans -- like the Pulsar and 240SX, for instance. It is not especially quick; no one's gonna be intimidated by its awesome powers or get inspired to write slam poetry after driving a G20. But for a beginner, the three stages of tuning progress nicely up to 297 horsepower in GT2 (221 torque), and the car does okay in sub-150 mph terrain.

GT4 pushes this limit even further with three levels of NA tuning and three turbos as well. A maxed Stage 3 turbo G20 in this game will push about 321 hp @ 6,400 rpms, or 285 horses with Stage 3 NA tuning, making it good to run in any Beginner's Event, some Professional Events, and some Japanese Events of this game.

We can conclude that economically (in GT2) at least the first two stages of tuning + port / polish and the computer are worth getting. If the 2nd game wasn't jam packed full of other autos vying for our attention, it would be worth getting Stage 3 tuning and engine balancing, but for most up-and-coming drivers, money is better spent elsewhere till one gets rich. It's just not worth it to spend all this money and not make it to 300 hp! Agreed? The same sentiment goes in GT4 as well, although in this game there are some turbos that are dying to be affixed, so here the G20 can have a longer career.

One can say that the novelty of driving this midsize sedan wears off quickly when compared to the novelty of racing some other suburbanite vehicles...like the Honda Accord Wagon, for instance. Why? Because there's something about watching a wagon kick ass. Wagons aren't SUPPOSED to kick ass! And in comparison, the Infiniti just isn't as fun to watch during replays.

The transmission is a no-nonsense unit just like the engine. Top speed of 147 mph (completely stock) carries one just below the redline in an unmodified car, so that in racing situations, the G20 can be equipped with close-ratio gearing for races in which it needs more acceleration; but one can still use stock gears for tracks with long straights. Use a super-close gearbox at tracks like Tahiti, Laguna Seca, and Autumn Ring if your car hasn't been modified with Stage 1 parts.

 

....or of course, you can just ignore the G20. Most people do.




--------------------------CHASSIS / HANDLING----------------------------

 
GT2
In GT2, the G20's entire life can be spent driving around on Sports tires and Sports suspension if you'd like. It hasn't got the power to merit an absolute necessity for racing slicks, though at some tracks with high-speed curves which end abruptly into guardrails and walls (like Rome, for instance), medium or soft grade slick tires might be needed to combat the understeer which makes this car want to slam right into walls at times. One exception is the Super Touring Series: a Special series of five races that feature low-powered cars with race kits. But still...it's safe to say that if you have to make a choice, it's okay to buy better brakes and learn to use them before you get better tires. Whatever though. Just my opinion.

If the G20 Infiniti had more power (even 50 hp more) we might find some serious issues with understeer and sway-induced oversteer starting to demonize this spiffy sedan. The G20 isn't immune from such behaviour, but since its power remains so low, any intermediate-level driver should be able to control this car after a couple of practice laps. And if he or she can't do this, maybe it's time to dust off the Super Nintento and go back to Mario Kart!
 
GT4
Forget all of the above if you've got a G20 in Gran Turismo 4, which drives with 10x the complexity of the car in PS1 games. Understeer and oversteer are both present and very real concerns, especially since in many Beginner Events, the car can only be shod with sports tires at best. Here, the G20 is no longer the friendly mule found in earlier games -- so take something less dynamic if you're starting GT4 and not very experienced (as I was not).



---------------------------PROS----------------------------

1). Low low price. One can immediately start modifying the G20 from the get-go with leftover credits. It is always found lurking in the used car lots of GT1, 2, or 4.

2). Decently high redline standard. Not the peppyest engine, but the 2.0 does rev with vigor nonetheless.

3). Partial Stage 1 tuning (including balancing, sports aspiration, engine computer, and port/polish) adds 50 horsepower, which is a nice progression (not too much) for a beginner. GT4 includes turbos as well as natural tuning.

4). Gearbox works in racing scenarios, tho it's a bit tall in a low-powered G20. Closer-ratio gearing can be substituted at some tracks, but stock gearing does just fine most of the time.

5). Race kits available for Primeras & G20s in GT1 or 2.


------------------------------CONS--------------------------

1). Let's be very honest. Here we have a rather boring car. Nothing special about it at all.

2). All the engine mods + racing aspiration only adds about 150 hp. (GT2) Money is better spent on a faster car. Not much more in GT4.

3). Poor acceleration. 0 to 60 mph of 8.8 seconds is okay for pedestrian situations, but downright unacceptable on a race track, even for a front-drive.

4). High pound to power ratio: after full weight reductions and engine tuning, the car is still rated above 8 pounds per HP even with race-kit.

5). The racing body (with decals and stuff) looks cool, but there isn't much point in buying it if you're a purist: this car won't do well in any of the real racing series (World Cup, GT300, etc.), though you can take it to the GT2 Super Touring Series. There is no race-kit in GT4, of course, for any car.

6). In GT1, this car is limited to spot races, the Sunday Cup, and the Clubman. After this, the Nissan Primera's career is basically over unless you're up for a serious challenge in the FF series!

7). Noisy. Some exhaust kits are more tolerable than others, though. This is an engine that does not sound happy to be revving at peak speeds....

8). A lover of understeer and body-sway oversteer, especially in the 4th game. This is no longer a novice's sleeper dream ride like it was in early games. 
 

Originally published: August 13, 2004
Re-Edited for GT4 content: sometime in 2008.

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...totally uncalled for...

primera_racekit.jpg
modify a G20 in GT2, and you get a Primera race kit.

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