One of our trio is on its last legs, another is brand new, and the third option is near the middle of its life. They all share V8 power up front, driven wheels at the rear, and midsections full of luxury equipment. Most people avoided them when new, so it should be no problem finding one to burn.
The genesis of today’s trio came from Kyree Williams, over in the comments of the QOTD regarding oddball automotive outcasts. Combining said topic with large luxury sedans leads naturally to a Buy/Drive/Burn.
Infiniti’s flagship Q45 sedan entered into its third and final generation for the 2002 model year. The new design went in a completely different direction from the second-generation model, which had been criticized for being too staid, too soft, and too like a Buick. Underneath this new sedan was the latest Nissan President, the company’s flagship domestic offering in Japan. The Q45 returned to its namesake displacement level, with the same 340 horsepower 4.5-liter V8 engine customers would find in the original M45 sedan. Power traveled through a five-speed automatic.
Known mostly for its HiD “Gatling gun” headlamp design, the rest of the Q45 looked like a big Altima. A styling refresh in 2005 brought it closer to its upcoming replacement, the second generation M35/45. That smaller sedan existed on lots with the Q45 for 2006, when the company’s old flagship was cancelled.
In 2005, Cadillac scratched the Seville name from its sporty sedan offering. Since 1998, customers could choose between the softer front-drive Seville SLS, or sportier STS. In its effort to rinse away the Old Florida Man image, both Seville and SLS went away for 2005. Styling was all-new, in alignment with the recent Arts and Science theme gliding over the rest of the brand’s offerings. In V8 format (3.6 V6 was the base engine) 320 Northstar horsepowers traveled to the rear wheels via a five-speed automatic. The STS received a styling update with larger grille for the 2008 model year, and would pack up entirely after 2011. It was replaced by the CTS on the smaller side, and the front-drive XTS on the larger.
Brand new for the 2006 model year, the third-generation Lexus GS stepped in to replace the aged 1990s styling of the prior version. The 3.0-liter inline-six and 4.0-liter V8 engines were replaced by a 3.0-liter V6 and today’s engine of choice â€” the 4.3-liter unit from the LS430. An even 300 horsepower traveled via six-speed auto to the rear tires. Wearing the new “L-finesse” design language, the GS replaced its V6 in 2007 with a 3.5-liter (becoming GS350), and visual updates in 2008 coincided with availability of the new 4.6-liter V8 from the LS460. The design wrapped up in 2011, and there was no GS available in 2012. 2013 brought the fourth-generation model that’s with us today.
Three V8s, three unpopular sedan outcasts. Which goes home with you?
[Images: GM, Nissan, Toyota]