Sure it might seem sacrilegious to slap on the Skyline nameplate onto an SUV, the complete opposite end of the spectrum that has seen performance injected into each and every manifestation of the moniker thus far, but if you’ll rewind back a little you’ll recall that when the Skyline name was used on the Infiniti G35 following the dark ages after the last proper Skyline, the R34, all hell broke loose as well.
Nonetheless, bear with us here as we delve into the devilish details on the reasons behind the Skyline name being justified on this SUV. For starters, this JDM offering begun life as an Infiniti EX J50 and was offered for sale under Nissan’s luxury brand in the USA and neighbouring countries. Following that, it was rebadged as the Skyline Crossover 370GT for the Japanese market.
If you’re wondering if there’s any weight to calling it a Skyline, the closest we can offer is that the car is built on the very same FM platform that underpins the likes of the Infiniti G37 and more importantly, the 370Z.
Exterior wise, the Skyline Crossover looks exactly how you would expect a G37 to resemble if it were given the SUV treatment. Think of it as the G37 and the EX35 having a bit too much to drink and hooking up at the lair of the Skyline. In the spur of the moment, not a thought was given to using contraceptives and the resultant spawn is what you see spanning these few pages.
It has a long front nose and hood bulge that extend into a coupe-like arched roofline, giving it front-engined, rear-wheel drive proportions. However, the bumper and wheel arches were beefed up a little for that tough-man persona to fit in with the SUV side of the match-up.
Moving inside, the tell-tale signs of its Infiniti origins are clear to see with the luxurious feel and real wood trimming used on the dash. Squint a little and you can see that the interior was roughly based on the 370Z as well as the accompanying G37 model. Convenience is given priority with an automatic folding rear seat leading the way.
Headlining the interior is the colour display for the navigation and audio system. Of course, audio connectivity such as iPod and MP3 players can be done with just a quick plug-in.
Apart from the platform, the Skyline Crossover shares the 370 moniker with the 370Z as well. It’s no surprise then that motivation comes from the very same VQ37HR lump found in the 370Z. Power from the 3.7-liter V6 mill is rated at 320hp with torque twisting in at 361Nm, ensuring it to be a brisk accelerator and living up to the ‘sports’ part of its Sports Utility Vehicle classification.
Mated to the engine is the seven-speed automatic transmission that is found in the 370Z. Shifts are smooth and the wider gear ratio range allow for a quieter drive. If the driver is feeling a little itchy in his right foot, switching over to the manual shift mode is a sure fire way to scratch that itch.
While the Skyline Crossover might seem like a commercialization of the Skyline nameplate, truth be told though, it actually does fit finely along the Skyline theme that has taken on a slightly different persona since it appeared on the G35.
Think of it as a more capable G37 or 370Z if you may. It might not be the precise personification of a Skyline that some of you fanboys imagine and the simple reasoning of leaving the job of an SUV to the likes of the Murano and Dualis might hold some water, it’s clear to see that the Skyline Crossover was meant to slot in between them and the sporty coupes it’s based on. Colouring it that shade, we think the Skyline Crossover has achieved that quite nicely.
The car is available for viewing at Vision Motorsports at Lot 922, Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara in Damansara Utama. You can contact Adrian at 03-7728 2117 / 03-7727 1308 or 012-259 5402 for more information.