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Fri 5 Dec 2008 04:00 AM

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Infinite power

Madeleine Collins takes the Infiniti G37 Coupe for a spin and discovers a whole new appreciation for fancy sports cars.

Madeleine Collins takes the Infiniti G37 Coupe for a spin and discovers a whole new appreciation for fancy sports cars.

When the Infiniti Coupe arrives for my test drive, I'm a little embarrassed. The reason? It's bright spanking red. While some might assume that being lent a red sports car is a good thing, or even a fantastic thing, I don't. In fact I almost cringe when it's lowered off the trailer.

Not because it doesn't look amazing, but because I'm not really a red sports car kind of person. "Couldn't it have been dark blue or something," I mutter to the truck driver, even though I know he's not listening. Something a bit more subtle would have been better, I muse. Being a bit of a novice when it comes to sports cars I am at this stage unaware that there is little subtle about such vehicles, especially this one.

As I somewhat reluctantly step inside, I cringe further as I hide behind my sunglasses. Aren't red sports cars meant for old blokes going through a mid life crisis? Oh well. It is for work.

The first thing I notice about the Infiniti Coupe (which is part of the luxury division of Nissan) is its power, which is unsubtle to say the least. I almost get whiplash when I hit the accelerator, thanks to its 350 horse-power V6 engine. It takes off so quickly that it actually growls and I get an unexpected rush of excitement - the first of many.

The speed and power of the car is exhilarating. But then the challenge. Having rarely traversed Dubai's roads behind the wheel myself, other than two previous test drives, I suffer, big time - particularly since I'm staying in International City, which feels like I'm way out in the desert.

Consequently, I get lost on every single journey I take and finally resign myself to the fact that I will never get the hang of navigating the poorly signed Dubai roads. I can always see where I'm supposed to be due to Dubai being flat. The Burj, Wafi and Festival City all act as landmarks, I just never know how to get there.

The great thing about getting lost in the Infiniti Coupe however, is that it's actually a pleasurable experience. One time, on my way from International City to Festival City, I miss my exit and end up touring the Ras Al Khor industrial estate.

My sports car looks absurdly out of place, but encapsulated in the little red demon, I feel like I'm on a mad adventure. It's such a smooth ride, which only adds to the fun. Not to shift blame, but I soon discover that driving a such a nifty sports car encourages bad habits, which only goes to show how much a car changes your personality.

I realise I rarely bother to indicate, partly because there's no time considering the speed I'm driving, and I even partake in a little pointless speedy lane surfing - although always within safe range of other cars. These are both things I find obnoxious and horribly dangerous when I'm a passenger, but I almost feel possessed in the Infiniti.

The interior is nice in a standard kind of way. The dark wood interior seems to have a plastic coating, which is peeling off on one door and the dash is a little old fashioned. In general though, it has an attractive display, which features GPS (I unfortunately only realise this when I give the car back) on the seven inch colour screen. A great feature is the camera in the screen which automatically turns on when you reverse to show exactly how much room you have.

The car also has an 11-speaker Bose 6 CD changer or alternatively, you can attach an MP3 player. The sun roof is a definite bonus - as if I needed one - and the back seats are roomy and comfortable.

As for the tinted windows - a given on most sports cars, I imagine - I realise when I give the car back that I no longer need anything to disguise my red cheeks, which are now flushed from excitement rather than embarrassment. If there's one thing I've learned from my Infiniti Coupe experience, it's that I am very much a red sports car girl.

Infiniti G37 CoupePrice:From 187,000 AED

Engine:3.7 litres

Horsepower:350 hp @ 7,000rpm

Torque:33kg-m @ 5,200rpm

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