Remember when the price of entry to the "entry-level luxury" space was around $30,000? These days, that's the average price of a new car, nevermind something with premium brand cachet attached. Forgive our rose-colored glasses for a moment, but we've just come across the pricing announcement for the new-for-2013 Infiniti IPL G Convertible and it starts at $60,600, *plus $895 for delivery. (If a fixed head is more your speed, the IPL G Coupe starts at $50,500). That's a whole lot of ducats.
Of course, this is the full-tilt Infiniti Performance Line model, with its 343-horsepower 3.7-liter VQ V6, spidery 19-inch wheels, tightened-up suspension, sportier exhaust and the buyer's choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed paddleshift automatic, to say nothing of the trick folding hardtop.
In truth, Infiniti's rivals from Bavaria ask even more for their BMW 335is convertible ($60,800) and it only has 320 horsepower. Audi and its 333-hp S5 Convertible is a wee bit lighter on the wallet, meanwhile, commanding at least $59,300 and offering all-wheel drive, but it doesn't make the same sexy noise that the the IPL does.
Of course, Infiniti still has some nice G models in the 30-$omething range and there's a full family of models in between to satisfy every junior executive's wallet. Us? If we really wanted a droptop from Nissan's upscale outpost, we'd probably forgo the IPL bits and content ourselves with the far less costly G37 Convertible ? all $46,650 and 325-horsepower's worth ? at least until the rumored 530-hp, twin-turbo IPL arrives.