IT’S not until you get an oncoming motorists eye view of the Infiniti FX 5.0 that you realise just how menacing it looks.
With its tall stance, huge wings and shark-like “mouth” grille it has the ability to make super minis tremble in their tyre treads.
The FX is the larger than life macho flagship model of the Japanese luxury car maker which is fast building an enviable reputation in the UK.
And under its bonnet is an equally awe inspiring 5.0-litre V8 engine with a sound to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck and car enthusiasts look on in envy.
Despite its size that giant engine ensures that the FX is a real mean machine when it comes to delivering the goods. Like all Infiniti models it’s designed for performance.
With a top speed of 155mph and a 0-62mph time of just 5.8 seconds the big beast of the Infiniti range is will outgun most performance sports cars.
And the bonus is that this sporting SUV comes with permanent four-wheel-drive for extra grip and coping with unfriendly terrain.
This 385bhp giant is a rival for cars such as the BMW X5/X6, Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover Sport.
But one of the nice things about this marque is that it’s so new to the UK most people are still unaware of it, so driving one gives you a nice touch of exclusivity.
In fact not one person who asked me what it was had ever heard of the manufacturer.
The massive engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox which can be used in normal or sport mode. You can also change gear manually using paddles behind the steering wheel.
But whichever method you opt for you will find the FX rewarding. The acceleration is blistering. Even at the motorway limit just a touch on the accelerator is enough to drop a couple of cogs to send this large SUV hurtling towards the horizon.
It might have four-wheel-drive but it’s main DNA traits are pure sportscar.
Inside the FX is luxuriously equipped, as you would expect for a car in this price range. With leather upholstery all round, including stylish leather quilt seat facings, the electrically adjustable front seats have both heating and cooling functions on them.
There is also flexibility on the suspension settings, with the ability to switch to a firmer, sportier ride at the touch of a button.
There’s plenty of space inside the FX although probably not as much in the rear as you would expect from its exterior proportions.
Handy features include a dashboard touch screen for the satellite navigation system which also shows what’s behind you when reversing, thanks to a rear mounted camera.
The screen also features Infinity’s industry-first Around View system, which gives you an aerial view of the car and everything that is around it.
If you don’t want to use the climate control system there is a tinted glass sunroof and rear seat passengers have the benefit of privacy glass in their windows.
Luggage space in the FX is generous, and huge when the rear seat backs are lowered.
In fact the FX is so well equipped there is nothing – unlike on most German SUVs – that a buyer would need to add.
Infiniti currently operates a free pick-up and delivery service within a radius of 150 miles to ensure no one feels too far away from one of its centres, the latest of which is in Birmingham.
Infiniti FX 5.0S
Mechanical: 385bhp, 5,026cc, 8cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 7-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 5.8 seconds
Combined mpg: 21.6
C02 emissions: 307g/km
BIK rating: 35%
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles