The 2012 Infiniti M35 Hybrid promises to deliver V8 performance I4 mileage.
Late to the party, perhaps, but Nissan’s Infiniti division is racing to make up lost time. As TheDetroitBureau.com reported, earlier this week, the luxury marque is launching an all-new performance line, IPL. And next up is the first Infiniti hybrid-electric vehicle.
A version of the latest-generation Infiniti M sedan, the new HEV will also be the first Nissan hybrid developed entirely in-house, as the less-than-successful Nissan Altima Hybrid relied on technology licensed from erstwhile rival Toyota.
The drivetrain in the Infiniti M35 Hybrid will be notably different from the Hybrid Synergy Drive, which is used in both Toyota and Lexus products ranging from the Prius to the RX400h, senior Infiniti officials told TheDetroitBureau.com. For one thing, it will rely on lithium-ion batteries, rather than the nickel-metal hydride batteries used by Toyota.
That will permit it to store more power in a smaller space and, in turn, says Infiniti General Manager Ben Poore, that should both improve performance and enhance fuel economy when compared to current hybrid systems.
“We’ll deliver V8 performance with 4-cylinder fuel-economy,” he promised, adding “We’re going for fuel economy of over 30 mpg on the highway,” with the final number likely to come in between 30% and 40% above the current 3.7-liter M37.