Infiniti will debut the company’s first hybrid model at this fall’s Los Angeles Auto Show. The 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid goes on sale this spring.
The Infiniti M35 hybrid uses a front-engine rear-wheel-drive approach—with a one motor-two clutch system. The first clutch is installed between the engine and the electric motor. This clutch allows the full decoupling of the V6 when running in electric modes—in order to reduce mechanical drag and boost the efficiency of the electric motor. The M35 is one of the first hybrids to use lithium ion batteries.
Pricing, MPG and other details are not yet available. The base MSRP for the 2010 conventional M35 is $45,800. The M35 Hybrid should be priced just below $50,000 and will likely qualify for a tax incentive of about $1,000. Nissan first unveiled the Infiniti M35 Hybrid at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show in March 2010
Infiniti touts the new luxury hybrid as giving V-8 performance with four-cylinder fuel economy.
Rear-Wheel-Drive Hybrids on the Way
As Infiniti prepares for the unveiling of the M35 Hybrid, Nissan engineers are already planning other hybrid models. Larry Dominque, Nissan North America’s vice president of product planning for the Americas, says the M hybrid system was designed to fit all of Infiniti’s rear-wheel-drive models, including the G sedan and coupe and the EX and FX crossovers.
Nissan’s leadership has repeatedly made the argument that hybrids are not the answer to the environmental challenges facing the automobile industry—and that only pure all-electric cars represent the necessary shift to oil- and emissions-free motoring. The company’s small all-electric Nissan LEAF will debut in late 2010. The Nissan showroom will soon be transformed by its hybrid and electric offerings.