Infiniti Will Introduce M35 Hybrid for 2012
Confirming longstanding rumors, Infiniti says it will indeed launch a hybrid version of its upcoming 2011 M35 sedan. The M35 Hybrid will go on sale about 12 months after its all-new conventional counterpart hits the showrooms in early 2010. In addition to being the luxury division's first gas/electric offering, the M35 Hybrid also promises to be the cleanest and most fuel-efficient model in its 20 year history. This trick variation on the standard M35 uses a hybrid system developed by Infiniti that pairs a specially tuned version of the naturally-aspirated 3.5-liter gasoline V6 with a single electric motor/generator and twin clutch elements, all of which act on a single driveshaft. The first of these clutches is positioned between the engine and the motor, and allows each of the power providers to operate independently or in concert -- to either boost acceleration or extend range and maximize mpg -- to match the driver's demands. The motor/generator will be powered by and also recharge an advanced Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack based on a new "laminated" design. This architecture helps it produce double the energy of a like-sized conventional Li-ion battery while running cooler and maintaining a more stable operating range that also contributes to substantial improvements in its overall reliability. No word yet on the transmission that will be fitted to the M35 Hybrid, or what kind of price premium it will command over the regular M35 model.