Thursday 8 October 2009

Infiniti M35 Hybrid due in 2011 (UK)

This is the hybrid version of the new Infiniti M35. The M35 is the firm's first hybrid and could pave the way for the technology to be used across the range.

Power comes from a 3.5 litre V6 and the hybrid system has been developed entirely in-house. It uses a novel twin-clutch arrangement with the first clutch installed between the electric motor and the engine. All the components power a single propshaft to the rear differential, helping to give the car a “consistent feel” under all conditions.

The electric motor boosts the V6 in “power assist” mode when maximum acceleration is required, and also works as a generator. It both charges the battery in the normal way and recovers energy otherwise lost during deceleration and braking. The M35 Hybrid can also run solely on its electric motor in certain driving conditions. The battery pack is a “laminated” lithium-ion (Li-ion) unit that Infiniti says offers twice the power of a nickel metal hydride battery of the same dimensions. Lamination is used to enhance the pack’s cooling performance, giving improved reliability.

No performance or economy figures have been disclosed but expect a large improvement on the 26.7mpg combined currently claimed for the Infiniti G37 saloon.

Hybrid technology could “potentially” find its way into other Infiniti models, said a company source, although it is likely this would be in the next-generation models. The M35 Hybrid will arrive in the UK mid-2011.

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