Franklin, Tennessee – Infiniti has confirmed that it will produce a hybrid version of its M luxury performance sedan, the M35 Hybrid. The regular 2011 M sedan is scheduled to go on sale in the spring of 2010, with the hybrid version expected to arrive about 12 months later as a 2012 model.
The M35 Hybrid is Infiniti’s first-ever hybrid and will be the cleanest and most economical in the company’s history.
The hybrid is based on the all-new M, which picks up styling cues from Essence, a concept that made its debut at the Geneva Auto Show in early 2009. The M35 Hybrid will include a V6 engine and rear-wheel drive handling, along with a single electric motor/twin clutch arrangement developed solely within Infiniti’s parent group. The first clutch is installed between the 3.5-litre V6 and the electric motor, producing a consistent driving feel under all conditions, with linear performance and direct response. The electric motor acts as both a propulsion unit, boosting the gasoline engine when maximum acceleration is required, and also as a generator to recover energy otherwise lost during deceleration and braking.
Several new technologies will be introduced in the M35 Hybrid, including a “laminated” lithium-ion battery pack that is the same size as conventional batteries but offers twice the power. The lamination enhances the pack’s cooling performance, while manganese positive electrodes further improve temperature stability.
The M35 Hybrid will be among the first M models to be sold across all of Infiniti’s 33 world markets.