Technical specifications and performance have been confirmed today for Infiniti's first hybrid and the most powerful new member of the luxury Infiniti M family.
The homologated figures place the Infiniti M35h as one of the fastest and greenest V6-powered sedans available as well as putting it at the forefront of hybrid technology.
Available throughout Europe from Spring 2011 (depending on country), Infiniti's first Direct Response Hybrid car to go on sale can be summed up by four figures:
- 364 PS (268 kW) combined petrol/electric power
- 5.5 seconds acceleration from 0 to 62mph
- 162 g/km of CO2 emissions
- 40.4mpg on the combined cycle
The Infiniti M35h's innovative one electric motor/two clutch hybrid system is complemented by the Infiniti hallmarks of low drag - the Cd is down to an impressive 0.26 - and lighter weight, the Infiniti M35h weighing less than its Infiniti M30d diesel sibling at 1830kg.
The new Infiniti flagship to compete at the heart of Europe's executive class has the additional claim to fame of outstanding cruising fuel economy with 5.7 l/100km on the extra urban cycle - impressive for a near 5m-long luxury sedan with a 155mph top speed and acceleration to embarrass many sports cars.
The Infiniti M35h's near-50mpg extra urban consumption is 10mpg ahead of its main hybrid rival, while in the VED stakes its place in Band G is two bands lower, cutting the first-year rate of road tax for the Infiniti almost in half, from £300 to £155. Similarly the Infiniti M35h's lower CO2 results in more affordable company car tax bills, with a liability in 2011/12 of 23% rather than its less powerful rival's 26%.
The combination of high performance - tinged with true Infiniti driver appeal - and low emissions is the direct result of a 68 PS (50 kW) electric motor that can power the Infiniti M35h more often, at higher speeds and for longer periods than rival hybrids.
Capable of cruising on emissions-free electric power alone at speeds up to around 80 km/h, Infiniti's Direct Response Hybrid system extends the hybrid's advantage from slow-moving city traffic to the open highway. In real-world testing the Infiniti M35h has shown it can drive in electric-only mode for as much as 50% of the time on mixed routes. Even energy normally lost in deceleration or under braking is saved to help keep the batteries charged up.
Despite running in silent electric mode at every opportunity, the Infiniti M35h cannot surprise pedestrians and the visually impaired as it approaches thanks to Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians (VSP). The first hybrid in the world to come with such a valuable safety feature as standard, VSP emits a pleasing, non-intrusive sound that varies in pitch and volume at vehicle speeds up to 30 km/h.
Innovative Hybrid Electric Power Steering (NH-EPS) and regenerative brakes, both developed especially for the Infiniti M35h in order to boost further its efficiency, are key technology highlights. The Infiniti M35h's petrol engine is a 3.5-litre V6 with 306 PS (225kW). It is part of the same family of V6s as the 3.7-litre unit in the M37 but with torque characteristics to complement the low-down pulling power - 270 Nm at 1770rpm - of the electric motor.
The Infiniti M35h is just as luxuriously trimmed and equipped as the other Infiniti M models while its 350-litre boot is capable of storing four golf-bags or two large suitcases.
Prices for the Infiniti M35h, which will be offered in either GT or GT Premium grades, are due to be announced before the Geneva Motor Show.Published 24 January 2011