Infiniti has shown the hybrid version of the M-Line – the Infiniti M35 Hybrid – at Geneva. Features a V6 petrol and 67bhp electric motor. On sale 2011.
Infiniti haven’t even got round to launching the latest M Line cars in Europe (and we didn’t even get the last version of the M) but they’re already showing the ‘Eco-M’ – the Infiniti M35 Hybrid – at Geneva this week.
If you’re familiar with the Infiniti range of engines (which isn’t all that likely as they’re far from ubiquitous in the UK and Europe) you may be asking yourselves ‘Why M35? Surely the Infiniti would be the M37?’ And you’d have a good point, as the 3.5 litre V6 is the Infiniti engine out of the old M Line (which Europe didn’t get) not the new 3.7 litre (which it will). But it seems to have taken Infiniti as long to make the hybrid as it did to come up with a the M30d Diesel , so that’s why it’s the M35 Hybrid utilises the old V6. All clear now? I know, you don’t actually care that much.
Having got the genesis of the name out of the way, Infiniti have done a credible job hybridising the M Line. They’ve gone the sensible route of getting the electric motor to compliment the V6 engine instead of trying to make a pseudo electric car. The 67bhp electric motor is sandwiched between the engine and the auto ‘box and a laminated lithium ion battery pack is added.
The Infiniti hM35 also has the ability – as does the new Cayenne Hybrid and the 2010 Touareg Hybrid – of being able to ‘Sail’, where the engine is actually disconnected from the transmission under certain load conditions – such as cruising – resulting in big gains in economy.
Infiniti hasn’t released economy, performance or emissions figures for the M35 Hybrid, but they’re setting the bar pretty high by declaring that the M35 Hybrid will account for a third of all M Line sales once it’s released in Europe in 2011.
We’ll have to see. But it stacks up well on paper.