Infiniti has released preliminary specs and performance figures for the European market version of its M35h hybrid sedan, due to arrive in dealerships this spring. Boasting an impressive drag coefficient of just 0.26, the Japanese maker’s first hybrid model weighs less than its diesel-powered M30d sibling and returns 6.9 lt/100 km (33.6 US mpg) on the combined cycle. However, customers will have to make do with a smaller boot, measuring just 350 liters.
The hybrid sedan's powertrain comprises a 306HP 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine mated to a dual-clutch transmission and a 68HP (50kW) electric motor. The combined output is 364HP, good enough to accelerate the 1.830 kg (4.035 lbs) luxury sedan from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).
In electric-only mode, the M35h is capable of reaching speeds up to 80 km/h (50 mph, with Infiniti stating that in real-world testing, the car can be driven in this mode for as much as 50% of the time on mixed routes. To further improve the powertrain’s efficiency, the M35h also comes with regenerative brakes.
To warn pedestrians and the visually impaired while in electric-only mode, the hybrid sedan is fitted with the Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians (VSP) system, which emits a non-intrusive sound that varies pitch and volume at speeds up to 30 km/h (19 mph).
Infiniti said European-wide pricing will be announced before the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in early March.
By Csaba Daradics