Speaking with Reuters, Nissan’s Executive Vice President Mitsuhiko Yamashita said "it's easier to absorb the cost of the system with more expensive cars." He added that fuel economy improvements from a hybrid RWD car would have more of an impact than comparable FWD models because the rear-drivers generally get worse mileage.
Main rivals Toyota and Honda, on the other hand, are focusing on slashing the cost of hybrid technology and plan to spread it across more of their cars. Toyota, in fact, expects most of its fleet to be hybrid by the end of the next decade.
Nissan is also working on a new clean-diesel engine, which it plans to debut in the next-generation Maxima sedan around the end of the decade.