Talk is emerging from Japan that the newly updated Z-car could sport a high-performance plug-in hybrid system as early as 2011. The same system will likely premier in the Infiniti M range, later moving to the Z. If the hybrid Z does hit the market by 2011, it would be the first hybrid sports car, barring some intervening upstart.
The same 3.7L VQ-series engine that powers the car now would be the main source of motivation, but would reportedly be supplemented by a lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor using a two-clutch system, though the transmission will almost certainly be automatic-only.
With the high-capacity lithium battery pack and plug-in capability, the car is expected to hit 35mpg in combined use, a definite improvement from the mid-20mpg range at the hands - and feet - of most users.