The 2011 Infiniti M was virtually revealed in spectacular fashion at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in August, but today the company has revealed its plans for its first production hybrid, the 2012 Infiniti M35 Hybrid, putting proof to rumors that have been around since early this year.
Building on its own internally-developed hybrid system--unlike the Nissan Altima hybrid, a system largely licensed from Toyota--the Infiniti M35 Hybrid promises to be the brand's "cleanest and most economical car" ever. Despite the green intentions, it's still a luxury car, and will also be rear-wheel drive with power from a 3.5-liter V-6 engine rather than the newer 3.7-liter mill found in other Infiniti and Nissan products.
The hybrid drive system promises to boost the V-6's acceleration in "power assist" mode when maximum acceleration is desired, and can also recapture energy when decelerating and braking. Under "certain driving conditions," the M35 Hybrid can also run in EV mode, though whether that will be a higher-speed system like the one found in the Ford Fusion Hybrid or a low-speed-only system like that in Lexus' hybrid luxury sedans hasn't been revealed.
Performance, driving range and transmission details will be released at a later date.
The battery pack for the car will be made of a new "laminated" lithium-ion battery setup. Infiniti says this layout offers the same size as a traditional battery pack, but stores twice the power while also enhancing cooling performance and reliability.
Sales of Infiniti's M models are due to start in early 2010, followed by the M35 Hybrid about 12 months later, in early 2011, as a 2012 model-year car.