If the 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid looks familiar from the outside, it should; after all, it’s been on the market as the Infiniti JX35, sans the hybrid drivetrain, since last year. Remember when Infiniti went through its alphabet soup naming exercise? The JX35 is now the QX60.

What’s new, then, is the hybrid drivetrain, meant to improve fuel economy without sacrificing driveability. In fact, when Green Car Reports drove a prototype JX35 Hybrid in Japan last year, they found it to be even sportier than the conventional V-6 variant, likely due to the electric motor’s instantaneous torque.

The QX60 Hybrid’s drivetrain starts with a supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, then adds a lithium-ion-battery-powered 15 kW electric motor to produce a combined output of 250 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque. This is sent through a continuously variable transmission to the buyer’s choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

That’s in the same range as the conventional QX60, which uses a 3.5-liter V-6 to crank out 265 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. Where the QX60 Hybrid really shines, however, is in fuel economy; Infiniti anticipates a combined EPA rating of 26 mph for the Hybrid, an increase of 24-percent over the conventional QX60.

Infiniti is also claiming that the QX60 Hybrid will deliver the best fuel economy of any seven-passenger luxury crossover on the market today, while serving up an anticipated highway range of over 500 miles.

Like the QX60, the QX60 Hybrid includes an Infiniti Drive Mode Selector switch, which allows the driver to adjust throttle response and shift points with four preset modes, including Standard, Sport, Eco and Snow.

As you’d expect from Infiniti, the interior is long on luxury, including amenities like leather seating surfaces; an Intelligent-View display in the meter cluster; an 8-way powered driver’s seat; a rearview camera system; Bluetooth connectivity; front and second row armrests with built-in storage and Sirius Xm satellite radio.

Option packages include things like a Bose Cabin Surround audio system; the Infiniti Connection telematics system; Backup Collision Intervention; Blind Spot Intervention; AroundView Monitor with motion detection; Lane Departure Warning and Prevention; Intelligent Cruise Control and an Advanced Climate Control System with air purification.

Look for the 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid to hit Infiniti dealers by the end of 2013, priced at roughly $3,000 more than the conventional QX60’s $42,245 starting price.

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