2012 Infiniti M Hybrid Debuts at L.A. Auto Show - Only Vehicle to Offer More Than 350 Horsepower and 30 MPG
- Infiniti's First Hybrid Sedan Delivers V8 Power and 4-Cylinder Fuel Economy, Set to Go On Sale At Infiniti Retailers Nationwide in Spring 2011 -
Infiniti today unveiled its first production hybrid performance luxury sedan, the all-new 2012 Infiniti M35h, during a press conference at the
Los Angeles Auto Show. The new Infiniti Hybrid, which is set to launch at Infiniti retailers nationwide in spring 2011, stands to break new ground
as the first true luxury performance "driver's" hybrid - and the only vehicle to offer more than 350 horsepower and 30 miles per gallon fuel
economy (estimated Highway mpg, official EPA figures not available at press time).
Speaking at the North American unveiling, Infiniti Vice President Ben Poore stated, "Simply put, the Infiniti M Hybrid will be the most
advanced performance luxury sedan hybrid in the market, delivering V8 power and 4-cylinder fuel efficiency."
The 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid will be on display at the Los Angeles Convention Center, along with the complete line of 2011 Infiniti
vehicles, from Friday, Nov. 19th through Sunday, Nov. 28th.
The Infiniti M35h features the all-new Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid system, an advanced one-motor, two-clutch parallel hybrid design that
combines precise, high-speed motor control technology, which, enabled by the powerful Lithium-ion battery, allows power to be delivered directly
to the vehicle's 7-speed automatic transmission. The system also utilizes an innovative Hybrid Electric Power Steering system and Electric Driven
Intelligent Brake regenerative braking system, both which help conserve energy and provide a natural, enjoyable driving feel.
The Infiniti M Hybrid's exhilarating driving performance also greatly benefits from use of Infiniti's proven 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine,
which paired with the 50 kW electric motor, provides a hybrid system net power of 360 horsepower.
Torque figures are equally impressive, with the V6's 258 lb-ft of toque combining with the electric motor's immediately available 199 lb-ft of
torque to provide strong performance. The result is a vehicle that first and foremost delivers a refined driving experience, along with expected
best-in-class Combined fuel economy (estimated fuel economy 30 mpg Highway, 25 mpg City and 27 mpg Combined).
In addition, the new Infiniti M35h can drive on electric power alone at speeds up to 62 mph and can travel on electric propulsion for up to 1.2
miles at a time. Tests have shown that in mixed diving, the Infiniti M35h is able to drive in electric only mode for as much as 50% of the time.
And, with its compact hybrid system design, the new Infiniti M35h also delivers uncompromised interior space and competitive trunk space.
The M35h also embraces the essence of all things Infiniti - style, performance, luxury, craftsmanship and technology. The Infiniti M's
dramatic, sports styling is matched with a roomy, comfortable interior environment featuring standard leather-appointed seating, Japanese Ash
wood trim or available silver powdered genuine White Ash wood trim, and available premium audio and climate control systems.
Standard M35h features include Active Noise Control, Infiniti Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, XM Satellite Radio (XM subscription
required, sold separately), Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System and power sliding glass tinted moonroof. The Infiniti M Hybrid is also available
with advanced technology features, including Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Blind Spot Intervention (BSI), Forest Air system, Active Trace Control,
and Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System.
Also at the auto show, Infiniti was named by the Automotive Lease Guide as the "Best Luxury Brand" in their 12th annual ALG Residual Value Awards
for having the best resale value of any luxury brand in America. The 2011 Infiniti QX56 was named "Best Luxury Fullsize Utility" vehicle.
"Within the last year, we've completely redesigned or enhanced 80% of our line-up. Since launch, the all-new 2011 Infiniti M and Infiniti QX are
experiencing tremendous sales growth, with increases of more than 100% and nearly 200% respectively," Poore added. "It's an exciting time for
Infiniti Confirms M35 Hybrid Production
The "driver's hybrid" from Infiniti, the Infiniti M35h, will introduce world-first steering and braking technologies when it goes on sale in the
USA and Europe in 2011. The debut systems have been designed to deliver both environmental benefits and enhanced driving feel, reinforcing
strengths already central to the Infiniti M35h with its innovative one motor/two clutch system.
Like the drivetrain, which marries a charismatic V6 petrol engine with 50 kW (68 PS) electric motor built in to the 7-speed automatic
transmission, simplicity was a key tenet in the development of the steering and brakes of the high performance luxury sedan.
The steering of the Infiniti M35h is an electro-hydraulic system with "on-demand" assistance. It offers the advantages of both types of
steering - the natural and smooth feel of hydraulic power steering and the improved fuel efficiency of an electric system - while the motor cuts
in only when the wheel is turned, further boosting efficiency. The system is smaller than traditional power steering set-ups, a feat achieved by integrating multiple parts.
The brakes are similarly designed primarily to suit sports sedan buyers' needs, but at the same time contributing to the lower carbon
footprint of the Infiniti M35h, low CO2 champion of Infiniti's all-new M Line sedan line-up.
The engineers looked to the hybrid system itself for the solution. What they came up with - a way to use the vehicle's electric drive motor
to operate the brake cylinders - represents another world-first innovation for the Japanese brand.
The system is called Electric Driven Intelligent Brake. When the driver steps on the brake pedal, the necessary braking force is
maintained while the hydraulic pressure of the friction brake is controlled to help maximize the energy regeneration of the hybrid motor.
Because of its simple structure, in which the motor directly operates the brake cylinders, the Electric Driven Intelligent Brake system has the
potential to be a key part of all future Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid vehicles.
The simplicity of these elegant mechanical solutions, with their emphasis on more compactness, lighter weight and fewer parts, is made
possible by advanced computerized control.
Another benefit of both the new steering and braking systems is that they work with the innovative drivetrain to enhance the driving
experience rather than dilute it in the manner of some hybrid vehicles. Designed to be fast and responsive with a strong sporting bias to the
rear-wheel drive handling, the Infiniti M35h aims to deliver an exhilarating drive in all situations.
Central to this is its one motor/two clutch system. The first clutch is installed between the naturally-aspirated 3.5-litre V6 and the
electric motor, which is embedded within the automatic transmission. The electronically controlled clutch allows the full decoupling of the V6
when the car is in electric drive and power regeneration modes. Decoupling the V6 reduces mechanical drag and boosts the efficiency of the electric motor.
Aided by an exceptionally fast charge/discharge response from the lithium-ion battery pack, the result is a hybrid that's electrically
powered for more of the time, and at higher speeds, than conventional hybrids.
Yet when the driver demands it the Infiniti M35h responds like a true high performance machine, offering the linear acceleration and unsullied
rear-drive handling of a true Infiniti - complete with all the charisma of one of the great V6 petrol engines. Like the 7-speed Adaptive Shift
Control (ASC) automatic transmission that blips the throttle on downchanges, the new braking and steering technologies are integral to
the Infiniti M35h's positioning as the hybrid to please the most demanding of drivers.
Infiniti's first hybrid, the M35h is the low CO2 star of the all-new M Line which also includes petrol and diesel models and which is the first
M ever to be sold in all of Infiniti's 34 world markets.
Among the Infiniti M's many other claims to fame are the world-first Blind Spot Intervention (BSI), state-of-the-art Forest Air climate
control and Active Noise Control, while comfort and luxury are taken care of with double-piston dampers and the availability of semi-aniline
leather in the spacious cabin.
Infiniti today confirmed that its first production hybrid vehicle will be part of the recently announced line of 2011 Infiniti M
luxury performance sedans, which are scheduled to go on sale in spring 2010 at Infiniti dealers nationwide. The Infiniti M35 hybrid
is expected to arrive about 12 months later as a 2012 model. It is Infiniti's first hybrid in its 20-year existence, as well as the
cleanest and most economical car in Infiniti's history.
Realizing the high performance/low emissions promise of the recent Infiniti Essence concept car, the M35 Hybrid has been designed and
engineered to add to, not take away from, the driving experience, a key part of any Infiniti's appeal. The M35 Hybrid is based on the
all-new M, which itself picks up styling cues from Essence, the show-stopper that made its debut at the Geneva Auto Show early in 2009.
The M35 Hybrid maintains a high performance luxury sedan profile, overlaying it with the fuel economy and CO2 emissions of a smaller
car, while delivering driving flair to please any enthusiast - complete with charismatic V6 and rear-wheel drive handling.
Infiniti's hybrid system, developed solely within Infiniti's parent group, is a single electric motor/twin clutch arrangement.
Innovatively, the first clutch is installed between the naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 and the electric motor. The result of this
configuration, where all components act on a single prop shaft to the rear differential, is a consistent driving feel under all
conditions with linear performance and the "direct responses" that the engineers sought.
The electric motor acts as both propulsion unit, boosting the V6 in "power assist" mode when maximum acceleration is required, and also
as a generator. Along with charging the battery in the normal way, the motor recovers energy otherwise lost during deceleration and braking.
The M Hybrid can also run solely on its electric motor in certain driving conditions, furthering fuel efficiency and optimizing energy
usage across the widest possible range of driving conditions. Details of driving range, performance and transmission will be released later.
As expected of Infiniti, several new technologies are introduced in the new M35 Hybrid, including a "laminated" lithium-ion (Li-ion)
battery pack that is the same size as conventional batteries but offers twice the power. Lamination enhances the pack's cooling
performance, while temperature stability is further improved by the use of manganese positive electrodes. An end result of this is
exceptional battery reliability.
The M35 Hybrid joins conventional engine-equipped 2011 M versions - including a new high-performance diesel V6 for Western Europe - as
the first Ms to be sold across all of Infiniti's world markets, currently 33 countries. All of the new-generation Infiniti M models
are on target to beat their predecessors on fuel consumption and emissions - despite across-the-board performance improvements -
thanks to a range of efficiency-enhancing measures.