For their first production hybrid vehicle, the Altima, Nissan licensed Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive. At the same time, Nissan announced that they would be developing their own in-house system for introduction in 2010. Several months back rumors surfaced that the system would be used in luxury Infiniti models in addition to Nissans. It now turns out that Nissan executive vice president Mitsuhiko Yamashita told Reuters last month in Detroit that the hybrid system would indeed be used by Infiniti. In fact, it will primarily be used by the premium brand. The approach echoes what General Motors is doing by applying hybrid technology to their thirstier rear wheel drive cars where the actual number of gallons of fuel saved would be greater than in a smaller, inherently more efficient car. Given Toyota's limited success selling Lexus hybrids, it will be interesting to see how Infiniti does. It will also be interesting to see how the hybrid compares to Nissan's new diesel coming in the new Maxima.

[Source: Reuters]


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