Nissan and Infiniti have been lagging when it comes to bringing gas-electric models to market, with the exception of the Altima Hybrid which relies on a system borrowed from Toyota. According to a report by the Nikkei business daily in Japan, that's set to change when Infiniti begins offering a hybrid version of the M sedan in 2010.
As previewed in August, the system differs from "conventional" hybrids on the market by using advanced lithium-ion batteries that boast more power and quicker recharge times. Additionally, the parallel hybrid system is equipped with one electric motor and two clutches to allow the gas engine and electric motor to drive the rear wheels simultaneously. Acceleration and response is expected to be more performance oriented – previewed in the Essence concept at the Geneva Motor Show – while a trio of driving modes will allow the M to run on electric power at low speeds, a combination of electric and gas propulsion when under load and gas-only when traveling at speed. Direct injection is also rumored for the next generation of models, bringing Infiniti on par – and beyond – its competitors.
[Source: Nikkei via BusinessWeek]