• Oct 21st 2009 at 7:39PM
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2010 Nissan Fuga Hybrid - click above for high-res image gallery

After several years of selling small volumes of its Altima sedan using Toyota's hybrid drive system, Nissan is finally ready to roll out its first gas-electric model using technology developed in-house. The first model to be so equipped will be the new Fuga sedan, a car sold in North America as the Infiniti M.

Unlike the electronic CVT systems used by Toyota, Ford and General Motors, Nissan has opted to configure their system using a conventional automatic transmission – in this case, a seven-speed unit. The electric drive is provided by a single motor sandwiched between the engine and the transmission. A pair of electronically controlled clutches sit on either side of the motor allowing the engine or the engine/motor combination to be completely de-coupled from the transmission.

According to Nissan, the motor has an output of 50 kW (67 horsepower) and 270 Nm (200 pound-feet) of torque and the system is able to propel the Fuga/M electrically at speeds of up 62 mph. The engine is a 3.5-liter version of Nissan's renowned VQ V6 modified to run with an Atkinson cycle for greater efficiency.

Koichi Hayasaki, senior manager of Nissan's hybrid program tells us that the final numbers on the engine output as well as the net combined output won't be released until sometime in 2010. As is the way these days, energy storage needs are handled by a lithium ion battery pack using the same kind of modules that are going into the LEAF EV.

The Infiniti M hybrid is expected to arrive in the U.S. sometime in 2011 as a 2012 model.

Photos copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Impressive. I wonder if it is a plug in.. They did say that it can go up to 62mph electrically, so i assume it can drive in electric mode??
      • 5 Years Ago
      FYI, "fuga" is the original (Italian and Latin) spelling of the musical term "fugue." (As in "Toccata and Fugue in D minor".)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Am I the only one who wanted this to be called the 'fugu'? That's what I saw when I read it, and I was pretty excited!
      • 5 Years Ago
      What's all this rant about a hybrid having to be able to drive in EV only mode. Nobody will accept the lacklustre performance that goes with it, except if you need to drive into someone in a parking garage.

      The Nissan route equals Honda, equals Mercedes/BMW/Audi etc., so the odd one out will be Toyota. Makes you wonder if that company will ever be able to make money on their patented technology. And off-course there is the Volt..
        • 5 Years Ago
        > The Nissan route equals Honda,

        It says the Nissan has a clutch between the engine and the motor, allowing the engine to be decoupled from the drivetrain and allowing the car to move on electric power alone. I don't think the Honda hybrids have this feature, and if not, I think that's a pretty major difference.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Seriously? If it can go 62 mph than it will be more than fine for city driving. You'd have to be nuts to want more than that...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Would like to see them split that V6 into a 3 cylinder and add a few more batteries and a plug if there isn't one.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As opposed to "how can I change this car to suit me perfectly", we might say "who is this car designed for?". All cars don't have to be (can't be!) the same.

        This looks like a great concept, and 2011 is pretty soon. It seems like in 2-3 years we will have quite a range of electric choices. Maybe what you are looking for is a Chevy Volt.
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