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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 its 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 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      curvy ride
      like a hot sexy women that is about 5-10lbs overweight

      i love it, especially in black

      before the exterior was not on par with the interior, now they both been improved and make for a great looking car

      the M56 will be the one to have - and not I will hold off my purche of a used CTS Wagon until a used M56 is also available as I think the M will be the better car (judging by the interior and engine it likely will take my money before the CTS wagon

      bty, i like hte CTS wagon way more than the sedan so don't say you're not comparing the same car since I don't have to - i'm comparing what I like to own
      • 5 Years Ago
      not nearly enough hybrid badges.

      that said, they really sexed up the m. it looks like what a jaguar should be.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Really? i think it looks like they left a maxima in the microwave a bit too long and it turned melty.
      • 5 Years Ago
      67 horsepower and 200 lb.ft of torque, NICE!

      This thing will have a lot of power!
      • 5 Years Ago
      You would never guess it's a hybrid. It doesn't seem clean, a little "put together." There are 3 different styling of letters in the badges other than the Nissan badge. Hell the "HYBRID" font looks like they stole them off of some Mercurys. I am not too fond of the front end, especially the hood. Those sort of fin-like upward juts are a little awkward. If those were not there, and it was cleaned up (along with a name change, jeez) I would appreciate it more. The exterior really doesn't complement a actually surprisingly nice interior. Typically, I am not fond of Nissan interiors, but this looks actually nice. If Nissan delievered a better sedan interior, I think sales would be a bit better. Nissan is just too plasticy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Odd decision, jumping into the $40-$50K plushy-hybrid segment when Lexus has already more-or-less saturated it. There's just not that much demand to spread around, at least not yet.

      It'll be interesting to see how the 7-speed auto works in this application. I only buy manual cars, but when I do drive automatic (rentals, etc), I'd rather have a CVT and not have to deal with the bumps, thumps, and long waits for a downshift under power.
      • 5 Years Ago
      With that 3.5 V6 that thing must put out like 400 hp, must be a fun ride.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ...never mind the 450lb ft of torque...yeah yeah, I know, those figures don't just add up like that...
        • 5 Years Ago
        That much Torque, think about the fun scaring Vette's and Mustangs.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So...they use an automatic for the hybrid...and a CVT for their regular cars (Maxima, Altma, etc.). Shhh, no one tell Nissan they got it backwards.

      Still, should be a decent powertrain, ~400 torques and ~300 horsepower.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ^ Nissans new 7 speed autos are GREAT transmissions...very efficient and smooth. Also don't know where your getting your power figures but the 3.5 makes 306HP on its own, with the batteries it would be around 370HP. And I think Autoblog has made a mistake as Infiniti has clearly stated they are using the new 3.7L and a new 5.6L V8 in the M series...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I wasn't discussing the quality of the transmission, rather Nissan's use of an automatic in a hybrid where most are CVT's while using CVT's in regular sedans where most are automatics. I found it curious. As for power, the engine is modified to run on the Atkinson cycle, which yields more economy at the expense of power.
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