Infiniti M35 Hybrid
Infiniti M35 Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Infiniti M35 Hybrid won't be hitting showrooms until Spring 2011, but that doesn't mean future applications of the hybrid powertrain aren't already in the works. Speaking with Automotive News, Nissan North America's vice president of product planning, Larry Dominique, says that the M35's hybrid drivetrain was designed to fit all of Infiniti's rear-wheel drive models, not just the flagship M.

Infiniti's new hybrid system is the first gasoline-electric powerplant solely designed by Nissan (the Altima Hybrid uses a Toyota-sourced unit). Once the M35 launches, we could see new hybrid versions of the G, EX and FX models, though we'd expect those to come long after the initial launch of the M35.

Currently, the market for rear-wheel-drive hybrid sedans is very small, with the Lexus GS 450h and LS 600h, Mercedes-Benz S400 and BMW 7 Series ActiveHybrid making up the entire segment. More entries are expected to arrive over the next few years, and Infiniti will surely test the waters with the M35 before electrifying any more models within its lineup.


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[Source: Automotive News - sub. req.]