• Sep 26th 2010 at 8:43AM
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Infiniti M35h - Click above for high-res image gallery

Due to hit showrooms in the U.S. and Europe next spring, the Infiniti M35h hybrid performance sedan is set to headline the company's stand at the Paris Motor Show just days from now. Dubbed "the driver's hybrid" by Infiniti, the M35h packs a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 302 horses, a 50 kW electric motor integrated into its seven-speed automatic transmission and a 1.3 kWh li-ion battery into the familiar confines of the third-generation M. Infiniti's press release refers to the M35h as, "a high performance V6 sports sedan with a hybrid half that makes motoring with zero tailpipe emissions more pleasurable than ever." With numbers like 0-60 miles per hour is less than 5.9 seconds, a top speed of 155 miles per hour and the ability to reach 50 mph under battery power alone, we'd bet that Infiniti's words are right on track.

The M35h focuses on performance, but its overall efficiency ain't too shabby. Infiniti boasts that the M35h, whether in base or luxury GT trim, has a combined fuel consumption of 7.3 l/100km (32.2 miles per gallon U.S.) and CO2 emissions a touch under 170 g/km (all figures are subject to final testing). Pricing and full specs for the M35h will be announced early next year, but keep your eyes peeled for more details to emerge on the "driver's hybrid" after we hit the ground in Paris. In the meantime, hit up the gallery and take a look at Infiniti's first hybrid. Hat tip to David!

  • Infiniti M35h

[Source: Infiniti]




• Infiniti to reveal more details about its first hybrid at the Paris Motor Show
• 80 km/h possible on electric power alone
• 225 kW (306 PS) 3.5-litre V6 supported by 50 kW (68 PS) electric motor to make the M35h the fastest accelerating car in Infiniti Europe's range
• Will complete all-new luxury M Line sedan range alongside V6 petrol and V6 diesel for unrivalled executive car choice
• First European deliveries spring 2011

ROLLE, Switzerland (September 23, 2010) – A high performance V6 sports sedan with a hybrid half that makes motoring with zero tailpipe emissions more pleasurable than ever is set to headline on the Infiniti stand at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The production-ready Infiniti M35h stands out for all the best reasons, not least the fact that the first European deliveries are set to start next Spring when Infiniti will offer luxury sedan buyers a choice of V6 petrol, V6 diesel and V6 petrol/electric hybrid powertrain options.

Infiniti, Japan's newest luxury automotive manufacturer, is using the biennial Paris exposition to showcase its first hybrid and publish eagerly-awaited technical details and figures.

They will confirm why Infiniti has dubbed the M35h "the driver's hybrid" for its high power output, Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid technology and strong rear-wheel drive bias to looks and driving feel:

Acceleration: 0-100 km/h in less than 5.9 seconds*
CO2 emissions: less than 170 g/km*
Top speed (limited): 250 km/h*
Combined fuel consumption: 7.3 l/100km (38.6 mpg)*
(*All figures subject to final homologation)

All of this is delivered in a large (4945mm long) four-door, five-seat sedan with an exceptionally aerodynamic body complementing classic long bonnet/short tail sports saloon proportions and a flowing, muscular design penned with characteristic Infiniti passion. The spacious, soft-feel interior is inspired by natural materials, traditional Japanese crafts and high technology. The M35h will be available in base and luxury GT forms, with the top GT Premium model fully equipped as standard and featuring several class-first technologies.

Key to the M35h's Inspired – and green – Performance is an innovative yet elegantly simple petrol/electric drivetrain which ensures zero-emissions electric propulsion is used more often, for longer periods and at higher speeds than in existing hybrids.

The M35h can cruise on electric power alone at a constant 80 km/h on a level highway. Electric mode only can be utilised at speeds as high as 140 km/h on a trailing throttle. In slow-moving traffic the M35h can silently glide on electric propulsion for up to 2 km. Tests have shown that, in mixed diving, the M35h is able to drive in electric only mode for as much as 50% of the time.

Being an Infiniti, there is never any shortage of acceleration when it is needed. The 3.5-litre petrol V6 delivers 225 kW (306 PS), backed up by 350 Nm of torque at 5000 rpm. The electric motor is rated at 50 kW (68 PS) and provides high torque from zero rpm, peaking at 270 Nm at just 1000 rpm, ensuring dynamic performance from standstill.

The M35h deploys its power in a manner entirely in keeping with Infiniti's sports handling philosophy for maximum driver satisfaction. Both petrol V6 and electric motor deliver their power to the rear wheels via a 7-speed automatic transmission. This is notable for having an electronically controlled clutch rather than a torque converter, enhancing responsiveness and reducing fuel consumption over the M37 by up to 10%.

A new electric/hydraulic power steering system saves another 2%. The single electric motor and lithium ion battery pack boost efficiency further by helping keep the weight gain over the M37 down to about 120kg. The batteries are under the boot floor but the M35h is one hybrid sedan with practical luggage room, the boot able to accommodate four golf bags or two A-size suitcases.

On sale across Europe from spring 2011 (depending on country), the M35h joins the petrol M37 and diesel M30d as a unique three-way offering in the European executive car market. Prices and specifications will be announced in the new year.


Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid
At the heart of the M35h is a front-engine, rear-drive-only mechanical layout based around an innovative drivetrain featuring a one motor/two clutch system. The technology, which previewed in the Essence concept coupé at the Geneva Motor Show in 2009, endows the M35h with the fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions of a smaller, less powerful car alongside the linear power delivery, stirring acceleration and unsullied rear-drive handling of a true Infiniti – complete with all the charisma of an acclaimed V6 petrol engine. The system is called Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid.

Two new technologies are fundamental to the M35h's broad-ranging abilities. One is the lithium-ion battery pack – quick to alternate between charging/discharging and, size for size, twice as powerful as conventional batteries. The second is the direct manner in which the petrol or electric power is delivered to the rear wheels. This directness is central to the M35h's overall efficiency as well as the reason behind the consistent driving feel under all conditions.

The first (dry) clutch is installed between the naturally-aspirated 3.5-litre V6 and the electric motor and facilitates full decoupling of the V6 when the car is in electric drive and power regeneration modes. Decoupling the V6 reduces mechanical losses and boosts efficiency of the electric motor.

The second (wet) clutch is sited on the other side of the electric motor. It is packaged within the automatic transmission where its function replaces that of a conventional torque converter, in effect turning the 7-speed gearbox into an automated manual – with a cut in fuel consumption of up to 10% over an equivalent model with conventional torque converter automatic.

The electronically-controlled transmission also enhances responsiveness for a sportier-feeling drive. Acceleration is seamless thanks to motor-assisted gear-shifting that ensures ratio changes aren't just eye-blink fast but also completely smooth.

The electric motor is rated at 50 kW (68 PS) with 270 Nm of torque at just 1000 rpm. It acts as both propulsion unit, either alone or in tandem with the V6 when maximum acceleration is required, and also as a power generator. As well as charging the battery in the normal way, the motor recovers energy otherwise lost during deceleration and braking.

The 225 kW (306 PS), petrol engine is Infiniti's 3.5-litre V6. It was chosen for torque characteristics (350 Nm at 5000 rpm) that perfectly complement the electric motor's output, negating the need to install the 3.7-litre VVEL V6. The electric motor's high torque from zero rpm provides strong step-off performance and contributes to the sporting feel at low speeds.

As well as its fast charge/discharge response and 1.3 kWh capacity, the lithium ion battery pack is laminated to enhance the cooling performance. Temperature stability is further improved by the use of manganese positive electrodes. An end result of this is exceptional battery reliability.

The bane of many hybrids – extra weight – is kept in check in the M35h by the lightweight batteries and features such as the single electric motor, replaced torque converter and innovative steering and braking systems, in addition to the strict weight-saving regime already integral to the M Line. It all helps keep the weight gain over the M37 down to about 120kg, the M35h tipping the scales at 1885kg.

The technology comes together to make a high performance hybrid that's electrically powered for more of the time, and at higher speeds, than conventional hybrids. Tests in the USA showed that the M35h was able to drive in electric-only mode, with zero tailpipe emissions, for as much as 50% of the time over a route that included motorways and country roads as well as congested city streets.

Innovative steering and braking
The M35h is equipped with world-first steering and braking technologies which have been designed to deliver both environmental benefits and enhanced driving feel, reinforcing strengths already central to the car.

The steering is an electro-hydraulic system with "on-demand" assistance. It offers the advantages of both types of steering – the natural and smooth feel of hydraulic power steering and the improved fuel efficiency of an electric system. The motor cuts in only when the wheel is turned, further boosting efficiency. The system is more compact and lighter than traditional power steering set-ups, a feat achieved by integrating multiple parts.

The brakes are similarly designed primarily to suit sports sedan buyers' needs while at the same time contributing to the M35h's lower carbon footprint. The engineers looked to the hybrid system itself for the solution. What they came up with – a way to use the electric drive motor to operate the brake cylinders – represents another world-first innovation for the Japanese brand.

The system is called Electric Driven Intelligent Brake. When the driver steps on the brake pedal, the necessary braking force is maintained while the hydraulic pressure of the friction brake is controlled to help maximize the energy regeneration of the hybrid motor. Because of its simple structure, in which the motor directly operates the brake cylinders, the Electric Driven Intelligent Brake system has the potential to be a key part of all future Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid vehicles.

The simplicity of these elegant mechanical solutions, with their emphasis on compactness, light weight and fewer parts, is made possible by advanced computerized control.

Design, interior, features
The M35h shares the seductive looks, alluring cabin and world-first features of the all-new M Line flagship sedan, already available in both M37 V6 petrol and M30d V6 diesel forms. When the M35h joins the range from next spring Infiniti will offer the only family of executive cars available in Europe with hybrid, petrol and diesel options.

The proportions are classic sports sedan, with Infiniti's trademark short front overhang and long bonnet leading back to a coupé-like rear end. The flowing contours provide the athletic looks – and a clear link to the M's design inspiration, the Essence supercoupé concept with its beautiful interpretation of wind and wave forms.

The design is notably aerodynamically efficient, both in terms of low drag (Cd: 0.27) and zero lift at high speeds, thanks in part to the distinctive "ducktail" design of the boot lid.

Like all the new M Line models, the M35h has been engineered for European drivers and roads. Super strong and based on the FM (Front-Midship) rear-wheel drive platform, the M35h delivers rewarding rear-drive handling matched by exceptional ride comfort thanks in part to the world-first use of double-piston dampers.

A spacious five-seat interior sets a benchmark for quality and luxury even by Infiniti's high standards. The M35h is available in both base and GT forms, the GT coming with features like sensuous aniline leather and hand-buffed silver powder-coated White Ash wood trim.

The M35h GT is also available in Premium form. Expected to be the most popular, the GT Premium comes as standard with an array of Infiniti's most innovative and high-tech features. These include Intelligent Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Prevention and other systems comprising the Dynamic Safety Shield, along with a 16-speaker Bose® Premium Surround Sound system, Active Noise Control, Infiniti's acclaimed Connectiviti+ information and entertainment platform comprising 30GB HDD navigation, and Forest AirTM, an innovative climate control system designed to promote alertness and relieve stress.

Prices and full specifications of the M35h will be confirmed in the new year.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      With a 1.3kWh battery a large amount of the available energy will be consumed just getting to 50mph, much less going very far in pure electric mode. However this is not the point. Just having any electric only range is a big deal, that means all accessories must be electric, power steering, air conditioning, power brakes. This makes the car a big step closer to becoming a pure BEV some day in the future. Most of the fuel savings will be at very low speeds where the engine will be turned off and not idle at red lights etc

      This is a winning combination of electrification for maximum fuel economy and minimal price premium with a small battery.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow. Between this and the Lincoln MKZ hybrid (and whatever else anyone comes up with), why would ANYBODY choose the HS250h? Lexus: Behind the 8 Ball Once Again.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Forgot about the GS hybird...much like the rest of America...same deal for the GS period. ZZZZZZZ
        • 4 Years Ago
        I guess they would look at GS450h, since that is its competitor... too bad GS has done this 6 years ago. Infiniti gets same acceleration and 5% better mileage (comparing EU GSh to EU Infiniti numbers here). I wonder what happens in real life situations, as GSh has a lot bigger electric engine as well as ECVT transmission that Infinity does not have yet.

        Unfurtunatly, without ECVT, little chance of doing really good real world numbers.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am so tired of all the unbelievable hype. There is no way this car is going to get 32 mpg in the real world any more than a Chevy Equinox SUV gets its rated 32 mpg in the real world. Some of these manufacturers have learned how to game the tests with their cars' built in computers. None of the official testing EPA or European system are any good for predicting fuel economy or even comparing one car to another. The only semi-valuable data on the fueleconomy.gov site are the real world mileages submitted by owner, IF there is a bunch of them.

      This car is a heavier, more powerful version of the Honda Accord Hybrid. Big V6 engine plus integrated motor assist also set up for performance enhancement. That model lasted just a few years. The only difference is that midlevel customers expected some economy for the extra money. Wealthy Infiniti customers get hybrid conscience salve for their money, and a faster car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        In addition, your comparison to the Accord hybrid is flat wrong. The Accord had a small battery pack and a smaller electric motor than even the Civic hybrid.

        I understand you may be frustrated by auto manufacturer's push for improved acceleration performance. I share that frustration. However, that is no excuse for getting the facts wrong.
        • 4 Years Ago

        I guess my problem is that most of what you stated seems a great deal like opinion masquerading as fact.

        We will all learn soon enough how well the car does both on the EPA (where its idle-stop feature will likely be underrated) and in the real world.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That is not necessarily true, wincros. The EPA's testing procedure essentially ignores any car that has idle-stop. So in this case the Infiniti would be penalized for having a feature that saves a significatn amount of fuel.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Green Destiny.

        I said many things. So I am not sure what your think is not true. The one thing you mention about ignoring stop/start in the testing actually confirms what I said about EPA ratings not giving a good idea of fuel economy to be expected.

        Take a look at the fuel economy for the CRV 2WD which is 28 hwy and the Chevy Equinox 2WD which gets 32 hwy. Pretty significant difference. But the CRV drivers get better fuel economy than the Equinox on the same site. Oops.

        Plus the EPA lets many manufacturers do their own testing and reporting of results with "spot checks" presumably the same as is done for the egg industry. Also the EPA found that their estimates were so far out of whack with hybrids that they created a fudge factor to massage the test data. Fortunately it worked for the Prius, but not for the Honda hybrids which get better mileage in the hands of the owners than in the hands of the EPA crowd.

        As for this Infiniti the figure given is another jury rigged conversion for US mileage computed from the European figures. It is usually about 15 to 20 percent higher than the EPA figures. So when the EPA tests it high 20s is probably what the hwy economy will show. Not so exciting now.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Take a look at the fuel economy for the CRV 2WD which is 28 hwy and the Chevy Equinox 2WD which gets 32 hwy. Pretty significant difference. But the CRV drivers get better fuel economy than the Equinox on the same site. Oops."

        Yet I know a guy with a 2010 Equinox that regularly gets over 32mpg on the hwy.. all he does is set the cruise control at 60mph.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hi, conventional cars do not make good electric cars. When it comes to batteries, yes, better batteries make a difference, however, the elephant in the room that nobody wants to address is the weight of the vehicle it’s going in, big problem! Batteries automatically do better with lighter weight vehicles! Instead of making batteries fit these heavyweight dinasour gas vehicle conversions, how about making a ground up lightweight vehicle to fit the batteries? Then no matter what battery you use, you’ll get more out of them!! That was our plan when we made our electric EVette prototype. We need to think outside the box and stop blaming the batteries!
      Tom Sines
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hi David, Thanks for the input. Let me explain more about the EVette. This car is an experimental prototype to show that an electric car can be made that is inexpensive, turns quick and easy, and is computer friendly (could be made autonomous). As for people who are physically challenged, when you look at the EVette website you will see a steering wheel is not necessary, a big plus for people with physical problems, also a proposed easy entry turning drivers seat, and a robot arm to load a wheekchair.
        Tom Sines

        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, Fluence EV is lighter than Leaf.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hi, David Have you seen our electric evette website. Check it out and let me know what you think.
        Tom Sines
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well done for trying to produce a car to cater for the disabled as well as the able.
        My view is that OECD economies will be under strain for many years, and credit much tighter than in the past, so I feel that it will be even more difficult than most feel to move on from oil, and relatively few will be able to afford relatively sophisticated expensive cars like the Leaf.
        Under those circumstances a whole host of NEV style vehicles, motorbikes and conversions may fill some of the gap.

        My concerns with the design you reference would centre upon ease of access for the disabled you are heavily targeting.
        • 4 Years Ago
        'The Nikkei reports that Nissan Motor Co. is targeting an average 15% reduction in the weight of its vehicles by 2015, compared to the 2005 lineup, to reduce fuel consumption by 10%.'

      • 4 Years Ago
      Anyone know if Infiniti/Nissan have any plans for plug-ins?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Interesting! 32 mpg and high performance make a nice combo. Seems like the battery could be enlarged from 1.3 kWh to 3 kWh and you could more than double the electricity only range in city driving. Very cool regardless.
        • 4 Years Ago
        32mpg is green?
        doesn't the non hybrid GMC Terrain get 33mpg? and that's an SUV douchemobile.

        it could easily be twice as quick and have 4 times the mileage equivalent if they just did the obvious plugin hybrid drivetrain instead of the dead end prius style.
        light weight, aerodynamic, battery drive with lean 2 cylinder range extender.

        this is so not green
      • 4 Years Ago
      0-60 in 6 seconds?
      They could have a hit on their hands.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Green destiny:
        I took care to provide the reference so that those interested could read the complete thing.
        What stood out for me was different to that which caught your eye.
        For $44k plus you expect a car to be pretty good, the question is how good.
        The bits I quoted provided a counterpoint to MiddleWays comment.

        Personally I am not to thrilled about the cars which are something or the other 'h', as except perhaps for the very large ones like the Lincoln they heavily compromise space by shoe-horning in the battery to a design which was never meant for it.
        Even as expensive a car as the Lexus 450h, shockingly, compromises room for the golf clubs, which considering it's target market is likely a fatal flaw.

        Other than the Prius the only hybrids that I am aware of which looks as though it will not too badly compromise room are the big Lincoln and the Peugeot 3008, which was designed from the start with a hybrid version in mind.

        Bodging up existing bodies doesn't really seem to work well, a bit like the Ford Focus BEV.
        • 4 Years Ago

        Why did you leave out their verdict? it is not as damning as you suggest:

        Only a more thorough drive will really reveal how good the Infiniti M Line really is, but the interior is impressive and the dynamics, while not BMW-sharp, are still good. And if Infiniti’s claims are true, it offers a hybrid powertrain that Lexus can’t match, and the rest of its rivals don’t yet have.

        The devil is in the detail, of course, and until Infiniti comes out with its official economy and emissions figures, we have no idea if they're just talking hot air. We suspect they're not, though...
        • 4 Years Ago
        These guys pretty much hate it:
        'A full dynamic assessment will have to wait until we try the M away from the confines of a smooth Japanese test track, but with the hybrid pack this Infiniti feels lumbering and heavy and the steering is relatively light. With the new 5-series so good, the M will have a tough time in a head-to-head.'

        Plus the boot looses space to the battery.

        • 4 Years Ago
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ David-
        I understand the counterpoint motivation, but you said "these guys pretty much hate it".

        That simply is not true, as the quote I posted confirms.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Average driver 12,000 miles a years. At 24 mpg that's 500 gallons. At 32 it is 375 gallons.
      Saving 125 gallons at $3 / gallon means $375 a year.

      Does that justify premium pricing for a hybrid?

      Ten years, ignoring interest, and the price difference has to be under $4,000 just to break even...

        • 4 Years Ago
        Analyzing the cost savings of the hybrid option is like analyzing the cost savings of the "SXDRV premium interior" option. Cost does not equal value, otherwise we'd all be driving the 1991 Geo Metro XFi.

        Those who expect the hybrid option to pay for itself can go stand at the back of the line behind those who want a car that doesn't pollute at a standstill, that recovers energy when braking, that's quieter, that has cool technology, etc.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Fair point skierpage, on what people value.

        But the hybrid choice can create other problems...

      • 4 Years Ago
      Hi, Nothing new, a gas car with an electric assist.
      Tom Sines
        • 4 Years Ago
        Loads new, actually. This is a completely different system of building a hybrid, which Nissan claims will both be more efficient and reduce the extra cost.
        We will have to wait to see how that works out, but we should not be too blase about 'just another hybrid.'
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is the mileage really that impressive for an hybrid (ignoring the extra power for now)?
      It's almost 20% more than Lexus RX Hybrid combined.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Pricing and full specs for the M35h will be announced early next year."

      You can bet it's not a deal; a very limited edition, I'd say.
        • 4 Years Ago
        'You can bet it's not a deal; a very limited edition, I'd say.'

        You would say upon what basis? Having an opinion is a wonderful thing. Havign some grounds for it makes it worth while telling others about, and their listening to it.
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