We don't imagine that many new-car buyers are cross-shopping their local Infiniti and Porsche dealerships, but there's at least one segment of the automotive industry where the two automakers both play ball: high-performance hybrid luxury sedans, which may be the single most conflicted niche of the automotive sphere in the known universe.

In any case, here we are with the Infiniti M35h and Porsche Panamera S Hybrid. Each one is marketed as both a somewhat greener luxury vehicle and a performance sedan. We'd guess it's the performance side of the equation that would be most interesting to the majority of buyers, leaving fuel efficiency a welcome bonus.

So, which one is faster? That's an interesting question. Usually, we equate that term with top speed, as "fast" connotes velocity. When acceleration is being contested, we generally ask which machine is quickest. And, if it's quickness you're after, Infiniti wants you to know that its M35h will out-accelerate its competitor from Germany. How quick is it? According to Motor Trend, the hybrid M goes from 0-60 in 5.1 seconds, but that's not the stat Infiniti is claiming. According to the post-jump press release, the M35h is "faster" than the hybrid Panamera from 0-100 (11.54 seconds) and in the quarter mile (13.41 seconds).

As for the rest of the relevant statistics, the EPA estimates that the M35h will manage 27 miles per gallon in the city and 32 on the highway, for a combined rating of 29. The Porsche Panamera S Hybrid is rated at 22 city, 30 highway and 25 combined. Seems the M hybrid takes both the acceleration and economy awards. Check out a video released by Infiniti after the break, where you'll also find the press release, if you're into that kind of thing.


Show full PR text
Infiniti Presents World's Fastest Full Hybrid: The Duel

– The 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid races against the 2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid –


FRANKLIN, Tenn. (Jan. 23, 2012) – Once again challenging the status quo when it comes to hybrid vehicles, Infiniti today released 'The Duel' exclusively online to showcase the power of the 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid, live on Youtube.com/Infiniti.

Teased online last week, the full 90-second spot opens on the 2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid, which is quickly passed by the 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid, affirming the thrill of the luxury environmentally-friendly vehicle.

"'The Duel' is an exciting way to remind everyone that the Infiniti M Hybrid is the world's fastest accelerating full-hybrid with 360 horsepower and 32 miles per gallon," said Infiniti Americas Vice President Ben Poore. "At Infiniti, we believe that luxury should always thrill and inspire."

Inspiration for the video originated when the Infiniti M Hybrid made it into the Guinness World Records® as the world's fastest accelerating full-hybrid car last fall, when the 360-horsepower gas/electric luxury performance sedan covered the standing quarter mile in 13.9031 seconds (average of all runs). Infiniti secured AMCI Testing, a third-party testing firm, to substantiate the speed of both vehicles and Certified that the Infiniti M Hybrid actually was faster in its tests, covering the quarter mile faster in 13.41 seconds and accelerating from 0-100mph in 11.54 seconds.

About Infiniti
Infiniti offers a full-line of luxury performance automobiles, including the G Coupe, Sedan and Convertible, M luxury performance sedan, EX and FX crossovers, and the QX full-size SUV. More information about Infiniti and its Total Ownership Experience® can be found at www.InfinitiUSA.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      @LTAW: That is not exactly teen delinquent territory though, is it? :-)
      Letstakeawalk
      • 3 Years Ago
      The average age of an Infiniti customer is in the early 40's... one of the youngest average customer bases. Scion's average customer is in their late 30's, and that company has the lowest average customer age.
      MTN RANGER
      • 3 Years Ago
      You really think that Porsche buyers cross-shop Infinitis? That said, the M35h is a whole lot cheaper ($55k vs $95k) and has much less bulbous looking rear.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MTN RANGER
        It's not necessarily about getting a Porsche buyer to consider an Infiniti. It's more about the Infiniti owner getting some bragging rights...
          JakeY
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Kind of like the Nissan GT-R vs a whole bunch of more expensive sports cars and exotics (including many Porsches).
          marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          @LTW I don't think fuel economy is a big point with Porsche owners, and any Porsche owner who really cared about speed would have bought a GT 4! I'm afraid the Infiniti owner may be regarded as a parvenu, or asked if he was delivering something for his dad!
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Exactly. When you're hanging out, and your buddy says, "Mine cost more..." you can reply, "But mine's faster... and gets better gas mileage." :P
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Marcopolo I was making the assumption of the context of a conversation between a Porsche Panamera Hybrid owner and the Infiniti owner. The implied comparison being the same as the ad.
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      @Ine: After a bit of hunting I have managed to track down the articles I was thinking of: 'The consortium believes that mechanical hybrids solve many of the challenges associated with electric hybrids: there is no inefficient conversion of energy from kinetic to electrical to chemical and back, and the cost, weight, packaging and recycling issues associated with batteries are also eliminated. The FHSPV engineering development vehicle recovers energy via the rear differential through a continuously variable transmission (CVT) into a high-speed flywheel. When the driver reapplies the accelerator, the CVT smoothly transfers the energy back to the wheels. The flywheel and its drive system are installed adjacent to the rear axle, in the space normally occupied by the spare wheel and the whole system weighs 80 kg. Minimal body and packaging changes were required to integrate the system. There is no change to the driveline configuration.' http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/09/fhspv-20110907.html Volvo are looking at this sort of system: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/05/vcc-20110526.html
      Joeviocoe
      • 3 Years Ago
      Isn't a Formula 1 racecar with KERS technically a Hybrid??? Instead of a battery to recover regen brake energy, it's a flywheel. Built for power, not economy... but still a hybrid. Oh, and they are much faster than these two "competitors".
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        I'm a fan of flywheels: 'Flywheels can do a similar thing by acting as a temporary store of energy. But they can do it much more efficiently. In electric hybrids only 35% of the kinetic energy lost during braking is retrievable. With flywheels more than 70% is, according to Dick Elsy, boss of Torotrak, another British firm working on the technology. That is because regenerative braking converts kinetic energy into electrical energy, and then into chemical potential energy in the battery. Flywheels, by contrast, merely turn one sort of kinetic energy (of the wheels) directly into another (of the flywheel), which is far less wasteful.' http://www.economist.com/node/21540386 For conventional cars it may become a cheap way of greatly increasing fuel efficiency. For electric cars supercapacitors which do a much better job than batteries may be preferred, although flywheels should still offer more efficiency.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          BTW, although the mechanical flywheels may theoretically have higher efficiency, the losses from ultracapacitors are really nothing to worry about: 'Ultracapacitors are 85-95% efficient, compared to an average of 70% or lower for batteries in similar applications (as measured by ISE).' Same link.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Yeah, flywheels don't hold the energy so long. That isn't really a problem in the stop/start of city driving, which is where regenerative braking comes into its own. Each individual braking event holds relatively little total energy, but delivered at a high rate which is why capacitors are another good solution. 'The US06 cycle has some significantly large regenerative braking events that have a peak power of over 50 kW and durations of up to 30 s for the SUV case. However, the majority of braking events for the UDDS and Highway cycles are less than 15 s and less than 35 kW for the SUV. There is a significant cluster of points during the UDDS cycle that have an energy content of between 25 and 75 Wh and durations on the order of 10 s.' http://www.nrel.gov/vehiclesandfuels/vsa/pdfs/33939.pdf Those figures are for an SUV, so perhaps 300 wh is about right for an average braking event. In fact this may be a bit high, as the 0.3kw Maxwell ultracapacitor pack is designed for buses and heavy vehicles. So loosing the energy from one braking event is not critical. It depends on system costs. For electric cars I would go the ultracapacitor route, but for conventional cars mechanical flywheels are supposed to be cheaper and give good overall fuel savings.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        "Inspiration for the video originated when the Infiniti M Hybrid made it into the Guinness World Records® as the world's fastest accelerating full-hybrid car last fall, when the 360-horsepower gas/electric luxury performance sedan covered the standing quarter mile in 13.9031 seconds (average of all runs). Infiniti secured AMCI Testing, a third-party testing firm, to substantiate the speed of both vehicles and Certified that the Infiniti M Hybrid actually was faster in its tests, covering the quarter mile faster in 13.41 seconds and accelerating from 0-100mph in 11.54 seconds." Generally, road-going passenger cars are listed in a different category from purpose-built, track-only race cars.
      marcopolo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Could be me, could be I'm getting old! But the point of this story is the advantages of two cars, two 4 door cars, , one of which can travel between traffic lights, 2 seconds faster, sorry, that's two whole seconds ,quicker, than the other ? Is that right? This obviously very important, and a tremendous achievement, but I don't seem to appreciate the point of where this ability would be really useful? But, I could be wrong.....
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @marcopolo
        Dunno what the point is supposed to be, but for me it highlights what a beautiful looking car the Porsche is, and how drab the Infiniti. Its never a good idea to go into a beauty parade when there is a supermodel in it.
      Nick
      • 3 Years Ago
      DaveMart Sure, but a flywheels eventually slows down and loses all its stored energy, unless the driver steps on the accelerator again. Driving down a mountain for 45min would make the flywheel spin at its max for 45min..but if you park at the bottom and go for a hike, all that energy will be lost.
      paulwesterberg
      • 3 Years Ago
      Whats the point of a hybrid if you are shoving the pedal through the floor? If all you care about is acceleration then get a corvette. If you care about the environment and acceleration then get a tesla roadster.
        Joeviocoe
        • 3 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Isn't a Formula 1 racecar with KERS technically a Hybrid??? Instead of a battery to recover regen brake energy, it's a flywheel. Built for power, not economy... but still a hybrid. Oh, and they are much faster than these two "competitors".
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        A lot of people like a car which can move fast when they feel like it, but rarely drive it fast. Most folk's fuel economy will probably be pretty good. After all, most drivers are a bit long in the tooth before they can afford something like this! ;-)
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        "If all you care about is acceleration then get a corvette. If you care about the environment and acceleration then get a tesla roadster." Neither one of those can carry four people and their luggage, and one is no longer available to purchase in the US. Sporty luxury hybrids are better than just a sporty luxury sedan - so at least compare apples to apples.
      Ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would be more impressed if they worked on making it get 70-80 mpg.
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      @Ine: 'As a point of reference, there are a number of different styles of KERS being talked about here and there is the broader subject of braking energy recovery in vehicles. One type uses CVT's and is mounted on the backside of a drive axle and clutch linked to the planetary gears in the center differential. I believe the other type is using the equivalent of a magnetic transmission instead of a CVT to avoid rotating seals on the evacuated space of the flywheel, allowing higher flywheel speeds, but is otherwise a mechanical KERS like the CVT one. The intention is to support more conventional drivetrain/transmission layouts that feature one or two large motors, for either serial or parallel hybrids. Being differential mounted makes it easier as a retrofit onto an existing vehicle platform family as well.' Asterosa's comment at: http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/07/flywheels-for-cheaper-hybrid-cars.html
      lne937s
      • 3 Years Ago
      The thing is, there are no flywheel systems used in cars that work like that. They convert kinetic energy from the wheels to electrical energy, which is then converted back into kinetic energy to spin the flywheel, which is then converted back into electrical energy which is converted back into kinetic energy. The type of transmission that would be needed for an efficient purely mechanical system would not be practical for a car. Electromechanical flywheels provide the benefit of high power density, but they are no more efficient than batteries. They can accept a higher charge and discharge than batteries of the same size, but the batteries have a 90%+ charge/discharge rate that beats the electromechanical flywheel. The real efficiency limitation of a battery or capacitor in collecting regenerative braking energy is the ability to accept the charge that can be generated. http://www.williamshybridpower.com/technology/
      Letstakeawalk
      • 3 Years Ago
      Road-legal vs. track-only race car = different categories
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