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Infiniti makes plenty of good cars, crossovers and SUVs. The premium Japanese brand also has a well-defined presence in racing on the world's largest stage in the form of a partnership with Red Bull in Formula 1. What Infiniti doesn't have, though, is a range-topping halo car.

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Nissan sells more pure electric vehicles (EVs) than any other automaker, but the EV market remains tiny. The hybrid market, while also just a small percentage of new vehicles sold, is bigger – and it's a segment where Nissan hasn't really been playing. The Altima Hybrid, for example, was killed off last year. No one really misses it, though, because Nissan is now able to get nearly equivalent fuel efficiency ratings without a battery. There are signs that Nissan is ready to change its tune

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Appealing To Both The Fast And Frugal

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Recently, Nissan unveiled its "Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians" (VSP), a technical name for the noise-adding system found on the automaker's Leaf electric vehicle. Introduction of the VSP system on the Leaf and similar setups found on vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt have been the subject of much debate. Automakers continue the quest, though, in part to satisfy the demands of the National Federation of the Blind and develop an aurally pleasing system that warns all pedestrians of appro

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2012 Infiniti M35h Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Infiniti M35h - Click above for high-res image gallery

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

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2010 Nissan Fuga/Infiniti M35 Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Nissan Fuga/Infiniti M35 Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

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File this under: spotlight on China. First, General Motors committed to Chinese market-specific hybrids and plug-ins, now Nissan wants in on the action. Case in point, Nissan will release its Leaf electric vehicle in China followed by a possible hybrid Infiniti and, if all goes as planned, the company will break ground on a Chinese production plant, too.

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2010 Nissan Fuga/Infiniti M35 Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Nissan Fuga/Infiniti M35 Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery

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We're expecting Infiniti to launch its first hybrid sometime in either 2010 or 2011, likely based on the M35 luxury sedan. Unlike past hybrids from Nissan, parent company of the Infiniti brand, this new technology will not be a licensed version of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive. Interestingly, reports out of Japan indicate that this new hybrid tech could filter on down the line to find itself under the shapely hood of Nissan's new 370Z.

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We're expecting Infiniti to launch its first hybrid sometime in either 2010 or 2011, likely based on the M35 luxury sedan. Unlike past hybrids from Nissan, parent company of the Infiniti brand, this new technology will not be a licensed version of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive. Interestingly, reports out of Japan indicate that this new hybrid tech could filter on down the line to find itself under the shapely hood of Nissan's new 370Z.

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Hints of a luxury hybrid from Infiniti have been around for a while (see these 2007 posts: 1, 2) and peaked with the word back in January that the Nissan brand would release its own hybrid next year. The big shift is that the new Infiniti hybrid will not be reliant on Toyota-sourced parts (see: the Nissan Altima hybrid sedan). The mists cleared even further this week when new reports from the AP in Tokyo said that the new Infiniti hybrid model will go on sale in the U.S. and Japan next year. Ni

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Infiniti Essence Concept

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Nissan, one of the Japanese Big Three automakers and a major player in the United States market, doesn't yet offer its own hybrid technology in a production model. Instead, it opts to license the fuel-saving bits and pieces from rival Toyota for its Altima midsize sedan. Not any longer. News is coming in from John Capps, who serves as chairman of the Infiniti National Dealer Advisory Board, that Nissan's upmarket luxury division is scheduled to get a new hybrid model for 2010. Instead of using T

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