Nissan's new hybrid system not ready for prime time, yet

Nissan is in the midst of developing its own hybrid drive system that is scheduled to debut on rear wheel drive Infiniti models in 2010. According to reports from Japan last week, its a good thing Nissan still has two years until Job 1 since the system has still not reached the level of refinement needed to be competitive in the current market. The system has some impressive specifications including a 110 lb lithium ion battery that can provide a three mile electric drive range. Unfortunately during a media drive last week the prototype apparently did not behave as seamlessly as people have come to expect from the latest production hybrids. Deceleration during regenerative braking was uneven and acceleration during mode transitions sagged. For now Nissan doesn't plan on offering any hybrid only models like the Prius and the new system is being developed in a G35 sedan, although a different car could be used for production. The hybrid drive is claimed to boost fuel efficiency by 40 percent.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. req'd]

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