2012 Infiniti M Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery
The other day, we reported that Nissan axed the Altima Hybrid for 2012. Now comes word that the Japanese automaker is developing a modified version of its in-house hybrid vehicle technology that debuted on the 2012 Infiniti M35h for use in the next-generation Altima Hybrid, which will reportedly debut in 2012.
The rear-wheel-drive hybrid powertrain will have to be adapted for the Altima's front-wheel-drive platform. Japan's Nikkan Kogyo newspaper reports that the next-gen Altima Hybrid will run with a one-motor, two-clutch system bolted to a four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission. Nissan declined to confirm the report.
The Infiniti M35h's official EPA fuel economy rating rings in at 27/32 mpg city/highway, with a combined rating of 29 mpg. The M35h features a 3.5-liter Atkinson-cycle V6 engine, paired with a 50-kW electric motor that's powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. The gas-electric Infiniti's fuel economy rating compares favorably to that of base M37 model, which sports a 3.7-liter, 330-horsepower V6 and achieves 18/26 mpg city/highway with a combined rating of 21 mpg. Here's hoping the M35h's impressive specs transfer over to the next-gen Altima Hybrid.