Infiniti has confirmed the official performance, emission and fuel consumption figures for its first hybrid, the M35h. The figures are impressive, too: the Infiniti M35h is quicker, cleaner and greener than its petrol or diesel siblings, and not far behind rivals like the BMW 5-series.
So if choose hybrid petrol power over diesel, what figures will my new Infiniti M35h boast?
Let’s start with what you get, and under the bonnet is a 3.5-litre V6 that Nissan 350Z owners might recognise. It’s mated to a 67bhp electric motor via a dry clutch, meaning the petrol V6 can be disconnected during zero emissions running to reduce mechanical losses. On the other side of the electric motor is a seven-speed automatic, which in turn is mated to a wet clutch that smoothes out the torque fluctuations when the petrol engine kicks back in.
Add all this together and the results are 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds, 40.4mpg and 162g/km. Those figures make it much quicker than the 3.7-litre M37, which can only manage 6.2 seconds, 27.7mpg and 235g/km. It bests the M30d too, which boasts 6.9 seconds, 37.7mpg and 199g/km. Of course, the M30d isn’t the cleanest or most efficient big diesel: BMW’s 530d achieves 6.3, 44.8mpg and 166g/km.
All the electrics add weight, so although the M35h weighs 15kg less than the M30d, it does weigh 115kg more than the M37, at 1830kg. Infiniti claims the M35h can run on electric power alone up to 50mph, and so you know it’s coming there’s a audible warning system. Dubbed Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians (VSP), the system emits ‘a pleasing, non-intrusive sound that varies in pitch and volume at vehicle speeds up to 30 km/h’.
How does the Infiniti match up against its rivals?
BMW and Mercedes don’t yet have hybrid versions of the 5-series and E-class, so for now the Infiniti M35h is up against the ageing Lexus GS450h and the new Audi A6 Hybrid. Infiniti’s Japanese rival achieves 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds, 36.7mpg and 179g/km. The new A6 Hybrid isn’t as powerful as the Infiniti because the petrol engine is 2.0 TFSI unit producing 208bhp and 258lb ft. The electric motor adds 33kW and 155lb ft and the headline figures are 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds, 148mph, 45.6mpg and 142g/km.
Infiniti will announce prices for the M35h at the 2011 Geneva motor show, but the hybrid is expected to carry premium of at least £5000 over and above the petrol M37.
CAR has already driven a prototype version of the Infiniti M35h. Click here for our first drive review