First hybrid from Infiniti manages to combine impressive performance and economy
This is the new Infiniti M35h, the first-ever hybrid from Infiniti and the range-topper for its new M-series saloon.
Okay, so Infiniti perhaps isn't the most exciting or glamorous of luxury car brands, and hybrids do (often quite rightly) tend to get rather a rocky reception here at PH, but this is Infiniti's most powerful saloon, so we feel it does just about merit mention on PH.
Conventional power comes from a 302bhp 3.5-litre V6, with up to 67bhp of electric assistance, which makes for a combined peak power output of 359bhp.
That's enough to get the slippery (Cd of 0.26) and comparatively featherweight (at 1830kg the M35h actually weighs less than its M30d diesel sibling) car to 62mph from rest in a respectable 5.5secs and on to a limited 155mph top speed.
Considering that's combined with CO2 emissions of just 162g/km and an official combined fuel consumption figure of 40.4mpg, that's not half bad - you'd need a BMW 535d to better the fuel consumption, and even then the Infiniti would be marginally quicker.
That sort of economy cuts the first-year road tax down to a distinctly reasonable £155, and makes company car tax significantly less of a sting, too.
The M35h can also hit speeds of up to 50mph on electric power alone, which is an amusing party trick.
If you simply must have that BMW, then the Infiniti badge is not going to tempt you, but we have to admit that the numbers look like they might stack up. Especially if you don't want to drive something German and diesel-powered.
The M35h will be rolled out across Europe in the spring, with pricing announced at the Geneva motor show in March.
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I like that - looks a bit beefy and different to the standard German choices, althouhg I have always been a fan of the brand...
And is it me, or does it not have DRLs!!!
Max_Torque25 Jan 2011
The "figures" as always look lovely, but i suspect the real world may be less kind! The drive cycle fuel economy (and hence the low 162g/km CO2 figure) reflect very low load motoring, where the hybrids excel. However, start to use the performance and you are still left with a fairly large petrol engine in a car that will nearly weigh 2 tonnes by the time you've filled it with fuel and got into it. Unless you do a lot of town driving (in which case why are you buying a 300bhp car and not taking the bus ;-) i suspect that performance diesels will still be significantly better.
doogz25 Jan 2011
302bhp IC engine, and up to 67bhp from the electric motor.
Making a max peak power of 359bhp?
So, the electric motor doesn't make it's maximum power at max IC engine power. What would be the reason for that? Is the electric motor just for trundling about town? Still doesn't make sense to me.
Johnpidge25 Jan 2011
jimjim15025 Jan 2011
You want economy and performance? Just have something cheap to run for going to work and a fast car for weekends - sorted. I see any middle ground as pointless.