Infiniti M Hybrid claims crown as fastest accelerating hybrid
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Infiniti sales have slackened recently and Infiniti may be hoping to fire up some interest via their YouTube channel. This one had racked up just under 40K views when we looked, noticing another titled Infiniti’s Range-Extended Sport Car concept (more on that later).
The 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid is a fairly typical looking (at least externally) sports sedan featuring a 3.5-liter V6 couple to a lithium-ion battery and 50 kW electric motor together referred to as Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid drive. The combined gas and electric motors produce the equivalent of 360 horsepower while still delivering a combined 32-mpg fuel economy. Chances are the more you drive it like a sports car or a hybrid affects efficiency to one degree or another.
The combustions engine features dual overhead cams, 24 valves finely polished camshafts, steel intake and exhaust valves plus a Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System optimizing the function of intake and exhaust valves.
As a hybrid, it takes advantage of an electronically controlled 7-speed automatic with Adaptive Shift Control, a embedded learning system measures driving style, adjusting automatic shifts to monitored driving habits. Sequential shifting is allowed in the manual mode.
With its electric hybrid power steering the Infiniti M Hybrid uses an electric motor to create hydraulic oil pressure providing a more familiar handling feel reportedly not like hybrids that are more boat-like in their steering response. Infiniti calls this their Hybrid-Electric Power Steering (H-EPS) system, which delivers a more traditional sporting feel while still getting great fuel economy.
The sedan rides on independent, double-wishbones with coil springs over double piston shock absorbers, stabilizers and anti-roll bars. Double piston shock absorbers provide varied damping force at different vibration levels, flattening and smoothing tracking.
Braking is accomplished with 12.6 x 1.1-inch ventilated discs in front and 12.1 x 0.6-inch ventilated discs in back plus 4-wheel, 4-channel ABS. Naturally the Infiniti M Hybrid takes advantage of regenerative braking.
The quick hybrid has 18 x 8-inch, double 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 245/50R18 V-rated all-season performance tires. The Infiinti M Hybrid has a base price of $53,700 and whether Infiniti is firing the public’s imagination or not, we can’t wait to test drive this and other models in the Ininiti M lineup.