After watching from the shadows for years as Toyota dominated the hybrid market, Nissan is finally preparing to launch it’s own ground-up hybrid vehicle; except it won’t be a Nissan, it will be an Infiniti.
According to a report in Japan’s Nikkei, which cites no sources, the hybrid will be based on Infiniti’s mid-level luxury M platform and would hit the market in 2010 in both Japan and North America.
Currently Nissan does offer one hybrid in its lineup, the Altima Hybrid, but that vehicle actually uses a Toyota hybrid system. Nissan is promising its new hybrid system will provide more power and do so much faster.
At this point it is unclear if Nissan’s new hybrid technology would be similar to the second generation setups currently being brought to market by automakers like Toyota or if the new hybrid system would use a lithium polymer (as opposed to lithium ion) setup – something which Hyundai is currently exploring.
The article also says that Nissan has significant hybrid ambitions with plans for many hybrid models in the future, both in the luxury and performance segments.
Infiniti recently debuted it’s Essence Concept at the Geneva Auto Show, a 600hp hybrid Grand Tourer, that gets its power from a 440hp twin-turbocharged direct-injection 3.7-liter V6 and a 160hp electric motor. Infiniti says that the electric motor in the Essence makes twice the power f a conventional electric motor due to its unique makeup.
[Souce: Nikkei via BusinessWeek]