Infiniti has already made it clear that it will bring an electric car to market and according to recent reports, the luxury EV will be based on Nissan’s upcoming Leaf electric car. Due out around 2014, the Infiniti version will be zero-emissions, but it won’t be slow. By that time, Nissan/Infiniti plans that lithium-ion battery advancements should allow a range similar to the Leaf (roughly 100 miles), while offering improved performance. Currently, the Leaf is rated at 107-hp and 207 ft-lbs of torque.
Understandably, the car will get an all-new body, which should be a sexy as the rest of the luxury lineup. A premium interior is also sure to be included.
In an interview with Top Gear, Infiniti’s UK boss commented that the brand is looking to take a more mass-market approach to electric cars. “We want lots of buyers quickly, so we are making a family car. We have no intention to make a niche EV. Besides, big vehicles are too heavy for today’s batteries, which is why our car will be compact.”
In addition to electric cars, Infiniti will launch its first hybrid model in 2011. The M35 Hybrid uses the G35’s 3.5-liter V6, paired with an electric motor, lithium-ion battery pack and Infiniti’s 7-speed automatic transmission to deliver rear-drive performance, with improved fuel economy. While no engine or fuel economy numbers are available, the 3.5-liter V6 likely makes about 300-hp, while the electric motor adds 67-hp and 199 ft-lbs of torque. This shoudl deliver a marked improvement over the new M37’s 18/26 (city/highway) rating.