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Along with the debut of the new Fit EV Concept at the LA Auto Show, Honda provided details on its first-ever plug-in hybrid powertrain that will hit the market over the next few years.
While Honda has already said the system will be a two-mode hybrid and will be designed to work with a mid-size platform (like the Accord), today Honda CEO Takanobu Ito revealed that the powertrain will make use of a 2.0-liter iVTEC 4-cylinder engine – likely a version of the current K Series powerplant used in the Civic Si.
Using regenerative braking to recharge the battery and featuring a start-stop system, the plug-in hybrid will make use of a 6kWh lithium-ion battery mated to a 120 kW electric motor delivering a 10-15 mile range on just electricity.
Charging the battery will take roughly 2 hours using a conventional outlet, or just an hour using a 240-volt outlet.
Honda also says the car will revert to a direct-drive mode for highway cruising, where only the engine will drive the wheels.
Official release after the jump:
Infiniti will officially debut the production version of the M35 hybrid at the LA Auto Show later this year and it’s likely to be followed by more hybrid models from the Japanese luxury automaker. According to an Automotive News interview with Ben Poore, VP of Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury arm is currently studying what other models could use the hybrid setup.
Included in the list of most likely candidates are the G sedan, as well as the EX and FX crossovers. According to Nissan North America product planning boss Larry Dominique, the M’s hybrid system will work in all three of these platforms and was designed that way from the start.
The hybrid system that will debut in the M35 h will deliver a significant increase in fuel economy. According to Infiniti’s own engineers the M35 should deliver anywhere from a 60 percent to 90 percent improvement over the standard gasoline-powered model. Impressively, the new Infiniti hybrid powertrain is also touted to be both lighter, simpler and less expensive than, say, Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive, which delivers a 30 percent improvement in fuel economy.
[Source: Automotive News]