August 6, 2008

Nissan unveils hybrid Infiniti prototype

Nearly a year and a half after the introduction of the Altima Hybrid, Nissan unveiled two new prototypes that indicate the future of the company's low and zero-emission vehicles.

A version of the Infiniti G37 sedan was presented, showcasing a parallel gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain.

In addition to the award-winning VQ-series 3.7 liter V-6, the prototype hybrid uses a pair of electric motors. Both motors are equipped with computer controlled clutches. By combining or alternating power from one or both sources, the hybrid Infiniti can run solely on electric power at low speeds and merge both gasoline and electric power for improved acceleration.

Of importance to enthusiast drivers, the Nissan drivetrain merges electric and gasoline power before it is routed through the transmission. Unlike Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive which relies on a planetary gearbox to divy up the work between the electric and gas motors, Nissan's system can be equipped with either an conventional automatic or manual gearbox.

When the Infiniti hybrid will hit the streets is still anyone's guess, but today's announcement proves indisputably that Nissan will continue to invest in hybrid automobiles.


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