A hybrid version of the Nissan Fuga (better known as the Infiniti M35/45 on these shores) could deliver an up to 90 percent better fuel-efficiency than its conventionally powered model, Nissan’s chief engineer for hybrid systems told The Nikkei [sub] today.
“We expect fuel economy to improve by 60 percent to 90 percent” over the conventional model, chief engineer Koichi Hayasaki said at a media briefing.
Up until now, Nissan used hybrid technology developed by Toyota. The Fuga/Infiniti will be the first car to use a hybrid system developed by Nissan in-house. If Hayasaki-san is right, it might give Toyota some headaches. It could also be a game changer in Europe. Europe is usually hybrid-adverse, but 60 to 90 percent better mileage could change that.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Nissan will roll out the Fuga hybrid this autumn in Japan and next year in the U.S.
Hayasaki said Nissan’s own hybrid system will be about 30 kilograms lighter than Toyota’s system. Nissan’s system uses one electric motor whereas Toyota’s uses two. The engineer said the cost of Nissan’s hybrid system should be lower that those of Toyota’s because it’s simpler. Better mileage at a lower price point could induce serious headaches.