Infiniti Hybrid: "We Need to Make Some Adjustments Before 2010"

infiniti hybrid we need to make some adjustments before 2010

It's never a good idea to let journalists loose on a prototype. Even the tamest of the breed feels obliged to point out the vehicle's deficiencies. In this case, AutoWeek's Hans Greimel flew to Japan to test Nissan's gas – electric Infiniti G35. Needless to say, it didn't fail to disappoint. "During a prototype test drive for journalists last week in Japan, the hybrid car suffered awkward lags when the engine kicked in to help the electric motor. Deceleration also was jerky because of battery regeneration. 'We still have a few issues with this development vehicle,' says Tatsuo Abe, manager of Nissan's hybrid engineering unit." News-wise, Nissan hasn't decided which Infiniti to hybridize, but it won't try to out-mpg the Prius. "Toyota is the current leader, and one of our intentions is to approach hybrids from a different angle," Product Veep Atsushi Shizuta told AW's Man in Japan. "This is as much about power assist as it is about fuel economy." Hans sees the flaw in that one. "Honda pitched the performance of its Accord Hybrid sedan but dumped the model at the end of the 2007 model year after lackluster sales. Honda is now planning a hybrid Fit small car, which should achieve excellent fuel economy."

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  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Aug 13, 2008

    I'm not sure how well a hybrid G35 will sell, especially given the "meh" response to the GS400h. Every Prius driver I met mentions the packaging efficiency before they start talking mileage. Hybrid buyers seem to veer away from the more impractically-packaged choices, and the G35 isn't exactly roomy. Now, a hybrid EX, that would be sweet.

  • on Aug 13, 2008

    The most obvious application of hybrid technology in anything aspiring to sportiness or the typical midsize car - I can already hear the Prius fans out there screaming that the Prius is a midsize sedan, but it's still just an economy car to me - making a 4 cylinder engine with it's commensurate better gas mileage feel like a 6 cylinder when you floor the accelerator.

  • Shaker Shaker on Aug 13, 2008

    They need take a page from the Prius, and design the platform around the Hybrid bits, otherwise it will have compromised cargo room and funky dynamics (with the regen braking and likely CVT)

  • Seabrjim Seabrjim on Aug 13, 2008

    Is the year 2010 turning into its own cult?