By on September 24, 2018

Image: 2018 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Sport, image © Corey Lewis

While popularity varies among brands, hybrids remain a tough sell in today’s marketplace, despite half of all automaker-produced literature going towards the touting of their environmental cred. Still, few automakers stand apart from the crowd by not offering a green vehicle of some sort, even if it’s a low-volume, rarely-heard-about offering aimed at satisfying the EPA.

Infiniti, which recently deep-sixed its Q70 Hybrid (not long after jettisoning the QX60 Hybrid), has now done the same with the gas-electric version of the Q50 midsize sedan. It’s a confusing product time at Infiniti, with new models arriving as others depart. This isn’t the end of green vehicles for Nissan’s luxury marque, however. Hybrid power will return, just not in the same form.

Green Car Reports broke the OEM-confirmed news late last week. With the Q50 Hybrid discontinued, Infiniti finds itself among a small number of automakers without an electrified vehicle.

We singled out Mazda in the headline, though Subaru also makes the grade — at least, until the Crosstrek plug-in hybrid appears later this year in certain U.S. states. Given the Q50 Hybrid’s low profile, sales couldn’t have been too hot. And nor was the Q50 Hybrid hot stuff when it came to technology. The model kept its 3.5-liter V6, supplementing its power with that of an electric motor. Two-wheel drive models earned a 29 mpg rating on the EPA’s combined cycle.

The electrification strategy outlined by Infiniti last year promises a slew of hybrid and electric vehicles over the next five years, but a bit of Nissan tech already in use in Japan will serve as the backbone of the hybrid effort. We’ve written about it before: e-Power. It’s a hybrid system where a downsized gasoline generation runs constantly, but doesn’t ever power the drive wheels.

Earlier this year, Philippe Klein, the automaker’s chief planning officer, said the technology would make it to the U.S. for use in higher-end vehicles that can more easily absorb the cost of the system. e-Power debuted in the low-cost, Japanese-market Nissan Versa Note hatchback. Before it appears in U.S.-market Infinitis, however, company engineers must first beef up the system to handle heavier vehicles.

[Image: © Corey Lewis/TTAC]

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10 Comments on “Infiniti Joins Mazda in the Hybrid-free Zone...”


  • avatar
    stingray65

    Customers don’t want green vehicles, manufacturers lose money on them, but the government knows best, which is also why social security, medicare, medicaid, Amtrak, and the federal deficit are so well managed.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      Sting.

      Best Comment of the day. You are correct sir.

      • 0 avatar
        dima

        Not necessarily. I wanted one, and got one. You see it works very well in the areas where gas prices are high. I pay close to $2 per liter! When my hybrid averages 5l/100 km, I love it. What you say perhaps correct in US, but in other EU countries it not as simple. The other issue, we Europeans love to support local manufacturers. Since not many EU car manufacturers can do hybrids well and cheaply, you have to cross shop Japanese car manufacturer. Here is why sales of hybrids are not as strong as they should be.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      In a lot of cases, you’re correct. However, attempting to make that statement ‘universal’ of course makes it badly incorrect. There’s a lot of out there (maybe a minority of car buyers, but still enough numbers for a few manufacturers to make it worthwhile) who want green, hybrid, possibly electric vehicles.

      And we don’t give a damn about those of you who want said vehicles to go away.

  • avatar
    jfb43

    Is a getting sporty, fun, engaging, well-styled, and relatively affordable hybrid that much to ask from manufacturers? Or do they all have to be lame billboards of compromised mediocrity?

    • 0 avatar
      ACCvsBig10

      hybrids should be boring grocery getters with 2.0l na or smaller engines

      One of the best hybrids is probably the acura mdx, it would nice if they could fit that in the new rdx

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        “hybrids should be boring grocery getters with 2.0l na or smaller engines”

        Why? Performance cars are exactly where hybrid tech could really shine. Imagine the M3, but with a high revving NA I6 + hybrid “torque filler” + emissions cleaner rather than its current engine. Batteries would shift weight back and low. Fuel economy would be better. Only downside is potentially more weight… but a 1 kWh battery pack only weighs like 100-150lbs.

  • avatar
    MoDo

    I was at an Infiniti dealer show back in 2014 and they showed a Q60 sedan that was supposed to be coming out along with the Q60 coupe (G35) but the sedan is still absent. Looked better than the Q50.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    That’s a shame. I love the looks and size of the Q50, but the regular VQ has that terrible gas mileage, and the Mercedes 2.0T is awful. The hybrid was the best of both worlds. I was hoping they’d improve it by swapping the VQ for that 2.0T. For a while the hybrid was the performance car of the line…. a mid 13 second quarter mile and 30MPG combined. Who can hate on that?


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