If you want to buy a hybrid automobile from luxury manufacturer Infiniti today, your only option is the performance-oriented M35h. The big sedan can reel off a 0-60 mph time of 5.2 seconds (on par with the range-topping M56), yet it still delivers 27 mpg around town and 32 mpg on the highway.
Those are impressive numbers, but the M35h isn’t the right choice for every buyer. To expand its hybrid product range, Infiniti is looking beyond the M35h’s normally-aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 and electric motor combination, towards a setup that will provide a bit less thrust and a bit more fuel economy.
As Autoweek reports, Nissan is working on a supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that will combine with an electric motor, lithium ion battery pack and continuously variable transmission for use in an upcoming Infiniti JX hybrid. The drivetrain could be built as a traditional parallel hybrid, or as a plug-in hybrid to further up fuel economy.
As the system is still under development, Nissan won’t provide numbers on combined output or fuel economy, but Autoweek says a prototype JX fitted with the drivetrain produced plenty of thrust. We can assume that it drinks less gas than the M35h’s V-6, too, though how much less remains to be seen.
Since it’s been designed for front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive applications, it’s unlikely the drivetrain will appear in the upcoming G35h (rumored to be among the next-generation G sedans), unless the car utilizes AWD, too. Until we hear otherwise, our best guess still has the car getting a de-tuned version of the M35h’s hybrid drivetrain.