For two years now Nissan has been offering the Altima sedan for sale but the essential technology of the car, a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain, is derived from Toyota. The carmaker has always said that it will come up with a vehicle with its own hybrid drive system, and last year, in August, Nissan provided us with an initial preview of some of the technologies it was currently developing. Nissan did not provide any confirmation when they will come up with their own production hybrid system but there are reports coming out that the first models will be available in the US and Japan in 2010.
The reports are pointing to the next-generation Infiniti M sedan which is set to come out in 2010, will be the first to use the new hybrid drivetrain that will ultimately reach more luxury models and sport cars. In contrast to its competitors, the hybrid system of Nissan will be dependent on lithium-ion batteries which they claim comes with quicker recharging characteristics and are more powerful.
Nissan's hybrid drivetrain comes with dual-clutch with the electric motor connected straight to the powerplant and transmission through these clutches. Traditional torque converters are not needed in this parallel-powertrain hybrid setup, thus offering higher responsiveness and linear acceleration for enhanced driving pleasure. It comes with varying driving modes which includes electric only for low speed driving, combined electric and gasoline for high load driving and gasoline only power for cruising.
Nissan showcased its new hybrid system at the Geneva Motor Show through the Infiniti Essence Concept car where it also brought in a couple of turbochargers and direct injection technology for a total power yield of 592hp (442kW). Nissan will introduce direct-injection technology across its range to improve performance and lower fuel consumption. This technology will be introduced in 2010 using the Nissan M sedan.
Infiniti's most technologically advanced and beautiful saloon car yet, the third-generation Infiniti M will bring to Europe its impeccable reputation for quality amongst American luxury car buyers. Every Infiniti M model that will be arriving is equipped to succeed in some of the world's toughest executive car markets—merging qualities that have made it a popular car in the US, with the high-performance abilities needed to compete on European roads.
The new Infiniti M has been showcased at an unveiling in Beverly Hills, California, before US sales commenced in the spring of 2010. But in August this year, it appeared as a "virtual" car created in 3D by video mapping.
The new Infiniti M Line has been able to call on key Infiniti strengths in order to satisfy the ever-growing automotive demands by drivers and customers. These include lightweight componentry, race-bred engine machinery, advanced chassis design with near perfect weight distribution and proven double-wishbone suspension for sports handling, adaptive technology, and a 4-Wheel Active Steering (4WAS).
The fact that Infinity M has one of the longest wheelbases in the class is sure to appeal to buyers as it also helps improve its appearance and its ride as well as expand its cabin space.
Trademark Infiniti body
The M has a signature Infiniti design, with its slight curves and complex surfacing providing an emotional appeal that is a contrast from the usual colder, more austere style. Its front bumper section and deeply sculpted door surfaces add a certain level of uniqueness as well as make it seem more aggressive and mysterious. The body crease found under the glasshouse is the clearest of several design cues taken from Essence, which is the Infiniti concept car that was launched at the Geneva Auto Show during the early part of 2009.