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Sep25

Infiniti Joins Mazda in the Hybrid-free Zone

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

Whereas reputation varies amongst manufacturers, hybrids stay a troublesome promote in as we speak’s market, regardless of half of all automaker-produced literature going in the direction of the touting of their environmental cred. Nonetheless, few automakers stand aside from the crowd by not providing a inexperienced vehicle of some type, even when it’s a low-quantity, not often-heard-about providing aimed toward satisfying the EPA.

Infiniti, which just lately deep-sixed its Q70 Hybrid (not lengthy after jettisoning the QX60 Hybrid), has now completed the similar with the fuel-electric model of the Q50 midsize sedan. It’s a complicated product time at Infiniti, with new fashions arriving as others depart. This isn’t the finish of inexperienced automobiles for Nissan’s luxurious marque, nevertheless. Hybrid energy will return, simply not in the similar type.

Inexperienced Automotive Reviews broke the OEM-confirmed information late final week. With the Q50 Hybrid discontinued, Infiniti finds itself amongst a small variety of automakers with out an electrified vehicle.

We singled out Mazda in the headline, although Subaru additionally makes the grade — a minimum of, till the Crosstrek plug-in hybrid seems later this yr in sure U.S. states. Given the Q50 Hybrid’s low profile, gross sales couldn’t have been too scorching. And nor was the Q50 Hybrid scorching stuff when it got here to know-how. The mannequin stored its three.5-liter V6, supplementing its energy with that of an electric motor. Two-wheel drive fashions earned a 29 mpg score on the EPA’s mixed cycle.

The electrification technique outlined by Infiniti final yr guarantees a slew of hybrid and electric automobiles over the subsequent 5 years, however a little bit of Nissan tech already in use in Japan will function the spine of the hybrid effort. We’ve written about it earlier than: e-Energy. It’s a hybrid system the place a downsized gasoline era runs continuously, however doesn’t ever energy the drive wheels.

Earlier this yr, Philippe Klein, the automaker’s chief planning officer, stated the know-how would make it to the U.S. to be used in greater-finish automobiles that may extra simply take up the value of the system. e-Energy debuted in the low-value, Japanese-market Nissan Versa Word hatchback. Earlier than it seems in U.S.-market Infinitis, nevertheless, firm engineers should first beef up the system to deal with heavier automobiles.

[Image: © Corey Lewis/TTAC]

– Infiniti Joins Mazda in the Hybrid-free Zone –

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