By Colin Bird on February 6, 2011
Infiniti announced official EPA fuel-efficiency ratings today for its first hybrid model, the 2012 M35h. The hybrid sedan has a 27/32 mpg city/highway rating, with a combined composite rating of 29 mpg.
That’s better than the 25/30 mpg rating Infiniti estimated earlier this fall, and it’s more fuel efficient than BMW ActiveHybrid models, the Mercedes S400 Hybrid and the BMW 335d diesel.
The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is more fuel efficient, at 41/36 mpg, but that model features a less powerful four-cylinder compared with the Infiniti’s V-6 power. It is also a smaller sedan.
Speaking of the powertrain, this is the first hybrid system for this Japanese luxury carmaker. Infiniti’s Direct Response Hybrid system is powered by a 302-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 plus a 50-kilowatt electric motor for 360 net hp, which should be pretty punchy.
The best comparison is this will be a more fuel-efficient player to the sporty-minded Lexus GS 450h, which only nets a 23 mpg combined EPA rating and has been a poor seller since being introduced. In fact, not many luxury hybrids have sold well.
The M35h is scheduled for a spring rollout. Do you think it will fare better than past competitors?