Hybrid and record-breaking rarely go in the same sentence together, yet luxury car maker Infiniti have recently forced people to do just that. The M35h model posted a quarter mile time of 13.9 seconds to break the record for hybrid cars. The undeniably impressive performance puts the car at a par with the 1998 BMW M3 and a 1982 Lamborghini – so it may not be at the bleeding edge of modern speed, yet this is still one fast car we are talking about.
This exercise is quite an interesting step in the evolution of hybrid cars. Generally people after hybrids are looking for efficiency not speed, yet Infiniti are clearly trying to show that their new model can do both. The vehicle as has a 3.5 litre V-6 engine which will churn out 302 horsepower and 258 pounds per foot of torque, which is pretty considerable when you consider its green design.
The car itself still maintains pretty good energy efficiency at 27 mpg for city driving and 32 for highways. This is encouraging to see, as one would wonder whether this is a hybrid in name alone, yet this is clearly not the case.
The M35H is also an interesting step for hybrid cars as it is very much a luxury vehicle. The Toyota Prius is a great car yet no one is ever going to confuse it with a luxury model – it will be interesting to see if more car makers start fusing luxury with eco-efficiency. The business model does make sense as many affluent people are concerned about their carbon footprints.
This recent record breaking performance will certainly help raise the profile of hybrid cars. These events are always a chance for the automotive industry to demonstrate what the future is going to look like. Given the superior performance of this car, we might be heading towards a future where performance and energy efficiency go hand in hand.