Thursday, 22 September 2011 3:53 PM
The all-new Infiniti M35h, now on sale in 21 European markets, has set a Guinness World record for the fastest full hybrid car. The petrol/electric acceleration benchmark was set over a quarter mile at the UK’s Santa Pod drag strip.
The 359bhp petrol/electric saloon covered the quarter-mile in 13.9031 seconds - an average time taken from all the runs done by journalist Tim Pollard. A standard production model was used and the M35h took off from a standing start - the instant torque from the electric motor and the power of the V6 at high revs conspired to have it pass the 100mph mark on every run. Pollard found the car performed the best when he left the automatic gearbox to shift rather than doing it manually - that led to him posting a time of 13.8960 seconds, the fastest of the runs.
This performance puts it on par with the 1982 Lamborghini Countach 1 and in touching distance of some Porsches, Ferraris and Aston Martins. But unlike these cars, the M35h has CO2 emissions of 162g/km and a combined fuel economy of around 40.4mpg and is just £1,180 more than the diesel equivalent Infiniti M30d.
Pollard says he was also impressed by the comfort and luxury of the M35h - at nearly five metres long, the four-door, five-seater offers serious performance for a large car, as well as all the luxuries consumers now expect from Nissan’s premium brand.
Infiniti sees cars such as the BMW 5 Series and Jaguar XF as its main competitors in the cut-throat European market and the brand has a goal of reaching 10% of the luxury sector by 2016.
By Georgia Lewis
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