Thursday, 29 March 2012 11:11 AM
Infiniti, Nissan's premium brand, is trying to encourage more fleet buyers to go a little greener by adding the Infiniti M35h hybrid to their garages. Touted as the fastest bybrid saloon with emissions under 160g/km (the emissions on this one are at 159g/km...), this means it is under a major tax threshold for the first time, which can help companies and drivers save a bit of cash.
The 20% per year Write Down Allowance cuts fleet costs - cars that emit more than 169g/km only qualify for 10% Write Down Allowance - and there will be a smaller benefit-in-kind tax bill for drivers
The lower emissions figure also means the M35h drops down one tax band for drivers, from 23 to 22% for 2012/13. This saves a 40% taxpayer around £180 a year.
Inifiniti's boffins have also been working hard to reduce emissions and cut running costs by enhancing the electric motor accuracy and battery charging to allow drivers to spend a bit more time in silent, zero-emissions mode rather than just burning through the petrol all the time.
Fuel consumption was tested in the 2011 MPG Marathon and the combined figure for the 359bhp petrol/electric model was 40.9pmg and on the highway, the M35h can eke out more than 50mpg. Over a varied 370-mile route, the M35h managed an overall 43.4mpg with almost half the distance driven on electric power alone.
As a bonus, the M35h does 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds, beating Porsche and BMW hybrid rivals. The base model price is £46,840, £1,180 more than the equivalent Infiniti M30d. Will other manufacturers start following suit and reduce the premium they charge for their hybrids?
By Georgia Lewis
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