Hybrid 370Z on the way?
We here at Top Speed have some interesting news that could destroy every preconceived notion you’ve ever had about hybrids. Infiniti already announced that they would like to start introducing hybrid power trains into their larger models, as was demonstrated with the Infiniti Essence concept car. The first vehicle that could see the gas electric benefits could be the Nissan Fuga, or Infiniti M here in the U.S., as early as this year and sold as a 2010 model. The beauty of the trickledown effect is that the same technology could find its way into Nissan’s newest Z car, the 370Z. This would mark the first time that an automotive manufacturer will mass produce a high performance hybrid sports car.
A hybrid 370Z would be powered by a similar, if not the same, VQ37VHR 3.7 Liter V6 combined with a lithium ion battery pack produced by a Nissan-NEC partnership. This revolutionary hybrid battery will produce nearly twice the energy density of the battery packs used by current models, meaning a longer lasting much more powerful charge. The system would employ a double clutch setup with the first placed between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor with the other clutch connecting the electric motor with the drive wheels.
The hybrid 370Z is projected to get about 35 MPG in mixed driving as opposed to the gas burning 23 MPG, and would even feature an EV mode for around town cruising. Is it likely that Nissan will follow through to become the first makers of a high performance hybrid; we will have to wait and see in 2011?