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PHOTO CAPTION: 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid

Test Driving the 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid

Columnist Jeremy Cato shares his views on Infiniti's first luxury hybrid priced at $67,300 that 'one-ups' the Lexus GS 450h.

Published: 13-Jun-2011

The 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid – the M 35h at $67,300 – is important for parent Nissan for a long list of reason, not least of which is this: here we have Nissan’s first in-house hybrid.

The current Altima Hybrid ($33,398) uses a hybrid system licensed from competitor Toyota. If the M Hybrid is the future, we can conclude that Nissan does not want to do hybrids the Toyota way.

Why? Toyota’s design is complex and locked down with a massive array of patents. Even if Nissan wanted to go down that road, avoiding patent infringement would be a big undertaking. The alternative is to keep buying Toyota’s technology and that’s completely unpalatable for Infiniti and Nissan.

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