Nissan Launches New Fuga Hybrid Sedan in Japan

October 26, 2010

Nissan is introducing a new hybrid sedan for sale in Japan.  The Nissan Fuga Hybrid is a full-size luxury sedan, not a mid-size, mid-price like the Nissan Altima Hybrid.

The Fuga Hybrid goes on sale in Japan in November 2010, and is due to arrive arrive in North America in 2011 as a 2012 model, re-badged as the Infiniti M Hybrid. That gives Nissan/Infiniti one model year to tinker and refine it even further before shipping it across the Pacific.   

This is the first Nissan or Infiniti hybrid to be developed in-house.  The Altima uses hybrid technology leased from Toyota, which bought Nissan time to develop its own.

The new Fuga Hybrid uses a high-output lithium-ion battery pack.  That's standard in hybrids these days.  But there are other revolutionary features, such as a seven-speed transmission with a manual shift mode.  The only other manual hybrid on the market now is the 2011 Honda CR-Z, which is available either as an automatic or a manual, not both in one tranny.
Also what makes the Fuga/M unusual is that the electric motor and Nissan's well-regarded 3.5 liter V-6 engine are connected directly to the transmission without the use of a traditional torque converter.  And, there's a dual-clutch system.  Since one of the two clutches disconnects the motor from the engine, Nissan says the vehicle is extra quiet and extra efficient in EV mode.  

Super-quiet operation can be a problem for pedestrians who can't hear a car that's not making any sounds.  So, Nissan has added something called AVSP -- approaching vehicle sound for pedestrians -- which adds the sound of the car starting any time the car slows to under 20 mph.  Nissan also has added a beeping sound when the Fuga Hybrid is in reverse.  

The new Nissan Fuga Hybrid is priced at around six million.  Yen, that is.  In dollars, that's around $75,000.

The Car Connection
See the winners »
The Car Connection
Commenting is closed for this article
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car