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Infiniti M hybrid takes on Germany's best

Mon, 23 Jan 2012

Infiniti is taking the fight to Porsche in a new promotional video. The Japanese company claims to have the fastest hybrid sedan on the market and aims to prove it.

The video starts with the Porsche Panamera S hybrid on a strip of concrete. A Stig lookalike gets in the car and pulls up to the starting line. In the Porsche's reflection we see the 360-hp Infiniti M hybrid; it's only later revealed that the Infiniti driver is an average man with a helmet and no race suit.

We get a front view as the 380-hp Porsche smokes the tires off the line, only to find out that the shot was from the side mirror of the Infiniti. The M crosses the line a car-length ahead, certifying it as the fastest full hybrid in the world. The Guinness World Record company lends its lawyer speak in the margins to verify the claim.

The 2012 M hybrid gets power from a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 258 lb-ft of torque in addition to the 360 hp combines. We tested the hybrid last February. The electric motor adds 199 lb-ft of torque from just 1,770 rpm, giving the M a good bite off the line.

Fuel economy in the Infiniti is rated at an impressive 32 mpg on the highway, while the Panamera comes in at 30 mpg. The M hybrid weighs in at 4,129 pounds for a power-to-weight ratio of 11.46 pounds/horsepower. The Panamera, to compare, weighs in at 4,365 pounds, giving it a very similar ratio of 11.48 pounds/horsepower. The sprint to 60 takes 5.7 seconds in the Porsche and “under six seconds” in the Infiniti.

To make things just a bit more interesting for buyers, the Porsche sedan costs $95,975 including destination, while the M35h costs just $54,595.

We don't know the length of this race or the conditions under which it was performed. But Guinness is no mom-and-pop shop, so we're guessing it's legit. Your move, Stuttgart.

By Jake Lingeman