Infiniti confirms new QX60 (JX35) hybrid for New York reveal

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Finally a hybrid crossover competitor for the Lexus RX 450h! While the soon to be renamed Infiniti JX cum QX60 is a seven-passenger crossover compared to just five seats for the RX 450h, it's nevertheless the first crossover to dare go mano-o-mano with the luxury hybrid CUV originator. Infiniti just announced that the electrified QX is to debut at the New York International Auto Show at the end of the month, although it seems to be taking a different tact to performance than the hybrid RX.

Where the RX450h is seen as the more performance-oriented version in the RX lineup, the QX60 Hybrid will focus more on fuel economy than one-upping the 3.5-litre powered regular model. The hybrid version will join a supercharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with a 15 kW electric motor to power all wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The QX60 Hybrid pulls much of its HEV technology from Infiniti's renowned M35h hybrid sedan, although due to a four-cylinder instead of a high-performance V6, output is limited to 250-horsepower. Part of the Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid system is a state-of-the-art Lithium-ion battery, more advanced than the RX 450h's nickel metal-hydride unit, while an Intelligent Regenerative Braking system helps to recharge the battery when braking.

Infiniti says the new powertrain will deliver "power equivalent to the 3.5-litre V6 but with 4-cylinder fuel economy," estimates of which put the vehicle's combined city/highway rating at a metric-converted 9.0 L/100km on the EPA ratings scale. That represents a "24 percent increase over non-hybrid QX60 models, says Infiniti."  

The new Li-ion battery will be housed under the QX's third row seat, so the new HEV should benefit from passenger and cargo capacities equivalent to the current conventionally powered model.

Infiniti has traditionally been very aggressive with its pricing, so only expect a small premium over the regular QX when this 2014 model year hybrid goes on sale; a press release quotes an approximate $3,000 increase over the regular QX60 in the U.S.

Together with the Q70 Hybrid (previously M35h) and the upcoming Q50 Hybrid, Infiniti will grow from the current one HEV to a lineup incorporating three for 2014.

The new 2014 QX60 Hybrid will debut in Manhattan's Jacob Javits Centre on March 27.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Hybrid, HEV, Infiniti, 2014, JX35, QX60, $50,000 - $74,999,

Organizations: Infiniti

Geographic location: New York

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