Infiniti M hybrid gets 32 MPG on the highway

Infiniti boasted last fall that its M hybrid, due for a spring 2012 release, would be the only vehicle to offer more than 350 horsepower and 30 miles per gallon fuel economy, making it “the first true luxury performance ‘driver’s’ hybrid.”

With the car’s official Environmental Protection Agency highway rating now in, that claim has been upgraded: The M hybrid is now “the only such vehicle to offer more than 350 horsepower and 32 mpg fuel economy,” the company said.

For city driving the EPA gave the car 27 mpg, adding up to a combined 29 mpg.

Compared to the gas-powered Infiniti M cars, these are pretty spectacular numbers.

The 2011 M37, for instance, comes in at 18 city, 26 highway and 21 combined.

As Car and Driver noted, too, the M35h is also a big winner over a competing hybrid luxury car, the Lexus GS450h, with its 22 city and 25 highway ratings.

According to the company, the M hybrid sports an advanced one-motor, two-clutch parallel hybrid design that brings together a 3..5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine and a 50-kilowatt electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery to provide net power of 360 horsepower.

The vehicle can drive on electric power alone at speeds up to 62 mph and can travel on electric propulsion for up to 1.2 miles at a time.

Pete Danko, EarthTechling