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Infiniti's first hybrid to debut in Los Angeles

Infiniti announces that its 2012 M35 Hybrid will debut at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.

2012 Infiniti M35 Hybrid
The 2012 Infiniti M35 Hybrid is based on the updated Infiniti M sedan launched as the 2011 M56. Infiniti

Although few details have been released, Infiniti made pictures available of its long-rumored M hybrid sedan, which will be unveiled at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. The car enters production in 2011 as the 2012 Infiniti M35 Hybrid.

The body style for the M35 Hybrid is the same as the new generation Infiniti M sedan, which we reviewed as the 2011 M56. With its graceful curves and interior appointments, the new M takes a step toward flagship sedan status, but still feels a bit small when compared to stalwarts such as the Audi A8 and Mercedes-Benz S-class.

2012 Infiniti M35 Hybrid
The M35 Hybrid uses a 3.5-liter V-6 and an electric motor to reuse waste energy. Infiniti

As in the M56, we expect the M35 Hybrid to employ Infiniti's latest cabin tech and driver assistance features, which are considerable.

Infiniti claims the M35 Hybrid will offer four-cylinder economy and V-8 power. As the M35 name suggests, the car will use a 3.5-liter V-6 gas engine. An electric motor sits directly behind the engine on the prop shaft. A battery pack made from laminated lithium-ion cells powers the motor and gets recharged during braking and deceleration.

Infiniti does not specify a transmission for the system, beyond pointing out it uses two clutches, one between the engine and motor.

The M35 Hybrid can be driven solely under electric power, but, according to Infiniti, only "in certain driving conditions." That caveat most likely means that the electric motor will not propel the car by itself at low speeds, as Toyota and Ford's systems do.

Our coverage of the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show begins on November 17.