Nissan has been late to the hybrid party, instead focusing on its all-electric Leaf . That could change soon, however, as the automaker explores new hybrid powertrains; first in line could be the new-for-2013 Infiniti JX crossover.
Nissan spokesman Brian Brockman wouldn't confirm that Infiniti will add a hybrid version to the JX's lineup, but he did say Nissan is currently demonstrating its new front-drive hybrid-electric vehicle system in the crossover at the Advanced Technology Briefing in Japan.
Called the FF Hybrid System for front engine and front-wheel drive, it uses a supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Nissan says it's smaller than a typical hybrid powertrain because it has a single-motor, dual-clutch setup and a compact lithium-ion battery.
The current JX has front- or all-wheel drive and uses a 3.5-liter V-6. Infiniti's only hybrid is a version of the M sedan, but it's a rear-wheel-drive setup paired with the car's 3.5-liter V-6.
Nissan's last hybrid was the Altima ; it used a Toyota-derived system and was only available in limited markets. The Altima Hybrid was discontinued. Brockman confirmed that the current-generation Altima, which was redesigned for 2013, will eventually get a hybrid model. He would not comment on the timing, however.