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2010 Infiniti G37 Hybrid Sedan  (Source: AutoblogGreen)

Nissan EV-02  (Source: AutoblogGreen)
Nissan hybrid vehicle prototype uses rear-wheel drive

Nissan pulled the wraps off a pair of prototype vehicles today – one is an all-electric and one a hybrid. Both of the vehicles take advantage of new lithium-ion batteries that Nissan and NEC jointly developed. The two vehicles were developed under the NISSAN GT 2012 business plan.

The advanced lithium-ion batteries used in the prototype vehicles feature a compact, laminated configuration that delivers twice the electrical power when compared to traditional cylindrical configurations. Nissan says that the compact design of the batteries allows for improved vehicle packaging and a wider range of applications when compared to traditional batteries.

The full electric vehicle uses the advanced batteries along with a newly developed 80kW motor and inverter. Nissan says the electric vehicle uses a front-wheel drive configuration and that the advanced laminated batteries are installed under the floor of the vehicle. The laminated design of the batteries means that the vehicles interior and storage space are not sacrificed to battery storage. Nissan says that the full electric vehicle will go into production in 2010 and will feature a new and unique body style not based on existing Nissan vehicles.

Nissan's prototype hybrid electric vehicle introduces a pair of new technologies Nissan says are breakthroughs -- a high-performance rear-wheel drive system and a parallel-powertrain hybrid system. Nissan says that both the hybrid technology and the rear-wheel drive are original designs -- in this case, the system is placed within a 2010 Infiniti G37 Sedan.

Nissan's parallel-powertrain system connects one motor directly to an engine and transmission via two clutches. This layout allows the vehicle to switch between the dual clutches to optimize and conserve energy utilization and improve fuel-efficiency. Nissan says its parallel-powertrain eliminates the need for typical torque converters and contributes to higher responsiveness and linear acceleration.

Nissan describes the action of the hybrid system as:

  • Idle-stop: The battery is used to power the motor to save on fuel.
  • Regular driving: The engine is used to power the motor as well as regenerate the battery.
  • Acceleration: Both the engine and battery (power assist) is used to power the motor to achieve smooth acceleration.
  • Deceleration: Energy from braking is conserved and re-routed back to regenerate the battery.

Nissan isn’t alone in introducing new hybrid vehicles. Yesterday DailyTech reported that Honda was bringing the Insight back to the U.S. as a 2010 model for an MSRP of $18,500. The Insight is rumored to get over 70 miles per gallon.

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One question I have
By Moishe on 8/6/2008 4:23:09 PM , Rating: 5
Nowhere in the article does it mention estimated MPG... I would think any hybrid article would have that information.

Still, Nissan is a good company and I'm glad they're getting into this game. It sounds like it will be a decent vehicle.

RE: One question I have
By RaisedinUS on 8/6/08, Rating: -1
RE: One question I have
By an0dize on 8/6/2008 4:28:20 PM , Rating: 2
The Insight is made by Honda. It is an entirely different automobile manufacturer.

RE: One question I have
By Brandon Hill on 8/6/2008 4:28:51 PM , Rating: 2
That's a Honda referenced from a few days ago. The two Nissan models are prototypes and no information has been released yet on MPG or range.

RE: One question I have
By icrf on 8/6/2008 4:35:16 PM , Rating: 1
I'm sure it'll be a fun car to drive, but it'll be pricey, and I'd be surprised if it reached 30-35 mpg. I'm still relatively convinced that fun + efficient = turbo.

RE: One question I have
By Treckin on 8/7/08, Rating: -1
RE: One question I have
By solah13 on 8/7/2008 9:35:18 AM , Rating: 3
So algebraically

efficient = turbo - fun
fun = turbo - efficient

Sounds about right.

RE: One question I have
By TimberJon on 8/6/2008 5:02:31 PM , Rating: 2
I love Nissans, if they're 3rd Generation Maximas..

5th Gen and up have been nothing but problems and bad design, engineering and material quality. The new 2009 maxima 4DSC might change that... finally.. but has yet to be verified.

RE: One question I have
By 67STANG on 8/6/2008 5:55:52 PM , Rating: 2
I hear ya. I had a 2006 Sentra SER SpecV. The car would turn like nobody's business, and was alright in a straight line too (except for the massive torque-steer).

Problem is, the 2.5 engine eats oil (apparently from using bad piston-rings) and after 20,000 miles the car started having difficulty starting when warm.

Found out later that EVERY person I know that had a 2.5 engine (didn't matter if it was in a Sentra or an Altima) had the same problem... Probably wouldn't buy a Nissan any time soon...

RE: One question I have
By Spuke on 8/6/2008 6:57:46 PM , Rating: 2
Mine had the same issue. I had an 04 Spec V. The 3.7L is an entirely new engine than the 3.5L. My neighbor has a G37 coupe and has experienced no problems. I have read good things about the new motor.

RE: One question I have
By AlexWade on 8/6/2008 10:04:46 PM , Rating: 3
My 350z has been problem free for 3 and 1/2 years. The only blemishes are cosmetic. Of course, I take care of my car. Still, the Nissan V6 3.5L engine is second to none in quality. Before my Z, I had a 2001 Maxima with about 70,000 miles on it. No problems whatsoever. Nissan's V4 and V8 I cannot speak for.

Although I love Nissan, I am disgusted that their new Skyline/GT-R does not have a manual transmission. That is just fundamentally wrong.

RE: One question I have
By Spuke on 8/7/2008 9:58:32 AM , Rating: 3
It DOES have a manual transmission. The clutch is controlled by electronics much like a F1 car. It's got all the manual tranny parts such as, clutches, flywheel, TO bearing, pressure plate, etc. Automatics don't have ANY of those parts. Don't be confused by the wannabe F1-style automatic trannys with paddle shifters, totally different thing as those are STILL automatic trannys.

RE: One question I have
By Oregonian2 on 8/6/2008 7:47:13 PM , Rating: 2
Why put out garbage numbers now only to be vilified for their inaccuracy later? It looks to be in the very prototype/test-vehicle stage.

RE: One question I have
By theapparition on 8/6/2008 9:32:41 PM , Rating: 2
Well.....that's kinda Nissan's m.o.

For example, they've claimed GT-R performance numbers for a supposedly "american tuned production car", yet testing at "The Ring" showed that they used R compond tires (not runflats) and didn't run a full lap. Initial cars handed to automotive enthusiest magazines showed incredible performance, but when those same magazined got thier hands on prodution variants, ooops, performance dropped.

Sounds like par for the course to release garbage numbers to generate hype. Surprised they didn't do it here.

RE: One question I have
By Spuke on 8/7/2008 10:04:13 AM , Rating: 2
Initial cars handed to automotive enthusiest magazines showed incredible performance,
I'm still trying to find these mystery magazines as ALL of the magazines I've read were able to reproduce the quick times. I don't see the big deal here.

RE: One question I have
By Shlong on 8/7/2008 12:51:16 PM , Rating: 2
"Initial cars handed to automotive enthusiest magazines showed incredible performance"

And after they got their hands on it, it showed incredible performance. Go look for the Stig taking it around the Top Gear track (it was faster than a lot of supercars).

RE: One question I have
By Oregonian2 on 8/7/2008 3:27:15 PM , Rating: 2
So, someone is upset that Nissan did things right?

RE: One question I have
By theapparition on 8/8/2008 10:20:11 AM , Rating: 2
Am I upset that they tested a "production" car with a non-production tune and non-production tires and passed that off as true production, you bet.

And you call that right?

RE: One question I have
By Oregonian2 on 8/8/2008 2:46:49 PM , Rating: 2
I was referring to the not-giving of performance numbers that was complained about "above" in this thread.

RE: One question I have
By Oregonian2 on 8/8/2008 2:47:46 PM , Rating: 2
Specifically to this statement:

Sounds like par for the course to release garbage numbers to generate hype. Surprised they didn't do it here.

RE: One question I have
By walk2k on 8/6/2008 9:05:28 PM , Rating: 2
Does it have to look like a shoebox?

Parallel Hybrid
By pauldovi on 8/6/2008 6:08:39 PM , Rating: 2
As I have discussed extensively in various other news articles, I believe parallel hybrid powertrains to be better than series. I am glad that Nissan has chosen parallel for their vehicle.

However, from the looks of it, the car has large (maybe 18-19" wheels), with several inches of clearance between the brakes and the wheel. Why would you do this? Larger wheels do not increase performance. The only reason you want a larger wheel is to be able to use larger brakes, which this car does have. Stupid!

RE: Parallel Hybrid
By Alexvrb on 8/6/2008 6:58:39 PM , Rating: 2
Serial hybrids and parallel hybrids each have their place. Some companies are developing both to use in their lineup.

Also, larger wheels are common on prototypes. The final version will have more reasonable wheels. However with that said, larger wheels provide benefits (and drawbacks) beyond just space for larger brakes.

RE: Parallel Hybrid
By Spuke on 8/6/2008 7:05:22 PM , Rating: 2
Those are standard G37 wheels and they're only 18 inches. The old G35 had 18 inch wheels as well. The Japanese don't normally put unnecessarily large wheels on their cars anyways.

RE: Parallel Hybrid
By pauldovi on 8/7/2008 10:31:58 AM , Rating: 2
The only advantage of larger wheel is the ability to put larger brakes inside (which they clearly haven't done) and to reduce the spinning speed of the wheel, which this car definately isn't going fast enough to worry about.

Large wheel are just for show, the problem is, many people think they improve performance, the opposite is true.

RE: Parallel Hybrid
By Spuke on 8/6/2008 7:03:37 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, larger wheels with larger brakes. But this more a style thing than anything although the G37 does weigh over 3500 lbs and I imagine a hybrid version will be a few hundred lbs heavier. This is also a sporty car and big brakes/tires are expected. In this case, I don't think 18 inch wheels (what the G37's have) are out of line.

RE: Parallel Hybrid
By acer905 on 8/7/2008 12:41:04 PM , Rating: 2
First off, the mechanical complexity of a parallel hybrid system makes it far inferior to the series system. Additionally, anything that produces electrical power can be used in the series system.
This car however does not sound like a parallel stystem.
Nissan describes the action of the hybrid system as:

Idle-stop: The battery is used to power the motor to save on fuel.
Regular driving: The engine is used to power the motor as well as regenerate the battery.
Acceleration: Both the engine and battery (power assist) is used to power the motor to achieve smooth acceleration.
Deceleration: Energy from braking is conserved and re-routed back to regenerate the battery.

According to that, the gas engine is only ever used to either power the electric motor, or charge the batteries. In the parallel system, the gas engine is connected to the wheels. And i cannot find any mention of it being so in this design.

But anyway, as for the larger wheels, some people like the way they look.

By an0dize on 8/6/2008 4:26:30 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder.. Does it Ship with those obnoxious "HYBRID" decals all over?

RE: Decals
By Quiescent on 8/6/2008 4:47:39 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, you do know that every decal adds like 5-20 horse power per, right? It adds better aerodynamics to the car! Makes your car faster.

(End Joke)

RE: Decals
By Tiamat on 8/6/2008 5:26:10 PM , Rating: 3
The Hybrid decals grant 5-20 mpg not hp. DUH!!! :p

RE: Decals
By MegaHustler on 8/6/2008 7:39:12 PM , Rating: 2
Precisely. Everyone knows only the red ones go faster. If you bought another color, you can however tune it by adding aftermarket racing stripes...

RE: Decals
By djc208 on 8/7/2008 8:40:16 AM , Rating: 2
How else is everyone supposed to know that they're superior to all us non-hybrid driving vehicle owners out there. What's the point of spending all that money to be "green" if no one recognizes your sacrifice for the planet?

Besides, keeps the cops from pulling them over in the HOV lanes.

By JonnyDough on 8/7/2008 8:36:08 AM , Rating: 2
My question is if you park your car and leave the headlights on and return to your car only to find it has a dead battery can you get your friends to charge the battery by pushing it while your foot is on the brake?

If you're parked at the top of a hill and you have a dead battery can you coast to a stop and then start your car?

Just curious. I wonder if they're smart enough engineers to consider this or if you have to have powered monitoring of the battery packs before it will take a charge.

By djc208 on 8/7/2008 8:47:39 AM , Rating: 2
Well considering all the electronics on this car it's probably not possible to leave anything on such that you would kill the battery. Most cars now will shut off dome lights and headlights to prevent this kind of thing.

Otherwise I highly doubt it, if the clutches require computer input to control the hybrid system then there'd be no power to actuate the system in such a manner. But again, I'm sure the electronics are such that you probably can't kill the battery without trying. Not even sure if the starting battery for the engine is the same as the battery pack for the electric drive.

By strikeback03 on 8/7/2008 9:08:27 AM , Rating: 2
If even possible, would probably have to push a long way to get enough battery power to start. Certainly not as easy as pop-starting a manual transmission car.

why no awd setups?
By tastyratz on 8/7/2008 9:22:47 AM , Rating: 2
I would like to see an awd configuration for some of the new electric hybrid setups that come out.

An electric motor when not in use is a generator much like an alternator. I think it would be an excellent idea to have one for the front as well as rear axles. The car could be 2wd in normal driving with a secondary auxiliary motor for passing maneuvers. This would allow them to use a smaller more energy efficient motor for standard driving and an additional one for more grunt when needed (and for more traction in the winter).

RE: why no awd setups?
By Phlargo on 8/8/2008 11:42:46 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe I don't understand something.. why would AWD be useful in passing?

I mean, if you were to do an emergency lane change, it might save your ass, but that's about all I can think of.

I certainly can't argue with their applicability to cold or wet climates, however.

RE: why no awd setups?
By tastyratz on 8/8/2008 1:19:14 PM , Rating: 2
the reason it would be useful is 2 fold:
1 an additional engine means more power. you can have 2x 50ft/lb tq engines or 1x 100ftlb engine to get from A to B... but the point is you might only need 50ft/lb's for highway driving and slow traffic. That would be when the other engine isn't activated and instead functions as a generator.

The rear wheels are already spinning when the vehicle is in motion - this would just harness some energy from whats otherwise lost entirely as drag.

The other bonus is the performance driving aspect - the car could selectively choose fwd/rwd/awd based on traction conditions an "sport mode" selection.

VW still has edge... I think
By Logica on 8/6/2008 8:20:38 PM , Rating: 2
It's all very well for the likes of Toyota, Honda and now Nissan promoting hybrid electric cars. But I think VW has really hit this one on square on the head. The announcement of the VW "one litre" eco car is a super efficient diesel engine car that can do 282mpg (yes, that's 282 and not a typo). It's the so-called "one litre" for being able to do 100km per litre. It would be interesting to see how well VW's eco car is recieved.

By SuckRaven on 8/6/2008 10:12:59 PM , Rating: 2
Scion xB anyone? Is it just me or does it look damn near identical?

RE: VW still has edge... I think
By Nik00117 on 8/10/2008 3:41:25 AM , Rating: 1
I bet I know EXACTLY how VW hit 282 MPG. First off they cut off all unneccesary weight, even worrying about ounces and not just LBs. Second off they designed a really freaking amazinly diesel, more so then what they already got. Thirldy they tosed in a hybird engine. Thats 282 MPG.

Ladies and gents, American cars are BEHIND. I would love to tell a customer that their ford focus can get 282 MPG. Shit even 35 nowadays ain't jack. Considering I was looking at VWs in the early 2000s breaking the 50s.

wheels are 19"
By hans007 on 8/6/2008 7:18:32 PM , Rating: 2
those rims are actually 19". they are from the g37 coupe.

the g37 sedan doesn't even get those, and a lot of people who own them had wished they would offer those on the sedan (which has uglier sport rims).

those rims are not even the standard rims, they are part of the performance tire and wheel package or sport package on coupes only.

except for this hybrid they apparently decided to put them on a sedan.

RE: wheels are 19"
By Spuke on 8/6/2008 7:27:25 PM , Rating: 2
My bad about the wheels. You are correct. The G37 sedan isn't available yet. It will be soon but currently the sedan is a G35. It is supposed to get the Coupe's brakes though and 19 inch wheels but the article I read didn't mention if it was the Coupe's wheels or a different design.

Good job Nissan
By milodog on 8/7/2008 8:23:05 AM , Rating: 2
I am glad to see all the buzz and banter about hybrids, its about time we moved on to better gas mileage.

RE: Good job Nissan
By Spuke on 8/7/2008 2:56:16 PM , Rating: 2
That's what happens when people react instead of thinking things through. Once people are used to the high prices, a backwards trend will occur. It always does.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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