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Hybrid Infiniti Achieves Guinness World Record for Acceleration

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author photo by Nick Palermo September 2011

CAR Magazine associate editor Tim Pollard recently drove an Infiniti M35h at Santa Pod Raceway in the UK. The successful record attempt of 13.9 seconds for the quarter mile was witnessed and verified by Guinness World Records as the fastest standing quarter mile by a hybrid gas-electric vehicle.

Infiniti's hybrid formula for the M35h is a system the company calls Direct Response Hybrid technology. The M Hybrid uses a 67-horsepower electric motor situated between a conventional V-6 and 7-speed automatic transmission, a parallel configuration similar to hybrid systems by Hyundai and Porsche. The result is a stout 360-hp capable of pushing the M35h from 0-62 mph in just 5.5 seconds, already a hybrid record.

Fast as it is, this 4-door, 5-passenger luxury sedan is not just an athlete built for speed. Pollard said the record setting Infiniti "proves that hybrids can be fast as well as frugal." EPA estimates for combined fuel mileage are 29 mpg.

The folks at Guinness World Records have been busy with hybrid automobiles lately. Several new superlatives for gas-electric hybrids have gone into the books, including an 8000-mile record run in a Kia Optima Hybrid and a 2.1-mile parade of 208 hybrids. The latter, set recently in Madison, Wisconsin, beat the previous record for longest parade of hybrids, when 140 gas-electrics lined up in Belgium in 2010.

Automakers have long relied on the competition of racing and record-setting not only to prove new technology but also to push the limits of a vehicle's capability. The frequency of these hybrid world records illustrates an important trend. Manufacturers like Infiniti are seizing the opportunity to earn a place at the top, proving not only the viability of hybrids but their potential for performance that rivals or tops that of conventional gasoline powered vehicles.

With a range of automakers introducing new hybrid models every year, the M35h's place at the top may not last long. Regardless of which vehicles reign in the record books, the competition is certain to be entertaining and will likely result in better hybrid automobiles for all.

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Used 2012 INFINITI M Models
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$14,316
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Hybrid Infiniti Achieves Guinness World Record for Acceleration - Autotrader