Infiniti announced it’s expanding its QX60 lineup with a new supercharged 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder hybrid model. Unveiled in 2012 as the JX35, the 2014 QX60 will officially debut at the New York Auto Show later this month.
With a 15-kilowatt electric motor and Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), the QX60 will produce 250 horsepower and achieve a seven-passenger crossover segment leading 26 miles-per-gallon.
At the heart of the powerful yet frugal powertrain is Infiniti’s Direct Response Hybrid system, which uses a “compact Lithium-ion battery and electric motor to provide supplementary power through its one-motor/two-clutch system.” The QX60 Hybrid will be offered in either front or all-wheel drive.
Mounting the battery pack underneath the third row of seats ensures the hybrid version of the QX60 loses no interior cargo volume compared to the standard, non-hybrid model. It also solves a common cargo space complaint often leveled by hybrid customers.
Additionally, the hybrid will only cost $3,000 more than the regular model, which means the savings at the pump will pay for itself sooner.
The QX60 shares its hybrid system with the Infiniti M35h Hybrid, which we loved and hated all at once.
While the system was very well designed and implemented, the “Eco” drivetrain setting activates a motor in the gas pedal that pushes back on the driver’s foot, limiting throttle application. This made us feel like we had a bum right leg, or as if we were suffering a sudden onset of polio.
When the QX60 is officially unveiled in New York later this month, we’ll be on the ground for live photos and specs updates, so stay tuned.