Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misidentified the two Mercedes-Benz nameplates mentioned in the 8th paragraph and the Mercedes nameplate in the 11th paragraph.
LOS ANGELES -- The gas pedal on the new Infiniti M sedan will be trying to tell its drivers something when it hits the market next spring. It will try to coach them into being more fuel-efficient drivers.
The 2011 M, which was unveiled in Beverly Hills Tuesday night on the eve of the Los Angeles auto show, will offer a tech package that includes the “Eco pedal.” The pedal will be wired into the M's fuel management software and will put up a slight resistance to foot pressure when the car is being driven too aggressively for ideal fuel consumption.
“The driver can easily disregard the resistance,” Infiniti product planning director John Weiner says, “or turn it off altogether. But if you heed the signal and do as prompted, it can improve fuel economy.”
Weiner says preliminary tests indicate a fuel economy improvement of 5 to 10 percent.
Like a few other automakers, Infiniti is not participating in the Los Angeles show this year. But brand executives unveiled the sedan off-site for its world premier. The redesigned sedan will come in two engine configurations: the M56, with a 5.6-liter V-8, and the M37, with 3.7-liter V-6.
Prices have not been released.