NASHVILLE -- Infiniti will offer a hybrid version of its seven-passenger JX crossover in 2014, moving the luxury brand deeper into an alternative-powerplant strategy.
The addition will be called the QX60 Hybrid, in accordance with this year's planned portfolio-wide change in product names. Infiniti says it will deliver a 24 percent improvement in fuel economy and retail for about $3,000 more than the nonhybrid version.
Infiniti plans to unveil the hybrid version this month at the New York auto show.
Infiniti already is selling a hybrid powertrain version of its flagship M sedan, and recently revealed that it will also introduce a hybrid version of the upcoming Q50 this summer when that nameplate replaces the G37.
That will be three key hybrid products for the 2014 model year. Infiniti also plans to introduce an all-electric sedan in 2014, using the architecture of the Nissan Leaf.
Infiniti vowed to put hybrid gasoline-electric powertrains into more models after parent company Nissan Motor Co. developed in-house hybrid drives in 2010.
"This allows us to offer power performance while still reaching what we believe will be best-in-class fuel economy," an Infiniti brand spokesman says. "Luxury customers want both."
Final EPA figures are not available, but Infiniti estimates the hybrid will deliver 26 mpg in combined city and highway driving, compared with an EPA-rated 21 mpg combined for the nonhybrid front-wheel-drive 2013 JX.
The QX60 Hybrid operates with a supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine teamed with a 15 kilowatt electric motor, delivering 250 net hp. The nonhybrid JX uses a 3.5-liter V-6 and produces 265 hp.
No lost interior space
The hybrid system's lithium ion battery module is positioned under the crossover's third-row seat and will not affect the vehicle's interior cargo area or floor space.
Infiniti introduced the JX in March 2012. It was the brand's second-highest volume product after the G last year, as retailers sold 21,674 units. It is built in Smyrna, Tenn.
U.S. sales of the Infiniti G last year rose 3 percent to 59,844.