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Nissan 370Z Hybrid coming in 2011?

Nissan is believed to be readying its own hybrid system for launch in the 2011 Infiniti M, but that system could also be earmarked for the company's most popular sports car. If early reports are correct, Nissan is planning to launch a hybrid version of its 370Z sports car in 2011.

According to 370Z.com, Nissan is planning to launch a 370Z Hybrid sometime in 2011. The hybrid Z would use the same type of hybrid system destined for the Infiniti M, which means lithium-ion batteries and plug-in capabilities would be employed.

Despite its greener intentions, the hybrid Z would stick with its 3.7L V6. However, an electric motor and a dual-clutch system (one for the gas engine and one for the electric motor) would be sandwiched between the engine and the drive wheels, resulting in a combined rating of at least 30 mpg.

While the 370Z Hybrid is far from official, it would seem like a smart move for Nissan. A hybrid Z would give Nissan the claim to the world's first performance hybrid sports car, which could go a long way in marketing both the 370Z and Nissan. Additionally, the 370Z and Infiniti M share the same basic platform, so the engineering costs of turning the Z into a hybrid would be kept to a minimum.