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Nissan unveils Infiniti-based luxury sedan in Japan

The Cima is based on the long-wheelbase version of the Infiniti M35.

In Japan, Nissan's Cima nameplate was synonymous with luxury for most of the 1990s and 2000s. Now, after a two-year hiatus, the company has announced that it has revived the storied nameplate.

The 2012 Cima is entirely based on the long-wheelbase Infiniti M35hL. Nissan doesn't sell the Infiniti brand in Japan, but it has often offered rebadged versions of Infiniti models. That is the case with the Cima: aesthetically speaking, the biggest change between the M35hL and the Cima is a new grille adorned by a Nissan logo.

Since the Cima is aimed at a wealthy clientele that is shopping for a car to be chauffeured in, Nissan worked hard to make the rear seats as luxurious and comfortable as possible. Seven-inch screens are mounted into the front headrests, and a surround sound system that features 16 speakers is available.

The front passenger wasn't overlooked, either, as the passenger seat features what Nissan bills as an Ottoman-style legrest.

Previous Cima models were available with a V8 engine, but the latest installment of the nameplate is exclusively sold with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that is rated at 306 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. It works in conjunction with an electric motor that draws its power from a lithium-ion battery. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission.

According to Nissan, the significant increase in fuel economy and the drop in CO2 emissions means that the car qualifies for numerous tax breaks in Japan.

When it goes on sale late next month, the Cima will carry a base price of 7,350,000 yen, which converts to about $90,000. Nissan hopes to sell approximately 1,000 units a year.

The Cima will be a Japan-only model, and Nissan does not plan on selling it in Europe or in the United States.