Add one more to the list of hybrid cars that have been sent off to the great gasoline-electric graveyard in the sky.

Nissan will end production of its Altima Hybrid sedan after the 2011 model year.

Launched in late 2007, the hybrid version of the Nissan Altima used Nissan's own four-cylinder engine mated to the Hybrid Synergy Drive system licensed from Toyota.

The Altima Hybrid was Nissan's first-ever production hybrid vehicle, and the company built roughly 35,000 of them over four years.

But it was only sold in seven states in the U.S., and nowhere else. The Nissan Altima Hybrid got good marks for handling--better than the 2008 Prius it was sometimes compared to--and helped Nissan offer a higher gas-mileage car both to retail buyers and fleets.

NYPD Nissan Altima Hybrid

NYPD Nissan Altima Hybrid

Altima Hybrids could be seen, among other places, on the streets of New York wearing NYPD livery.

Nissan has now developed its own hybrid-electric system; the first model to use it in the U.S. is the 2012 Infiniti M35h luxury sports sedan. It's a 350-hp luxury sports sedan rated at 27 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, for a combined rating of 29 miles per gallon. Its base price is $53,700.

But the company is placing a far bigger bet on battery electric vehicle technology, which it launched in December in the all-electric 2011 Nissan Leaf.

Meanwhile, the 2011 Nissan Altima Hybrid is rated at 33 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, for a combined rating of 33 miles per gallon. Its base price is $26,800.

It will join a growing number of defunct hybrid models, including the Honda Accord Hybrid, no fewer than three different hybrid models of the Saturn Vue crossover (including one that was never officially released), the Saturn Aura and Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid sedans, and the ill-fated Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen Hybrid sport utility vehicles.

[Automotive News (subscription required) via FamilyCarGuide]


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