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Infiniti Steps Up Luxury V-8 Race with 400-hp M Sedan

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2011 Infiniti M Class

Washington DC August 19, 2009; The AIADA newsletter reported that Infiniti will attempt to step over its bigger luxury competitors next year with a new M sedan boasting 400 horsepower.

According to Automotive News, that will put Nissan's luxury marque a notch ahead of BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus in engine muscle – at least for a while.

The M's closest rivals are the 360-hp BMW 550i, the 380-hp Lexus GS460 RWD, and the 382-hp Mercedes E550.

The mid-sized 2011 M, which the automaker partially unveiled through a 3-dimensional holographic presentation here Friday night, will reach U.S. retailers next spring with two new engine configurations.

The 2011 M37 with a 3.7-liter V-6 will replace the M35 and its 303-hp 3.5-liter.

The newly named M56 will feature a 5.6-liter V-8 and replace the current M45 and its 325-hp V-8.

Of the top eight luxury brands in the United States, BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz , Lincoln, and Audi have declined less than the overall market's 32.1 percent plunge. Acura, Cadillac, and Infiniti, No. 7 in the group, have slipped more.

The official reveal of the new M will occur in December.