Prototype 9 re-imagines what might have been for a 1940s INFINITI grand prix race car.
PEBBLE BEACH, USA – 17 AUGUST 2017: Nissan Motor Corporation and premium automotive brand INFINITI have unveiled a heritage inspired, sleek, open-wheeled electric roadster prototype vehicle at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The prototype has been developed through a journey back to the roots of the company, and back forward again with the fusion of advanced EV technology, powered by prototype electric motor and battery from Nissan Motor Corporation’s Advanced Powertrain Department.
The car, called Prototype 9, is a celebration of Nissan Motor and INFINITI’s ingenuity, artistry and craftsmanship. It represents a reimagining of a 1940s race car with time-honored production techniques employed to realize its retro design.
“Prototype 9 celebrates the tradition of ingenuity, craftsmanship and passion of our forebears at Nissan Motor Corporation, on whose shoulders we stand today. It started as a discussion – what if INFINITI had created a race car in the 1940s? If one were to imagine an open-wheeled INFINITI racer on the famous circuits of the era, such as Japan’s Tamagawa Speedway, what would that look like?” said Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President, Global Design.
Albaisa created a sketch of the vehicle and initially shared only with close colleagues, but the idea soon spread amongst INFINITI’s design team members.
Prototype 9 has been brought to life as an after-hours endeavor by a passionate and enterprising team of employees from across the Nissan Motor Corporation that volunteered their own time.
“Our designers and engineers made Prototype 9 a reality. It is a result of their ingenuity – they recognised and realised the past, powered by a future-centric electric powertrain at its heart.” said Roland Krueger, Chairman and Global President.
Prototype 9 is defined by its smooth, aerodynamic surfaces, long bonnet and short overhangs, an exposed cockpit, and open-wheeled layout. 19-inch center-locking wire-spoke wheels at each corner are even wrapped in period cross-ply competition tires.
The car is the first INFINITI to be powered by a new EV powertrain – a 30kWh high-voltage battery paired with a prototype electric motor, one not yet seen on a production vehicle.
- Prototype 9 was inspired by an emerging era of Japanese motorsport.
- The vehicle’s bodywork is made from steel body panels wrapped around a steel ladder frame. Its panel beaters incorporate INFINITI’s signature elements, such as the double-arch grille, ‘shark gills’ aft of the front wheels, as ingle-crease hood, and sharp lines that stretch from front to rear.
- Prototype’s 9 cabin has been handmade by the company’s interior design teams. The cockpit is wrapped in black leather with contrast red stitching. Subtle Japanese flags are stitched into the integrated headrest of the deep single bucket seat.
- The motor produces 120kW (148 hp) and 320 Nm (236 lb ft) of torque and driving the rear wheels, via single-speed transmission.
- Prototype 9 has a top speed of 170 kph (105.6 mph), and sprints from 0-to-100 kph (0-to-62 mph) in 5.5 seconds, with a maximum EV range of 20 minutes under heavy track use.
- For a full press kit and detailed product press release visit: http://www.infinitipresspacks.com/
- INFINITI Prototype 9 (Pebble Beach) Interview with Alfonso Albaisa GVs Prototype 9 at Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransisco
- INFINITI Prototype 9 (Pebble Beach) B Roll GVs (key features, exterior, on the road) + Racetrack footage at Stockton