Electronics

Infiniti retro Prototype 9 racer is elegant and ready for Pebble Beach

Infiniti retro Prototype 9 racer is elegant and ready for Pebble Beach

"While the essence of the Infiniti Prototype 9 is rooted in the past, it runs on a next-generation EV powertrain which looks squarely to the future", says Roland Krueger, Chairman and Global President of Infiniti.

On the outside the Prototype 9 recalls memories of classic race cars that were hitting the track way before the Infiniti brand was even a thought. The "What if" moment of open-wheeled, elegant racers back in the day led to the production of the Prototype 9. "It's an automotive fantasy, but the notion captured our imaginations enough to put pencil to paper".

Having finished the design, Infiniti turned to parent company Nissan for its experience with electric powertrains. Infiniti isn't saying how many miles it can drive at highway speeds.

The clay modelers at the design studio in Atsugi built several scale design studies, and then a full-size clay model. There's no doubt it looks fantastic (check out the gallery for more images), but we can't help thinking its middling performance is a missed opportunity for Infiniti.

The body is made from steel panels wrapped around a ladder frame with panels hammered into shape by craftsmen. Rather than power the front wheels, like in the Leaf, the Prototype 9's electric motor powers the rear wheels.

Peace anthem goes viral in India and Pakistan
The video begins with the words, "When we open our borders to art, peace comes along" and closes with, "Let's stand together for peace".

And an electric Infiniti sedan should definitely make the list of vehicles to leverage the new Leaf electric platform.

The handmade cockpit trim, in black leather with red stitching, is hand-sewn and finished to echo earlier single-seater racers, with Japanese flags stitched into the integrated head restraints of the deep single bucket seat.

What we see so far though looks enticing, and Infiniti isn't hanging about in the past too much with the study because the drivetrain will be all-electric promising a "fusion of advanced technology". It also uses technologies unlikely to be found in a mid-century race auto, like an electric motor - instead of an internal combustion one.

From humble beginnings as a sketch, to the dynamic example presented at Pebble Beach, Prototype 9 has been brought to life as an after-hours endeavour by a passionate and enterprising team of employees from across the Nissan Motor Corporation. "It's been a labour of love; our people were completely invested in the project; they worked on it in their own time and the details and features came from them".


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