Infiniti revealed its retro Prototype 9 race car before its slated debut at 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance next week. In a recent press release, the company not only disclosed further details about the history of its prototype vintage racing machine, but also released more photos of the new concept car prior to the upcoming event.
While the brand only came into existence in the late nineteen eighties, Alfonso Albaisa, Senior VP for Global Design at Nissan’s luxury division found inspiration from the vintage race cars of the 1930s and combined the brand’s past and current design language into the Prototype 9.
Creating the Japanese Grand Prix inspiration into a real concept actually involves several designers and engineers out to prove their expertise both in car design and manufacturing highly advanced powertrains. What began as a “simple thought” gave way to an undertaking no one else had ever quite expected. The team consists of Nissan’s Autech division, the designers from Japan’s Atsugio studio and the heads of the factory in Oppama with each one of them volunteering their own time for the project.
All the hard work paid off as this resulted in an impressively made concept vehicle evocative of the 1930s. Tipping the scales at only 1,962lbs, the Prototype 9 features an all-aluminum tail carefully made by hand and melded to a highly advanced laser-cut steel grid and comes equipped with an all-electric powertrain with 148hp rear-mounted motor. It is not confirmed if the car can actually run, however, given its conventional construction techniques and sophisticatedly engineered electric powertrain, it is presumed to go at 60 miles per hour in 5.5 seconds before reaching its peak at 105mph.
The Prototype 9, named after Infiniti’s latest Q model range (pronounced as kyoo in Japanese) not only owes its design language to the past but also to the present. The concept’s engine resembles the new Nissan Leaf’s 148hp, 236lb-ft electric powertrain which is also slated for its premiere in Frankfurt Germany this September. With the exact measurement of 1,820 mm (width), 4,330 mm (length) and 910mm (height), the motorsport racing concept is only shorter by 90 mm and wider by 15mm as compared with Infiniti’s 1,495mm tall Q30.
All said, the retro inspired racing concept will definitely draw more attention while sitting in line with all the vintage race cars at the Pebble Beach this coming week. The Concours d’Elegance is happening from August 15 Tuesday until August 20 Sunday.