Infiniti and RenaultSport Formula One Team collaborate in Q60 Project Black S

Article by Christian A., on March 6, 2017

A new premium performance model could be coming for Infiniti if a partnership with Renault’s Formula One team becomes a definite success. Yes, Infiniti and the RenaultSport Formula One Team have entered into a collaborative venture – Project Black S -- to create a hybrid performance model derived from the Infiniti Q60.

This collaboration between Infiniti and the RenaultSport Formula One Team will be represented by the Project Black S concept car. So far, the venture between these high-end auto personalities has taken the shape of the Project Black S concept car – featuring Formula One-inspired technology -- that will be unveiled to the global public during a special event a night before 2017 Geneva Motor Show formally starts.

According to Infiniti, the Project Black S is a radical reinterpretation of the Q60 coupe with a prominent aerodynamic design. As it is, the Project Black S provides a preview on how a hybrid powertrain derived from motorsport – not less than Formula One -- could superbly improve the overall performance of a production car from Infiniti. This performance hybrid powertrain on the Project Black S makes use of the so-called ‘energy recovery system’ (ERS) that is found in RenaultSport’s F1 car. This ERS – not yet employed by any production road car -- is designed to harvest or recover energy in the form of electric power and deploy it to significantly boost the powertrain’s output and torque. Hence, a car with ERS is able to accelerate without any lag.

A report by Autocar says that the Project Black S would be based on the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 and would still use an internal combustion engine in the form of a tuned dual turbo 3.0-liter V6 powerplant that is able to provide 400 horsepower (298 kilowatts) of output and 350 pound-feet (474.5 Newton-meters) of torque. This dual turbo 3.0-liter V6 normally develops 300 hp (223.7 kW) of output and 295 lb.-ft. (400 Nm) of torque as standard. Since this is a hybrid powertrain, this conventional engine is expected to be paired to an electric motor that would deliver at least 100 hp of output. This means that the overall power output should be at least 500 hp (373 kW).

Another motor -- or motors -- would also be employed, but would serve as a generator producing the needed electricity. This motor generator is able to store the energy recovered from braking and exhaust gas heat in a lithium-ion battery pack. The stored energy would then be used to power the crankshaft and the turbo compressor of the Project Black S.

Infiniti president Roland Krueger remarked that since Infiniti is already a technical partner to the RenaultSport Formula One Team, the collaboration between the two is only natural. Both Infiniti and the RenaultSport Formula One Team are part of the Renault-Nissan Group.

Infiniti would use the unveiling of the Project Black S at the Geneva Motor Show to measure potential interest of the public in high-performance version of production Infiniti cars.

Press Release

Introducing Project Black S: An Exploration of a New INFINITI High-Performance Model Line

Collaborative venture between INFINITI and the RenaultSport Formula One Team

INFINITI investigating Formula One-inspired performance hybrid technology

Project Black S explores the potential for an innovative new performance model line

Hong Kong – Featuring Formula One-inspired technology, ‘Project Black S’ is an exploration of a new INFINITI high-performance model line. Developed in collaboration with the RenaultSport Formula One Team, Project Black S will be revealed for the first time globally at a special media event on the eve of the Geneva International Motor Show.

A radical reinterpretation of the Q60 coupe, Project Black S features a stand-out, aerodynamic design, and hints at how a unique-for-the-road performance hybrid powertrain could significantly enhance the dynamics of an INFINITI production car.

“INFINITI is the premium car manufacturer within the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and a technical partner to the Renault Sport Formula One Team, so it is natural that we come together to explore the possibility of bringing innovative high-performance hybrid technology to our customers. INFINITI has constantly led the way in making innovative new powertrain technology available, and we’re extremely excited by the potential of Project Black S.” Roland Krueger, President of INFINITI

The performance hybrid powertrain being explored through Project Black S features an ‘energy recovery system’ (ERS) to harvest energy, deploying recovered electric power to boost power and torque. The result is instant, significant, lag-free acceleration. Inspired by the dual-hybrid system proven in Formula One, the technology does not yet exist in a current road car.

The reveal of Project Black S in Geneva will help to gauge potential public interest in high-performance derivatives of INFINITI cars.

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