Infiniti is planning to commence the electrification of vehicle portfolio in 2021. All-new Infiniti models will be electrified either as fully electric models or hybrid units. These models will be headlined by the Q Inspiration Concept serving as the basis for the carmaker’s future electrified vehicle platform. But even before Infiniti launches this plan in metal, it is previewing its vision of it electrified future through a new prototype.
Actually, this project – the Infiniti Project Black S – was first made known to the public last year through the 2017 design study. Now, the Infiniti Project Black S is resurrected as a new prototype that boasts of a hybrid electric powertrain. Drawing on expertise from across the holy alliance between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi, the Project Black S represents the commitment of Infiniti to develop exciting high-performance electrified powertrains.
Both the 2017 and 2018 Project Black S models are based from the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 sports coupe. The 2017 show car was essentially an initial vision for motorsport-inspired aesthetics and aerodynamics. It was an early design vision to develop a highly focused dual-hybrid super sports car. The 2017 prototype is fully operational, functioning high-speed model that can be taken to the track for validation. The Renault Sport Formula One Team worked to ensured that the aerodynamics of the 2018 prototype is further optimized.
Thus, the Project Black S prototype represents a great balance between the organic design of the Q60 sports coupe, a functional motorsport-inspired performance aesthetic, optimized aerodynamics and high levels of downforce.
Inspired by the livery of the cars of the Renault Sport Formula One Team, the Project Black S prototype is wrapped in black with yellow highlights. While the prototype comes with a sporty appearance that is centered on realizing aerodynamic efficiency, it is basically an engineering testbed that explores how dual-hybrid powertrain technology – as inspired by the Renault Sport Formula One Team -- could be used in a road car.
Serving as the core of the new Project Black S prototype is the first dual-hybrid powertrain technology in the world. This high-performance dual-hybrid technology is combined with the brand’s VR30 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine. Thanks to unique energy recovery system (ERS), this powertrain delivers greater power and torque than the VR30 engine. The dual-hybrid powertrain can deliver 420 kW (563 hp or 571 PS) of output, compared to the 298 kW (400 hp or 405 PS) generated by the conventional VR30 engine.
The dual-hybrid powertrain of the Project Black S features three motor generator units (MGU). One of them (MGU-K) harvests kinetic energy under braking, while the two other units (MGU-H) recovers heat energy from exhaust gases. Thus, the dual-hybrid powertrain can generate electrical power under both braking and acceleration. Harvested electrical energy is stored in a high-rate discharge 4.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and is deployed as an electrically-assisted anti-lag system as well as to power the MGU-K by up to 120 kW.
The new the Project Black S features full by-wire driver controls: drive-by-wire acceleration and gear shifts; steer-by-wire Direct Adaptive Steering system; and a new brake-by-wire (BBW) regenerative braking system.
To offset the weight gained from new powertrain components, the Renault Sport Formula One Team was able to use its expertise in production techniques and usage of more advanced materials. In fact, the hood, fenders and roof of the Project Black S have been replaced with lightweight carbon fiber panels.