December 13, 2017

Infiniti Rewrites History With Sinfully Retro Prototype 9 Racer

13 August 2017, 01:35 | Casey Mitchell

Infiniti Rewrites History With Sinfully Retro Prototype 9 Racer

Infiniti Prototype 9 Front Side View

Infiniti is heading to this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance with the retro-inspired Prototype 9 concept that draws inspiration from race cars from the past.

We'll find out what Infiniti's concept looks like on August 16 at Pebble Beach, but this heritage-inspired design does come as a surprise from a company with less than three decades of heritage.

Infiniti's design head Alfonso Albaisa, a Cuban from Havana (imagine growing up dreaming of drawing cars in fuel-rationed and sanctioned Cuba), said the motivation to do a retro design study came from quite a romantic if unlikely fantasy - "What if we found a auto, down at the southern tip of Japan, buried deep in the barn, hidden from all eyes for 70 years?"

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The auto is powered by a prototype electric motor and battery from Nissan's Advanced Powertrain Department.

Producing 120kW (148hp) and 320Nm (236 lb ft) of torque via single-speed transmission, it has a top speed of 170kph (105.6 mph), and sprints from 0-100kph (0-62mph) in 5.5 seconds, with a maximum EV range of 20 minutes under heavy track use.

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If you were anxious that those figures sound a little weak fear not, as a lithe kerb-weight allows the Project 9 to hit 62mph in just 5.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 106mph.

Roland Krueger, Chairman and Global President at Infiniti said: "What started as an after-hours idea grew into a fully-fledged prototype; our designers and engineers were excited by the notion of creating a past vision, a nod to our origins". Our teams have proven skills in manufacturing, engineering, design and advanced powertrains, yet they wanted to bring their own traditional craftsmanship to the project. Rather than power the front wheels, like in the Leaf, the Prototype 9's electric motor powers the rear wheels. "Prototype 9 blends modern technology and hand-crafted details paying tribute to the forebears of Infiniti".

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