Infiniti reveal Prototype 9 electric retro-roadster
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Infiniti have revealed their latest prototype at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance in California, USA.
Named Prototype 9, the retro-roadster is the result of a collaboration between a small team of Nissan and Infiniti designers and craftsman, built quietly in a secluded section of the Nissan Research Centre in Oppamana, just outside Yokahama, Japan.
“What started as an after-hours idea grew into a fully-fledged prototype,” said Roland Kruger, Chairman and Global President of Infiniti”
“Our designers and engineers were excited by the notion of creating a past vision, a nod to our origins. They volunteered their own time, (and) more and more staff became involved.”
The name 'Prototype 9' comes from the Japanese pronunciation of the number nine, 'kyuu,' which is similar to the pronouciation of the letter 'Q,' that is used for all of Infiniti's production cars.
The steel bodywork was hammered into shape by hand and wrapped around a steel ladder frame. Complete with centre-locking, 19-inch wire spoke wheels, exposed cockpit and Infititi-styled double-arch grille ‘shark gills’, Project 9 would like at home in a pack of 1940s Grand Prix cars.
Underneath the bare sheet metal bodywork is a next-generation electric powerunit from Nissan’s Advanced Powertrain Department. The lithium-ion battery with electric motor produces 120kW of power and 320Nm of torque that’s send to the rear wheels.
Weighing in at 890kg, the retro prototype is said to accelerate silently from 0-100kph in 5.5 seconds and achieve a top speed of 170kph. The battery will last approximately 20 minutes on-tack.
“The beautiful execution of Prototype 9 represents a combination of artistry, craftsmanship and commitment to a romantic notion of our heritage,” said Alfonso Albaisa, Senior VP of Global Design for Infiniti”
“It inspired our people to work on Prototype 9 in their own time – as they were completely invested in the project and the details and features originated with them. Prototype 9 has been a labour of love for many of us.”