The Infiniti Prototype 9 is an electric concept car, lost in time
What would happen if sophisticated electric vehicle technology existed in the 1940s? That’s the question Nissan and Infiniti’s designers asked when they were creating the new Prototype 9 concept car – and the results are amazing. Unveiled over the weekend at the 2017 Pebble Beach show, the Prototype 9 is the ultimate answer to an interesting “what if?” scenario.
“If one were to imagine an open-wheeled Infiniti racer on the famous circuits of the era, such as Japan’s Tamagawa Speedway, what would that look like?” said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president of Global Design at Infiniti. “The sketches were stunning and the idea so compelling that we had to produce a prototype. As other departments became aware of this, they volunteered their time to create a working vehicle.”
Featuring sleek, aeronautical-inspired lines, the Prototype 9 really does look like a classic racing car from the 1940s – but underneath it’s very much 2017. Infiniti is part of Nissan, and that means its Prototype 9 concept car has benefited from cutting-edge EV technology.[gallery:3]
The Prototype 9 is actually the first Infiniti car to be powered by electricity, and uses a 30kWh high-voltage battery paired to an experimental electric motor. Infiniti says the motor can send up to 148 hp and 320 Nm of torque to the rear wheels, and will be able to push the concept car to a top speed of 105.6 mph. The Prototype 9 will also hit 0-to-62 mph in 5.5 seconds, but don’t expect the battery to last long with driving like that. Infiniti says the new EV has a maximum EV range of 20 minutes under heavy track use.[gallery:4]
Of course, Infiniti has no plans to build the Prototype 9 into a production car, and if we’re honest, it’s probably more of a PR stunt than anything worthwhile. However, it’s great to see companies as large as Nissan and Infiniti still have an imagination.