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.
On the outside the Prototype 9 recalls memories of classic race cars that were hitting the track way before the Infiniti brand was even a thought. Even though Infiniti wasn’t around in the 1930s, the brand had a thought:
“It started as a simple thought,” stated Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti’s senior vice president of global design. “What if we found a car, down at the southern tip of Japan, buried deep in the barn, hidden from all eyes for 70 years? What if in this car we found the seed of passion planted during our first Japanese Grand Prix and the power and artistry of Infiniti today? What would this discovery look like?”
Even though its exterior may bring us back to the 1930s, under the skin its powertrain is anything but retro. The Infiniti Prototype 9 is powered by an electric powertrain that is closely related to what will power the next-generation Nissan Leaf. Rather than power the front wheels, like in the Leaf, the Prototype 9’s electric motor powers the rear wheels. The electric motor generates 148 horsepower and 236 lb-ft. of torque.
According to Infiniti, the Prototype 9 can reach 60 mph in less than 5.5 seconds and has a limited top speed of 105 mph. The electric motor is also mated to a 30 kWh battery pack, which gives it enough power for 20 minutes of track driving.