Infiniti Rewrites History With Sinfully Retro Prototype 9 Racer

Joanna Estrada
August 13, 2017

Beneath the sleek steel bodywork (the rear is hand-beaten over a laser cut steel frame, the front was formed by two seven-axis robots) the 890kg Prototype 9 racer features a fairly modest 120kW/320Nm rear-mounted electric motor with charge fed from a 30kW/h battery pack believed to be borrowed from the next-generation Nissan Leaf.

In a statement, Nissan and Infiniti said: It [Prototype 9] represents a reimagining of a 1940s-race auto with time-honoured production techniques employed to realise its retro design.

The cockpit is wrapped in black leather with contrast red stitching, sewn and finished in such a way as to echo earlier single-seater racers.

To create a driver-focused environment, the Infiniti Prototype 9's steering wheel rotates around a fixed aluminium hub, in which rest the speedometer and other gauges.

Many concepts don't run and drive, but the Project 9 is a fully working prototype.

Infiniti Rewrites History With Sinfully Retro Prototype 9 Racer
Infiniti Rewrites History With Sinfully Retro Prototype 9 Racer

The design philosophy behind the Prototype 9 was inspired by a question - namely: "what if we [Infiniti] found a vehicle, down at the southern tip of Japan, buried deep in a barn, hidden from all eyes for 70 years?"

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.

A few days ago we revealed the first photo of the Infiniti Project 9 as Infiniti teased a retro concept for Pebble Beach. What if in this auto we found the seed of passion planted during our first Japanese Grand Prix and the power and artistry of Infiniti today?

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. It's been a technical partner to the Renault Sport F1 team since the start of the 2016 season and contributes "engineering resources" to the team's energy-recovery system, which uses two motor generators and a battery to recoup power that would be otherwise lost from the vehicle. BMW and Mercedes are also expected to introduce a roadster and a saloon auto, respectively.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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