Car Reviews

This Stunning All-Electric Concept Car Was Inspired by 1940s Open Wheel Racers

Nissan Motor Corporation and its luxury division INFINITI unveiled a retro-modern vehicle that serves as an emblem to the automotive’s past and future. The new INFINITI Prototype 9 was designed and built using traditional materials and techniques. At the same time, the luxury vehicle is outfitted with a next-generation prototype electric motor that has never been seen before on a production vehicle.

[Image Source: INFINITI]

Prototype 9: celebrating the past and future of the INFINITI brand

To celebrate Nissan Motor and its luxury division’s decades of artistry and craftsmanship, the automotive corporation unveiled the INFINITI Prototype 9 at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The new luxury vehicle is a reimagined 1940s race car built with a contemporary electric motor and battery from the Nissan Motor Corporation’s Advanced Powertrain Department.
[Image Source: INFINITI]
“Prototype 9 celebrates the tradition of ingenuity, craftsmanship, and passion of our forebears at Nissan Motor Corporation, on whose shoulders we stand today”, said Alfonso Albaisca, INFINITI’s Senior Vice President of Global Design.
Prototype 9 is the result of Nissan Motor Corporation’s passionate and enterprising team of employees. They dedicated their time after work to sketch, design, and build this modern and luxury retro vehicle to serve as an emblem to INFINITI.
[Image Source: INFINITI]
The wild and contrasting aspects of the Prot0type 9 makes it distinctive and unique from all the other luxury vehicles out there. A team of Takumi, Nissan Motor’s master artisans, took their time to hand-beat the panels of the Prototype 9.
[Image Source: INFINITI]
Traditional building materials and techniques were applied to form the recently unveiled vehicle. At the same time, the Prototype 9 also articulates the futuristic artistry of INFINITI’s production cars and near-production concepts.
Nissan Infiniti Prototype 9
[Image Source: INFINITI]
Roland Krueger, Chairman and Global President of INFINITI, expressed how current employees of the luxury automotive division devoted their free time to create an emblem that recognizes the brand’s early generation of automakers.
“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. They volunteered their own time; more and more staff became involved. Our teams have proven skills in manufacturing, engineering, design and advanced powertrains, yet they wanted to bring their own traditional craftsmanship to the project. They made Prototype 9 a reality, a result of their ingenuity – they recognized and realized the past, powered by a future-centric electric powertrain at its heart. Prototype 9 blends modern technology and hand-crafted details paying tribute to the forebears of INFINITI”
Infinitiy Prototype 9
[Image Source: INFINITI]

Inspired by Prince R380

Prototype 9 was particularly inspired by the bespoke Prince R380, which made breaking record speeds back in 1965. Prince Motor Company is known in Japan to be the original Japanese builder of luxury automobiles. Albaisca expressed that the legacy of Prince is echoed down to the INFINITI Motor Company and its model line to date.
[Image Source: INFINITI]
“We like to think that INFINITI, with its stunning design, high-performance capability, and forward-looking technology, shares some DNA with the Prince Motor Company, which became part of Nissan Motors. Prototype 9 is a celebration of the artistry and ingenuity inherent in our company”.
Prototype 9 is the very first INFINITI vehicle to be outfitted with a next-generation EV powertrain. It’s equipped with a 30kWh high-voltage battery coupled with a prototype electric motor, a combination that has not been applied on a production vehicle before. The retro-modern vehicle can top a speed of 170 km/h and is able to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.5 seconds. At full charge mode, Prototype 9 can vigorously speed down a track for a solid 20 minutes.
[Image Source: INFINITI]
“Prototype 9 has been a labor of love for many of us”, said Albaisca. Indeed, the fusion of vintage automaking traditions and next-generation EV technology truly makes Prototype 9 a premium car its designers and builders can be proud of.

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