Nissan and Infiniti have let their hair down and designed and built a retro open-wheel racer powered by an electric motor.

THE INFINITI PROTOTYPE 9 has been revealed at Pebble Beach this weekend, showing off Nissan and Infiniti’s interpretation of a barn-found open-wheel racer from the 1940s.

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

“Prototype 9 celebrates the tradition of ingenuity, craftsmanship and passion of our forebears at Nissan, on whose shoulders we stand today. It started as a discussion – what if Infiniti had created a race car in the 1940s? 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? 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,” said Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President, Global Design.

Infiniti Prototype 9

The car is powered by a prototype electric motor and battery from Nissan’s Advanced Powertrain Department. The motor produces 120kW and 320Nm of torque and drives the rear wheels, via single-speed transmission. Prototype 9 has a top speed of 170km/h and sprints from 0-to-100km/h in 5.5 seconds, with a maximum EV range of 20 minutes under heavy track use.

Roland Krueger, Chairman and Global President at Infiniti said: “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 recognised and realised 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.”


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