Infiniti Prototype 9: The electric grand prix concept
Classic 1940s design combines with top speeds of 105mph in Infiniti's retro-racer
Infiniti has taken the wraps off its Prototype 9 concept car at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance motor show in California.
Unlike conventional concept cars, which often serve to show new production models, the Prototype 9 reveals what an Infiniti grand prix car may have looked like in the early 1940s.
The exposed wire wheels, large front grille and sleek tapered rear bodywork are all design cues taken from historic racing cars, as is the small windscreen and long sculpted bonnet.
AutoExpress says that the Prototype 9's cabin is handmade, featuring "a single leather seat" with "contrasting red stitching" and "Japanese flags etched into the headrest".
But Infiniti has given the Prototype 9 a modern twist. According to Autocar, the retro concept comes with a battery electric powertrain similar to that of the second-generation Nissan Leaf.
The electric motors produce 148bhp and 236lb-ft of torque, the magazine says, as well as a kerb weight of just 1,962lbs. The Prototype 9 is only 36ins tall, meaning it's "dwarfed" by the company's Q30 compact SUV's 59ins height.
It boasts a zero to 62mph time of 5.5secs and a top speed of 105mph, says AutoExpress. The 30kWh battery will "last 20 minutes under heavy track use", although that number is expected to rise when it's on public roads.
The firm's design chief, Alfonso Albaisa, says the concept "represents a combination of artistry, craftsmanship and commitment to a romantic notion of our heritage. It inspired our people to work on Prototype 9 in their own time, as they were completely invested in the project and the details and features originated with them."
While "Infiniti has no plans to build the Prototype 9 into a production car", says Alphr, it could enter limited production if there is significant demand from potential buyers.