Built in the style of a '40s or '50s racing vehicle, the Project 9 has been revealed bearing an electric drivetrain reportedly based on the upcoming all-new Nissan Leaf.
Even so it was only 28 years ago... in two weeks' time at the annual concours d'elegance in Pebble Beach, California, Infiniti is preparing a concept in the veil of fifties' race cars.
Under the hood, however, the Infiniti Prototype 9 showcases something that would have set it apart from its contemporaries, had it existed in the 1940s - according to Jalopnik, it is an electric GP race auto that makes use of modern technology and a present-day powertrain. As such, it produces only 148 horsepower and 236 lb/ft torque, going from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.3 seconds and hitting a top speed of 105 miles per hour.
Infiniti's design head Alfonso Albaisa, a Cuban from Havana (imagine growing up dreaming of drawing cars in fuel-rationed and sanctioned Cuba), said the motivation to do a retro design study came from quite a romantic if unlikely fantasy - "What if we found a auto, down at the southern tip of Japan, buried deep in the barn, hidden from all eyes for 70 years?"
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This should also be the season for John Stones, who certainly didn't do what he was bought to do last season . Current Seagulls striker Glenn Murray scored in that match, while Vincent Kompany started for the visitors.
Perhaps most controversial is the application of Infiniti's double arch grille, which no doubt would have taken on a simpler form for a dedicated racing machine, along with the free-standing Infiniti bonnet ornament - something that even Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows race cars of the era (which obviously influenced the design direction of the Prototype 9 concept) went without.
Dubbed mitate and shitate, these Japanese principles relate to sourcing and combining the finest materials; the Prototype 9's cockpit is upholstered in black leather with red contrast stitching, while Japanese flags are stitched into the headrest. Most of the Prototype 9's surfaces are hand-finished, while the interior switches are inspired by aircraft design.
"It started as a simple thought - what if we found a auto, down at the Southern tip of Japan, buried deep in a barn, hidden from all eyes for 70 years?" 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. The philosophy behind its creation also references the "seed of passion" planted during Infiniti's first Japanese Grand Prix.