Retro would probably be the best way of describing Infiniti's latest concept vehicle, the Prototype 9. At first glance, one would assume that this open-top concept was a barn find of a 1930s era race car. But don't be mistaken, the Prototype 9 is actually an electric vehicle underneath its classic looking exterior.
The design of the Prototype 9 looks as if it could be revisiting Infiniti's colorful history, especially with its public debut set at the upcoming Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance. However, Infiniti was only born in 1989. In fact, it does not have a colorful racing history nor was it present during the 1930s.
Instead, its design is merely a “What if” moment from Nissan's luxury division. More specifcially, what if Infiniti had created a race car in the 1940s; one that would have gone up against the post-World War II racers from Ferrari and Mercedes at the time. The “What if” moment of open-wheeled, elegant racers back in the day led to the production of the Prototype 9.
“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?” said Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President, Global Design
Despite looking the part, the Prototype 9 is equally modern as it is vintage. An example would be panels that were hand beaten by Japanese craftsmen, but were mounted on a grid of laser-cut steel. Furthermore, powering it is said to be a prototype electric motor and battery from Nissan Motor Corporation's Advanced Powertrain Department, which generates 150 PS. Not a lot, but will be enough bring the 890 kg vehicle from 0-100 km/h in 5.5 seconds.