Infiniti unveils retro Prototype 9 concept EV


In Infiniti's case, that's a "what if" called Prototype 9, a 1940s-inspired electric race vehicle.

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.

The motor and batteries are taken from parent company Nissan's Advanced Powertrain Department, but the Prototype 9 embraces the design aesthetic that's inspired Infiniti's recent cars. This finish was popular for the instrument panels of aircraft, sports and racing cars in the first half of the 20th century - but none of the interiors team had previously had the opportunity to try it. Motivation for the Prototype 9 is derived from an electric motor that makes a mere 148 horsepower - and has just twenty minutes of charge at full flog. The tires are cross-ply 450-19 fronts and 650-19 rears mounted on center-locking wire wheels.

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.

Driving it flat out wouldn't have got you very far if you were competing in a 1940s Grand Prix though. It also tops out at 105.6 miles per hour and is capable of around 20 minutes of track-use before needing to be recharged.

The shell is made up of a steel frame that's used as the template and wrapped in steel sheets that have been expertly beaten by Nissan "master craftspeople".

Infiniti says Prototype 9 is "emblematic of INFINITI's entrepreneurial spirit and passion for stunning design", and that it loosed its best craftsmen, and pulled from parent company Nissan's talent, to make the auto a reality.

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".

The Prototype 9 is a "love child" to some degree, given that it was conceived out of passion for motorsport by genuine automotive enthusiasts who design and create Infinitis for a living. Meanwhile, the smooth shape, open cockpit and long bonnet are said to be inspired by aeronautical designs.

Panel beaters incorporated Infiniti's signature design elements, such as the double-arch grille, "shark gills" behind the front wheels, a single-crease hood, and sharp lines that stretch from front to rear.