INFINITI this week unveiled its unique, open-wheeled retro concept car at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California. The Prototype 9 is an imagined “discovery” of a 1940s-era racing car, as it may have conceived by INFINITI engineers displaying at the time all the innovation and passion that drives the brand’s design esthetic today. At the same time it has been fitted with the latest technologies.
Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President, Global Design, was on hand at the annual charitable event to explain the concept behind the concept: "Prototype 9 celebrates the tradition of ingenuity, craftsmanship and passion of our forebears at Nissan Motor Corporation, 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?”
He added that it was not long before discussions turned to action: “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."
A one-of-a-kind retro concept car born of the after-hours dreaming, tinkering and passion of some highly-qualified and innovative automotive engineers, the Prototype 9 is fitted with an experimental electric motor and battery system developed by Nissan’s Advanced Powertrain Department. The latest-generation systems are offset by design elements that harken back strongly to past eras, starting with the open wheels and including hand-crafted interior details.