The Infiniti Project Black S Prototype debuts at the Paris Motor Show, starting on October 4th.
Infiniti worked the Renault Sport Formula One Team for the Project Black S Prototype.
The car serves as a “springboard” for high-performance engineering, according to the two companies.
Will Infiniti actually produce it? That’s not entirely clear . . .
For all intents and purposes, the Infiniti Project Black S Prototype reminds me of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and its sleek profile. And similar to the Genesis, the Project Black S Prototype is a proper rear-wheel drive sports car. It also shares the same aura as Godzilla, the Nissan GT-R.
But that’s where the similarities will abruptly end.
The Infiniti Project Black S is more than just a conventional sports car. Utilizing the go-fast gimmickry of the Renault Sport Formula One Team, the Project Black S is the first of its kind to come with a dual-hybrid powertrain system.
Infiniti claims its the first time such a hi-tech system is available for a road car. But here’s the clincher: they must give the go-signal for production before making any claims.
Based on the menu, it all sounds and looks delicious. The Infiniti Project Black S is based on the Q60, specifically the Q60 Red Sport 400. But if the Red Sport is a luxury coupe masquerading as a sporty car, the Project Black S Prototype is engineered to go fast, luxury be damned.
That vast rear wing was designed by the blokes from the Renault F1 team. It is the biggest indicator that the Project Black S is a serious performance machine. The wing even shares the same profile as the team’s Monza wing for their F1 cars, so there’s genuine trickery behind the shape and intent in the carbon fiber rear spoiler.
But the main course is the engine. The Infiniti Project Black S is equipped with the VR30 3.0-liter V6 motor with twin electric turbochargers. Yes, you heard me right. This thing comes with electric turbochargers, spooling up delicious servings of power and torque. The hi-tech motor is connected to a seven-speed automatic.
The cream of the crop is the dual-hybrid technology. There are three motor generator units or MGUs in the Project Black S Prototype. There is a single MGU that harvests kinetic energy from braking (MGU-K) and a pair of MGUs to harvest heat from the twin electric turbochargers (MGU-H). Thus, the dual-hybrid system generates electrical power whether you’re accelerating or braking.
[bctt tweet=”If the Red Sport is a luxury coupe masquerading as a sporty car, the Project Black S Prototype is engineered to go fast, luxury be damned.” username=”Automoblog”]
The figures are impressive: 563 horsepower, 350 lb-ft. of torque, and zero to 60 in less than four seconds. The motor-generators spool the turbochargers with a prod of the right foot, delivering power directly to the rear wheels. This means instantaneous response and torque with virtually no turbo lag. If this doesn’t sound like a recipe for a good time, then I don’t know what does.
“The Infiniti Project Black S utilizes high power and smart energy management from advanced powertrains, a thrilling dynamic capability on road and track, and a performance-oriented aesthetic,” explained Roland Krueger, Infiniti Chairman and Global President.
No F1-inspired car is complete without the ability to effortlessly slice the wind. The Renault F1 team utilized all the tricks in the book to give the Infiniti Project Black S Prototype greater aero efficiency with higher levels of downforce. Most of this stems from the unique rear wing. Designed using digital modeling technology, the wing helps stabilize the car during high-speed driving and cornering.
As expected from a track-based road car, the Infiniti Project Black S has large and aggressive cooling ducts. The roof panels, fenders, and hood are carbon fiber to reduce weight. Infiniti claims a curb weight of 3,915 lbs, saying the power-to-weight ratio is 39 percent better than the Q60 Red Sport 400.
[bctt tweet=”This means instantaneous response and torque with virtually no turbo lag. If this doesn’t sound like a recipe for a good time, then I don’t know what does.” username=”Automoblog”]
But Will Infiniti Make This Car?
We hope so. The Infiniti Project Black S is the basis for all future electrified vehicles from the brand.
“The Project Black S represents the very top end of electrification in the Alliance portfolio, and is another example of Infiniti’s entrepreneurial spirit on its journey to electrification from 2021 onward,” Krueger said. “A collaborative venture between Infiniti and the Renault Sport Formula One Team, the Project Black S prototype is a testbed for new ideas and technologies, demonstrating how our Alliance partnerships could make our ambitious visions a reality.”
And besides, the Nissan GT-R is no spring chicken, if you catch my drift. I can think of no other car in the alliance that can go as wildly as the Project Black S.
Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.