TORONTO: The two vehicles making their national debuts during the INFINITI 2018 Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) couldn’t be more different in terms of overall look – one a slim, silver, open-wheeled vintage roadster, and the other, an aggressive, bolder version of what the public knows as the INFINITI Q60 Sports Coupe. Despite their differences in appearance, INFINITI Prototype 9 and Project Black S are united by INFINITI’s past and future motorsport story. INFINITI’s new global executive design director, Karim Habib, who calls Canada home, presented the INFINITI Prototype 9 and Project Black S.
“I spent many hours on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve when I was growing up in Montreal, and I am very excited to present Project Black S – which is the potential for a new INFINTI performance grade – as well as Prototype 9 – inspired by an emerging era of Japanese motorsport. Both concepts share a common ground in auto racing, while their stories remain different.” – Karim Habib, INFINITI Executive design director. Project Black S is a collaborative venture between INFINITI and the Renault Sport Formula One Team, which have been technical partners since 2016. To celebrate this relationship, Project Black S was built to explore a radical reinterpretation of the INFINITI Q60 coupe.
“Hinting to the performance potential of a production ‘Black S’ model, the use of carbon fiber has allowed us to sculpt thin, blade-like design forms, combined with the original Q60’s deep creases. This would not be possible with traditional materials, such as metal or fiberglass” says Habib.
Prototype 9 answers what if INFINITI was born in the 1940’s when races were competed with roadsters, like the ones at the Tamagawa Speedway in Japan? This simple question had a domino effect on the design team at INFINITI and after countless hours of voluntary overtime by a team of passionate employees, Prototype 9 was born.
The eye-catching vehicle is a combination of past and future in one car. It is a sleek, open wheeled electric retro roadster prototype inspired by an emerging era of Japanese motorsport.
“Similar to INFINITI vehicles on the road today, Prototype 9 required a combination of high tech pioneering spirit and obsessive traditional artistry. The panels were hammered into shape by the amazing craftsmen and artisans found so often in Japan: the Takumi. The vehicle’s stunning bodywork is made from steel body panels wrapped around a ladder frame” explained Habib.
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.
Articulating the same sense of advanced artistry as INFINITI’s production cars and near-production concepts, Prototype 9’s cabin was also crafted by the company’s interior design teams.
The 2018 CIAS is open until February 25, so rush if you would like to see these concepts with your own eyes!