Infiniti unveiled the Project Black S prototype at a private party in Paris. The 563-horsepower sports car with a hybrid electric powertrain was developed by the Renault Sport Formula One Team. The Project Black S prototype represents the company’s biggest leap toward its goal of containing all new models that feature hybrid and electric powertrains by 2021.
This prototype is actually an update to the concept car that the Hong Kong-based brand previewed at the Geneva Motor Show in 2017. The new update features a lighter body weight and a system that enables the battery to recharge during braking and acceleration. However, there will only be two of these cars made.
The prototype is currently still in the design study and test bed for further technologies that the company might eventually develop with its Formula One partner, according to chairman and global president of Infiniti Roland Krueger. Infiniti plans to test the Project Black S prototypes on the track for the very first time, which is expected to begin in 2019. Krueger says if the test goes well, a production version of the car that is legal to drive on the public roads, may come out in following years. Say the car does emerge, it will begin competing against other two-door hybrid sports cars, including BMW’s i8 and the Lexus LC.
Bloomberg reports that the prototype looks more similar to the $52,000, Q60 Red Sport 400 coupe than a Formula One race car. The car features a few upgrades including: dual air vents in the front of the hood; a wide front splitter; sporty, 21-inch, forged-aluminum and multispoked racing wheels; titanium exhaust tips; and a matte gunmetal-grey finish with yellow accents on the splitter and wheels.
What might be the most notable feature of the two-seat prototype is the rear wing, which is finished in carbon fiber. This feature holds some similarity in the aerodynamic profile to one of the Renault F1 race cars. The wing assists in low downforce for the sports car, which enables it to exceed 200 mph during a race. For means of a street-legal car, the wing would further enhance a stabilizing difference as the car moves in a straight line as well as enhance the traction around corners.
The Project Black S contains two hybrid electric motors and a 3.0-liter, V-6 twin-turbo engine located under the hood. The coupe generates 420 kW, or 563 hp, while the conventional engine produces 400 hp with its own power thanks to Nissan Motor Co., Renault SA, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. who developed these two parts.
The prototype has a seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Buttons are located on the steering wheel, which allows the driver to make the car adapt the ABS, traction control, and powertrain to current driving conditions. There are three drive modes including road, quali, and race—the fastest of which will be able to hit 62 mph in fewer than four seconds.