Infiniti Showcase Prototype 9 at California Car Show

By Paul Joseph

Among the array of outstanding cars on display at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California last week was a new creation by premium manufacturer Infiniti.

The luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Nissan, Infiniti unveiled the sleek, open-wheeled electric retro roadster prototype 9 at the prestigious car show, and to great fanfare.

The car is billed as reimagining a 1940s race car with time-honoured production techniques employed to realise its retro design.

“Prototype 9 celebrates the tradition of ingenuity, craftsmanship and passion of our forebears at Nissan, on whose shoulders we stand today,” says Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President of Global Design.

“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?

"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.”

The car is powered by a prototype electric motor and battery from Nissan’s Advanced Powertrain Department. This nod to the future contrasts with the traditional materials and techniques applied for the Prototype 9’s manufacture, including panels hand-beaten by a team of Takumi – Nissan’s master artisans.

The Prototype 9 was on display at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey Count on 20 August.

A tradition going back over half a century, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is where the world's collector cars meet and compete. It is also traditionally use for the unveiling of modern luxury cars and concepts.

By Paul Joseph