By Steve & Tamami Laser
For the second year in a row, Infiniti has revealed a gorgeous single-seat electric speedster concept car at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. While last year’s Prototype 9 reimagined a “1940s” race car with its open-wheel retro design, the new Prototype 10 (below) is focused on the performance car of the future while evoking the spirit of early Californian speedsters.
Infiniti says that the most obvious representation of the car’s performance is its low speedster layout and confident proportions, with a long bonnet and open cockpit contrasted by an upright fin behind the driver’s seat that extends into the rear deck.
As the story goes, Prototype 10’s body is punctuated with geometric lines that reference the “shock and sudden acceleration enabled by a powertrain, which can instantly deliver 100 percent of available torque with the push of the accelerator pedal.” Cooling ducts behind the driver and in place of a passenger seat are designed to let air flow into the rear of the car to help cool the batteries and electric motor.
While this new electric speedster isn’t headed to the showroom, the luxury automaker says that by 2021 all of its new production models, whether sedan, SUV or sports car, will feature electrified powertrains including EVs, parallel hybrids and e-POWER versions, the latter eliminating the need for an external charging source.
As the first project directed by Karim Habib, Infiniti’s new executive design director, Prototype 10 was masterminded by Infiniti’s Japan design center in Atsugi, digitally designed in London, and hand-built in San Diego, Calif., the home of Infiniti’s North American design studio. (video: Infiniti)
“Prototype 10 provides a link between where Infiniti stands now, and where we are heading,” says Habib (above). “For us, electrification means performance – our cars will be powerful, efficient, and highly rewarding to drive, and Prototype 10 is a physical representation of our electrified future.”
Infiniti puts the driver in charge of the single-seat cockpit that brings to mind formula racing cars. The low-mounted driver’s seat, trimmed with black leather and red stitching, features extended side and hip bolsters. There’s a four-point harness, brake and accelerator pedals, a race-inspired steering wheel, and a wind guard.
Thanks to Direct Adaptive Steering with steer-by-wire technology, Prototype 10’s steering wheel is mounted on carbon fiber struts without an intrusive steering column. The steering wheel has a flat lower section and what looks like paddle shifters, yet Infiniti says that “with no gears to change, an electrified powertrain means fewer physical distractions.” A compact instrument display is mounted in the center of the wheel.
The automaker also says that Prototype 10 hints at the potential to adopt rigid, modular platforms with flat floors that could underpin all of its new electrified vehicles and support a new era of design and packaging. We can’t wait to see what’s next.
News source, photos and video courtesy Infiniti Motor Company Ltd. and Infiniti North America, Inc.
Story © 2018 CarNichiWa.com