Infiniti goes retro at Pebble
Speedster concept is blast from its very brief past
Infiniti isn’t like its competitors. It doesn’t have much of a history. No legendary, decades-old models on which to base special editions of its diesel crossovers, or use as inspiration for concept cars it has no intention of building.
Concepts like the Prototype 10, which its maker says is an attempt to “recapture the spirit of early speedsters”. And presumably dupe the elaborately trousered, expensively loafered people of Pebble Beach into thinking a brand founded in the late Eighties has ‘heritage’.
While we’re 110 per cent sure Infiniti isn’t going to start building single-seater speedsters all of a sudden, elements of the P10’s design will trickle down into its road cars.
Not the single-seat layout, though, which is supposed to be indicative of the brand’s “driver-focused approach”. Design director Karim Habib calls it “looking back to go forward”. He says the P10 draws on “some of the most iconic and evocative designs of all time” to show how excited Infiniti is about the upcoming era of electrification, and what traits punters will come to associate with the EVs, range-extenders and hybrids it’s set to start selling in 2021.
The P10’s flat upward-facing surfaces echo the “uninterrupted nature of electric power delivery” the company says, while the geometric lines that punctuate the bodywork are supposed to reference the “shock of sudden acceleration” imbued by an EV powertrain. There’s not much to the cabin: one seat, obviously, mounted low on the flat floor, a four-point harness and brake/accelerator pedals. It’s far out, sure, but with no back catalogue, top marks for imagination.
The P10: inspiration from old cars made before Infiniti existed This concept follows the Prototype 9 from a year ago – an even more ambitiously retro EV in the style of a pre-war grand prix car