In­finiti Pro­to­type 10: A Vin­tage Car for the Fu­ture

Distinguished Magazine - - Contents - ANIRUDH MADHAV

This year, In­finiti has teased the Pro­to­type 10, a sin­gle seater elec­tric lux­ury ve­hi­cle that re­tains the spirit of the Cal­i­for­nian speed­sters from the 1960s. Last year, the In­finiti Pro­to­type 9 car, in­spired by the grand prix cars of the 1940’s, made its ap­pear­ance at the Peb­ble beach Con­cours d’El­e­gance. The de­sign of the car was el­e­gant and sim­ple, it re­tained the clas­sic sil­very look of the grand prix cars with a pro­to­type elec­tric mo­tor and bat­tery from Nis­san’s Ad­vanced Pow­er­train de­part­ment.

This year, In­finiti has teased the Pro­to­type 10, a sin­gle seater elec­tric lux­ury ve­hi­cle that re­tains the spirit of the Cal­i­for­nian speed­sters from the 1960s. The de­sign of the an­gled hood and the rear is in­spired from the 1960s Alfa Romeo Duetto. The lat­est re­veal from In­finiti, bor­rows some cues from the Pro­to­type 9 and the Q In­spi­ra­tion Con­cept, a sleek, pow­er­ful and at­trac­tive sedan.

The In­finiti Pro­to­type 10 fea­tures a long flow­ing body with an open ton­neau, front grille and a 3D logo. In­finiti has de­cided to go sin­gle seater, while the place for the se­cond pas­sen­ger has been ded­i­cated to a mas­sive cool­ing duct, chan­nel­iz­ing air to the bat­tery. With a flat un­der­side and a chin spoiler to gen­er­ate down­force, the de­sign team has fo­cused on gen­er­at­ing speed while en­sur­ing that the car stays glued to the ground. The cock­pit fea­tures a min­i­mal de­sign with a rac­ing-style wheel and a screen in the mid­dle with limited but­tons. How­ever, there is no an­nounce­ment if In­finiti would in­clude their semi-au­tonomous sys­tem into the Pro­to­type 10, just like its ad­di­tion to Nis­san cars and In­finiti Q. The steer­ing wheel mounted on two car­bon struts is con­nected by the com­pany’s steer-by-wire tech, mean­ing it is not ac­tu­ally con­nected to the front wheels.

While the au­tomaker has been se­cre­tive about engi­neer­ing de­tails, it is likely that Pro­to­type 10 would house the pow­er­train from the Nis­san Leaf fea­tur­ing a 147-horse­power mo­tor and a 40-kwh bat­tery. Karim Habib, a for­mer BMW de­signer took the reigns as the Chief de­signer at In­finiti, a year ago and the con­cept car is the first com­plete vi­sion show­cased by In­finiti Stu­dios. The de­sign of the Pro­to­type 10 was an in­ter­na­tional ef­fort by a team of de­sign­ers based in the UK, US and Ja­pan. Habib, based in Ja­pan cred­its his in­spi­ra­tion to the art, ar­chi­tec­ture and ty­pog­ra­phy in the Ja­panese cul­ture. As the sis­ter com­pany of Nis­san sets out to take de­sign and lux­ury to a deeper level, it plans to roll out full elec­tric ve­hi­cles by 2023.

In­stead of build­ing an SUV or cross­over which is more pop­u­lar these days, In­finiti has taken a bold move in con­cep­tu­al­iz­ing a pro­to­type with a sin­gle seat and a mo­tor that is ten times smaller than a tra­di­tional mo­tor. Ac­cord­ing to In­finiti, the Pro­to­type 10 cel­e­brates the high-pow­ered sin­gle seat com­pe­ti­tion cars and re­flects an elec­tri­fied fu­ture. The idea of the Pro­to­type 10 is the fo­cus on the driver in the age of au­tonomous ve­hi­cles and the evolv­ing hu­mans be­hind the wheels. How­ever, chances of a driver get­ting be­hind the wheels of a Pro­to­type 10 are close to none as this is only a con­cept. Never-the-less, it does lay a foun­da­tion for fu­ture de­signs that In­finiti is set to adopt in its up­com­ing cars.

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