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Racy retro prototype teased by Infiniti

Look back: Infiniti designers set their imaginations free when they penned this electric-powered, retro-style car to be revealed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Infiniti reaches back to the future with modern take on a classic racer

10 Aug 2017

JAPANESE luxury car-maker Infiniti has launched into a flight of fancy by designing a retro-styled, racing-inspired car with modern touches from the company’s latest design language and an electric powertrain.

Teased overnight in a single image issued from its Hong Kong global headquarters, the open-wheeled single-seater will be revealed in full at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California, starting next week.

The unnamed design exercise is described by Infiniti as a “heritage-inspired prototype vehicle that captures the ingenuity and adventure of early motorsports with the brand’s contemporary Powerful Elegance design language”.

Infiniti global design senior vice president Afonso Albaisa said the project started with a simple thought: “What if we found a car, down at the southern tip of Japan, buried deep in the bush, hidden from all eyes for 70 years?”

“What if in this car we found the seed of passion planted during our first Japanese Grand Prix and the power and artistry of Infiniti today? What would this discovery look like.”

Although Infiniti has not disclosed details of the powertrain, its media release indicates it is battery powered, describing the car as “a fusion of advanced EV technology and the hands and hearts of hundreds of craftsman”.

Interestingly, Infiniti describes the car as a prototype, not a concept or design exercise, but has not said what it has in mind for a potential successor.

As shown here, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to road-register in most jurisdictions, especially Australia.

Although the race design is in the style of a 1930s open-wheeler, including skinny treaded tyres, it might be a nod to Infiniti’s five-year sponsorship of the Red Bull Racing formula one team, which ended after the 2015 season.

From what we can see in the image, the Infiniti prototype will fit right in at the Pebble Beach event which features some of the world’s great classic cars competing in the annual concours d’elegance, as well as others up for auction at Gooding sales.

Mercedes-Maybach is also set to show a Vision Six concept at the event.

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