Infiniti Prototype 9 Concept Breaks Cover Ahead Of Pebble Beach

Following a preview earlier this week, Infiniti has released new photos of the stunning Prototype 9 concept.

Published by Motor Trend, the images give us a better look at the retro-inspired concept which will be unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Looking like a modern-day silver arrow, the Prototype 9 draws inspiration from classic race cars and features a minimalist exterior with handcrafted aluminum body panels, an open cockpit, and exposed wheels with a wire-mesh design. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse up front as hood ornament feels out of place and the grille will undoubtedly prove controversial.

Despite the retro-inspired styling, the Prototype 9 is an extremely high-tech vehicle as it reportedly has a powertrain that is loosely based on the next-generation Nissan Leaf. The rear-mounted electric motor is powered by a 30 kWh battery pack and produces a modest 148 hp (110 kW) and 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) of torque.

That might not sound like much by today’s standards but the concept only weighs 1,962 lbs (890 kg). Thanks to its extreme lightness, the car will accelerate from 0-60 mph in less than 5.5 seconds and hit a limited top speed of 105 mph (168 km/h). The latter figure is a bit disappointing and so is the claim that the model is only good for about 20 minutes of action on the track.

Photo Gallery

  • mb4design

    Keep looking and maybe one day you’ll find a home for that stupid grill.

    • Six Thousand Times

      I have a home for my grill in my shed. I admit, sometimes, I just throw a cover over it and leave it outside.

  • eb110americana

    The body sculpting is exquisite. You just don’t see that quality, complexity, and refinement in surfacing on today’s cars. I love everything, I could even live with the hood ornament (even if it is from the wrong era), but the grill is big fat wart on an otherwise beautiful concept.

    • Six Thousand Times

      Is the grill stored in the tail? I don’t see it. Also electric? Those don’t barbecue as well as gas or charcoal grills but if you have a balcony in a high rise, they’re safer.

      • eb110americana

        You do realize that the two are considered interchangeable in that context, right? They both describe a lattice of bars, that’s the reason they have the same name. See top of page:
        http://www.dictionary.com/browse/grille?s=t

        • Six Thousand Times

          If you’re pointing to where it seems like you are, that’s the phonetic spelling (used for pronunciation. )

          And no, they’ve not interchangeable words.

          • eb110americana

            Directly pasted from the link:
            “grille or grill [gril]”

            The one is brackets is the phonetic spelling [gril]. “Grille or grill” is word being defined.

          • supermanuel

            They are NOT interchangeable.

          • Six Thousand Times

            Doesn’t seem like he realises that. 😉

          • Six Thousand Times

            My phone didn’t show that line but I now see what you’re reading. Click inside the body there, however, on radiator grille. Variants of a word are paramount in this case. That’s where you’ve gotten it wrong.

  • BobV12

    I need the price

    • Six Thousand Times

      Not for sale.

  • ejd1984

    Well. That’s a really pleasant surprise. 🙂

  • Bill Nguyen

    This is beautiful, but what about it says “Infiniti”? I wouldn’t mind of Mercedes came up with a concept like this, but Infiniti doesn’t really have the legacy or heritage to own a design like this.

    • Christian Wimmer

      My thoughts exactly.

      It’s a beautiful 1930s retro racing car concept, but what’s the point? My first thought was (before reading the title) that this was a restored Mercedes-Benz or Auto Union race car from the ’30s…

    • agreed, thought the same

    • Agreed. Totally pointless. Simply a waste of money.

    • Marc

      They don’t have the legacy to ”own” a design like this?

      Why can’t they explore new avenues to help them progress with their designs … Do you really had to be in the 30’s to be able to make a design study which is inspired from this era?

      I think not. I think it is a great way to improve designs to put yourself in the different era and try to make something out of it.

  • Blade t

    Seems like it was purpose built for the concourse d’elegance ….

  • An Existing Person

    Love the mix of retro and modern design.

  • Xandao

    Love it !

  • Remember when Nissan fired several thousand employee because they did not have enough money? Well now you know what they spend them for.

  • Joel Serpico

    Love the Infinity logo on the hood

  • LOOKS SHARP.

  • SteersUright

    What an awesome idea!

  • Waleesa1

    These days, it’s increasingly difficult to craft a grille that’s both distinct and beautiful. Infiniti has somehow managed to do that here. I would like to see it on their mainstream models; hopefully, it debuts on the successor to the Q70. It could even become a brand identity; much like BMW’s kidney grille, Rolls-Royce Pantheon, etc.

  • Honda NSX-R

    If you showed me this for the first time, I wouldn’t guess this was an Infiniti (without seeing the badge of course).

  • Dariush

    🙂 Cool alternative history project…but as beautiful as it is, it’s still a reminder that Infiniti is a brand with not much history.

  • Sjaak

    The front and the first half are base ugly, the second half is the better part.
    But still, what is the point of this “thing” ?
    Bentley, with the Bernato, did a much better job !

    • Six Thousand Times

      BMW did a fun 328 redux a while back, too.

  • TB

    So….why…?

  • Hockeyman

    Nice..Reminds me an Audi 🙂

  • Six Thousand Times

    My understanding is the body is steel over a ladder frame chassis with leaf springs. Then they slap an Infiniti grille on it and a Leaf electric motor in it. Huh? Identity crisis much?

  • Six_Tymes

    It is a beautiful retro racing car, nice work!