Infiniti has unveiled a working prototype of their Project Black S concept that gets an F1-style KERS hybrid system.
Originally unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the updated concept was jointly developed by Infiniti and the Renault Sport Formula One Team. As a result, the car is an “engineering testbed” that explores how Renault’s dual-hybrid powertrain technology could be used in a road-going model.
The concept is based on the Q60 Red Sport 400 and features a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 400 hp (298 kW / 405 PS) and 350 lb-ft (475 Nm) of torque. It is backed up by a hybrid system which has a 4.4 kWh lithium-ion battery and three electric motor generator units. Billed as “energy harvesting systems,” the motors generate electricity under acceleration and braking.
The electricity is used to spool up the e-turbos and power an electric motor that is integrated into the rear axle. The latter produces 160 hp (120 kW / 163 PS) and it helps the concept to produce a combined maximum output of a 563 hp (420 kW / 571 PS).
Infiniti declined to release detailed performance specifications, but the company said the car should be able to accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in less than four seconds. It’s also worth noting the model has 163 hp (121 kW / 165 PS) more than the standard Q60 Red Sport 400.
Besides the high-tech powertrain, the Project Black S has a carbon-ceramic braking system with ventilated and drilled discs that measure 15 inches (380 mm) up front and 14.1 inches (360 mm) out back. The car also has a sportier suspension, adjustable anti-lock braking and traction control systems as well as three different drive modes which control how the electric motor is used.
The car’s styling has been refined by the Renault Sport Formula One Team which used “computational fluid dynamics software to deliver more effective powertrain cooling and enhanced downforce.”
In particular, Infiniti says the concept has been equipped with larger air intakes, a ventilated hood and improved aerodynamics which are designed to cool the rear electric motor. The concept also features a massive rear wing which provides a “fine-tuned compromise between maximum straight-line stability and high-traction under cornering.”
Since the hybrid powertrain adds approximately 441 lbs (200 kg) of weight, engineers put the model on a massive diet. As a result, the concept has a number of carbon fiber components including the hood, roof and fenders. The moonroof and rear seats have also been removed.
Thanks to all these changes, the concept weighs 3,915 lbs (1,775 kg) which is just 53 lbs (24 kg) more than the Q60 Red Sport 400. Infiniti also says the concept has a lower center of gravity and better driving characteristics.
Infiniti will continue developing the car and there’s a chance we could eventually see a road-going version of the concept. As the automaker explained, they’re exploring a “potential new model grade” above the Red Sport 400 that would offer better performance, a unique design and a sportier chassis. Such a model would offer Infiniti a direct rival to several German high-performance models like BMW’s M4 and Audi‘s RS5 coupes.
Article updated with live images from the Paris Auto Show