Automotive

Infiniti taps its F1 connection for hotter hybrid Q60

Infiniti taps its F1 connectio...
The Infiniti Q60 Project Black S might be matte black, but it certainly isn't flying under the radar
The Infiniti Q60 Project Black S might be matte black, but it certainly isn't flying under the radar
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The rear wing on the Project Black S doesn't hint at its potential, it shouts about it 
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The rear wing on the Project Black S doesn't hint at its potential, it shouts about it 
The Infiniti Project Black S uses an F1-derived powertrain
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The Infiniti Project Black S uses an F1-derived powertrain
The Infiniti Project Black S peeking out through the darkness
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The Infiniti Project Black S peeking out through the darkness
The Infiniti Project Black S makes use of carbon fiber for its crazier body add-ons
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The Infiniti Project Black S makes use of carbon fiber for its crazier body add-ons
The splitter on the Infiniti Project Black S is made of carbon fiber 
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The splitter on the Infiniti Project Black S is made of carbon fiber 
The Project Black S is being used to gauge interest in hotter Infiniti coupes
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The Project Black S is being used to gauge interest in hotter Infiniti coupes
The Project Black S joins the Q50 Eau Rouge in the pantheon of Infiniti performance concepts
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The Project Black S joins the Q50 Eau Rouge in the pantheon of Infiniti performance concepts
The wing on the Infiniti Project Black S is a touch boy-racer
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The wing on the Infiniti Project Black S is a touch boy-racer
The smooth lines of the Infiniti Project Black S have been replaced by an edgier look 
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The smooth lines of the Infiniti Project Black S have been replaced by an edgier look 
The Q60 has been turned into a wild, winged racer for the road in the Infiniti Project Black S
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The Q60 has been turned into a wild, winged racer for the road in the Infiniti Project Black S
The huge central exhaust on the Infiniti Project Black S hints at its F1-inspired powertrain
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The huge central exhaust on the Infiniti Project Black S hints at its F1-inspired powertrain
Infiniti is using the Project Black S as a test bed for its performance technologies
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Infiniti is using the Project Black S as a test bed for its performance technologies
The Infiniti Project Black S is finished in – you guessed it – black
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The Infiniti Project Black S is finished in – you guessed it – black
The Infiniti Project Black S looks similar to the Lexus RC F
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The Infiniti Project Black S looks similar to the Lexus RC F
The Infiniti Project Black S is a test bed for performance technology, and could make it to production in some form
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The Infiniti Project Black S is a test bed for performance technology, and could make it to production in some form
The exhaust on the Infiniti Project Black S wouldn't look out of place on a race car
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The exhaust on the Infiniti Project Black S wouldn't look out of place on a race car
Black highlights on the Infiniti Project Black S
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Black highlights on the Infiniti Project Black S
The good design touches of the Infiniti Project Black S, like its LED headlamps, are all rooted in the production car
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The good design touches of the Infiniti Project Black S, like its LED headlamps, are all rooted in the production car
The Infiniti Project Black S uses carbon fiber extensively 
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The Infiniti Project Black S uses carbon fiber extensively 
More dark touches on the exterior of the Infiniti Project Black S
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More dark touches on the exterior of the Infiniti Project Black S
Some people won't like the wing on the Infiniti Project Black S
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Some people won't like the wing on the Infiniti Project Black S
Infiniti says the wing on the Project Black S creates real downforce
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Infiniti says the wing on the Project Black S creates real downforce
The bonnet vents on the Infiniti Project Black S help the F1-inspired powertrain breathe
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The bonnet vents on the Infiniti Project Black S help the F1-inspired powertrain breathe
The Infiniti Q60 Project Black S might be matte black, but it certainly isn't flying under the radar
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The Infiniti Q60 Project Black S might be matte black, but it certainly isn't flying under the radar
The Project Black S is there to test the waters and see if people want a more powerful Infiniti
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The Project Black S is there to test the waters and see if people want a more powerful Infiniti
The wing on the Infiniti Project Black S is wafer-thin carbon fiber
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The wing on the Infiniti Project Black S is wafer-thin carbon fiber
View gallery - 26 images

Infiniti is trying to re-establish its performance credentials with cars like the Q60 Red Sport and Q50 Eau Rouge, but so far it hasn't been able to match the Germans for outright driver enjoyment. It's not a production car, but the Project Black S hints at a more aggressive future for hotted-up Infiniti coupes with wild wings and an F1-inspired hybrid powertrain.

Infiniti has a long connection with Formula 1, having sponsored Red Bull Racing before joining parent company Renault as a technical partner this year. The brand is cashing in on that connection with the Project Black S concept car, which explores how the high-rate discharge batteries and energy-harvesting technology used in the current hybrid F1 powertrains could be used to cut down on turbo lag and increase power. Infiniti says the tech could free up 25 percent more power from the turbocharged V6 engine in the Q60.

Although the concept hybrid system adds a bit of weight to the powertrain, a set of 21-inch lightweight wheels go some of the way to shedding the extra pounds. Infiniti is vague on any other lightweight measures that have been taken, but it does say a production model could also benefit from a more focused chassis and suspension tune, working with sticky tires to improve on the standard Q60 Red Sport.

The rear wing on the Project Black S doesn't hint at its potential, it shouts about it 
The rear wing on the Project Black S doesn't hint at its potential, it shouts about it 

Beside the experimental engine technology, the Project Black S is also a test-bed for all the wild styling cues Infiniti wasn't willing to fit to the production car. Whereas the Q60 in showrooms is an exercise in subtlety, the concept vehicle is wildly over the top to demonstrate just what can be done with advanced carbon-fiber manufacturing techniques. The deep front splitter, rear diffuser, fenders and bodykit are all made of the lightweight weave, as is the boy-racer wing adorning the trunk.

"Project Black S is a daring and elevated representation of Infiniti's performance DNA," says Alfonso Albaisa, Executive Design Director for Infiniti. "It expresses our desire to create cars that are designed to perform, marrying the potency of a high-performance powertrain with a muscular new design. This project has given us the opportunity to experiment with advanced materials to create a performance-inspired aesthetic that draws on Infiniti's motorsport ties."

It looks mean and purposeful to our eyes, although the big wings won't be to everyone's taste. Then again, that's sort of the point here. Infiniti is using it to gauge interest in a higher-end hot version of the Q60 and, if the public is keen, might even put something closely resembling the Project Black S into production.

The car will be on show in Geneva, where New Atlas is on the ground covering the action.

Source: Infiniti

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