While it is true that the typical image of retro roadster bespeaks brands like Jaguar and Porsche, Nissan decided to turn the tide this time. This bad boy is called Infiniti 09; a brand new prototype mixed with vintage looks and modern engineering.
The result is an electric powered road raging monstrosity that is capable of hitting 0 – 100 Km in just about 5 seconds. Read on…
Nissan Redefines Vintage Race Cars with Infiniti 09
Everything about the Infiniti 09 looks cool. From the outside, you see a “stunning” front body; slightly elongated for aerodynamics and speed. Infiniti itself is a luxury brand, but this high speed roadster is not that expensive.
The only problem right now is that “09” is more of a prototype. It is fully working, but the company has not really revealed any plans for mass market sales. However, the car runs, gallops and strides across all kinds of roads with grace and style.
Infiniti 09 was not a rushed idea. The boys at Nissan were thinking about entering the race cars league, but they wanted to do it their own way. The main issue was to maintain a retro look, and incorporate it with latest auto-technology.
The resulting all-electric powertrain consumes minimum energy and promises to burst up to 170 Km/Hr. speed when things get iffy really quick.
Developing Infiniti 09 also meant that Nissan was not tied to conventions anymore. They, therefore, unabashedly integrated modern technology with old school racing to complete the prototype. Since the car is run on electricity, it means that there are a couple of limitations.
Speed is okay; it is just under 106 Mph. The car reaches 100 Km in about 5 seconds as mentioned earlier. On top of that, the total range is 20 minutes. But if you are willing to dole out a handsome amount of cash on a sexy throwback racer, why not go for Infiniti 09.
According to Alfonso Albaisa, Senior V.P of Nissan Global Design, and the guy who has a secret gravy recipe, said, “The Infiniti 09 Prototype celebrates the tradition of ingenuity, craftsmanship and passion of our forefathers at Nissan Motor Co.”
Albaisa continued, “The idea of the car took off as a simple sketch followed by couple of discussions. What if INFINITI had created a race car in the 1940s, but then drove it on the famous circuits of modern race tracks?”
This question pushed the boundaries on ‘thinking outside the box’ theory. Nissan was flooded with all kinds of raunchy sketches. Eventually, they settled for what you see as the fully operable version of the Infiniti 09. On top of that, Alfonso Albaisa recalls that most of the “workers volunteered their time to create a working vehicle.” – and a working vehicle they did create.
Infiniti 09 borrows a high performance electric motor from Nissan Motor Co’s Powertrain Department. They also managed to get by with a battery from the same department. Other than that, they made the panels and most of the body through a combination of hand and machine work.
Nissan hired a special team from Takumi; they are the master level artisans at Nissan Motor Co. Whenever something new or virtually impossible needs to be practically created after the design phase, the guys up the food chain call people at Takumi.
Roland Krueger, Global President of Nissan Motor Co. expressed his thoughts about Infiniti 09, “What started as an after-hours idea grew into a fully-fledged prototype; our designers and engineers were excited by the notion of creating a past vision, a nod to our origins.”
It seems that Krueger was also impressed with workers’ spirit of volunteering to create Infiniti 09. “Our designers and engineers were excited by the notion of creating a past vision, a nod to our origins. They volunteered their own time; more and more staff become involved. Our teams have proven skills in manufacturing, engineering, design and advanced powertrains. Yet they wanted to bring their own traditional craftsmanship to the project,” said Krueger.
“We like to think that INFINITI, with its stunning design, high performance capability and forward-looking technology, shares some DNA with the Prince Motor Company, which became part of Nissan Motors. Prototype 9 is a celebration of the artistry and ingenuity inherent in our company,” said Alfonso Albaisa.
Infiniti 09 Cabin Design
I’m sure that by now, you have seen a couple of close up shots of the Infiniti 09 cabin. There’s not a lot of room for extra luggage, freeloaders or anyone else.
The cabin is all about the car and the driver. The hub boasts of an aluminum finished trim. They wanted to go for an aircraft type of look; you know the ones you see inside a DogFighter plane.
Infiniti 09 has its steering wheel sitting right next to the driver. Unfortunately, obese folks will not be able to fit in inside the car because the steering doesn’t give a lot of room for movement etc.
There is a minimum number of gauges and gizmos inside the Infiniti 09. The dashboard, or the main hub only has relevant dials.
Alfonso Albaisa reflected upon the design aesthetics by saying, “The beautiful execution of Prototype 9 represents a combination of artistry, craftsmanship and commitment to a romantic notion of our heritage. It inspired our people to work on Prototype 9 in their own time – as they were completely invested in the project and the details and features originated with them. Prototype 9 has been a labor of love for many of us”
As things started moving north, they finalized the working mechanism of the Infiniti 09. The car was fully tested on various number of tracks before finally making the announcement to the entire world.
There is a great deal of additional information and specs available at the official Nissan Infiniti 09 website.
Fun Fact: Rumor has it that when they were creating the Infiniti 09, the volunteer engineers actually proposed the idea of installing an electric powertrain.