A new hybrid Infiniti is on its way. No surprise, really, given that the brand has committed to electrifying its entire portfolio by 2021. But instead of a dreary fuel-saver, this actually looks pretty exciting.
What you see here is the Project Black S prototype, and it’s a fast hybrid Infiniti. In terms of combustion engine, it features a 3.0-litre, twin-turbo V6. That’s combined with an electric powertrain that takes energy from Infiniti’s ‘energy recovery system’ (we’ll get to that in a minute) to deliver a total of 563 bhp.
And this hybrid Infiniti is light, too. The Black S designation represents the highest levels of performance within the company. Indeed, while this prototype is based on the Q60 Red S sports coupe, it was developed with the Renault Sport Formula One team. As a result, the power-to-weight ratio is 235 W/kg.
No, we don’t know what that means, either. But we do know that this leaves you with a car that’ll do 0-100 km/h in under 4.0 seconds.
“Project Black S utilises high power and smart energy management from advanced powertrains, a thrilling dynamic capability on road and track, and a performance-oriented aesthetic,” said Roland Krueger, Chairman and Global President at INFINITI.
Now, onto that hybrid Infiniti powertrain. The prototype’s powertrain employs three motor generator units (MGU). A single MGU-K (‘K’ stands for ‘kinetic’) unit harvests kinetic energy from braking – just like in Formula One. On top of this, the engine’s twin electric turbochargers are fitted with two MGU-H (‘H’ for ‘heat’) units, to harvest heat energy from exhaust gases. This enables the powertrain to generate electrical power under both braking and acceleration – something of a first when it comes to hybrid performance cars.
The aerodynamics are clever, too. Infiniti points specifically to the design of the rear wing, validated by Renault Sport Formula One Team’s aerodynamicists and finished in carbon fibre.
The wing has a similar aerodynamic profile to the Renault Sport Formula One Team’s ‘Monza’ wing, which provides a relatively low level of downforce for a Formula One car around one of the faster circuits in the sport’s calendar. As a result, you get a fine-tuned compromise between maximum straight-line stability and high-traction under cornering.
There aren’t many other details about this hybrid Infiniti so far. The Project Black S will be fully revealed in Paris later this week.
Who’s hoping it makes production?