We all remember the glory days of racing, back when real men and women sat in thin metal tubes operating insanely fast machines. The days when the Mille Miglia was a sport, not a parade, and everybody wanted to die going fast. Infiniti remembers those good ol’ days—wait what?
That’s right; Infiniti’s latest concept car, dubbed the Prototype 9 Concept and revealed over at Motor Trend, is an electric Grand Prix styled racer, highlighting what many consider the golden era of European motorsport. As much as I want to mock Infiniti for building a car from a better time... before Infiniti existed, this thing is just too damn pretty!
While the exterior of the Prototype 9 is a perfect twist on a look straight out of the 1930s and 40s, the guts are very much a modern touch, with an electric powertrain swiped out of the upcoming second generation Nissan Leaf. That means there’s 148 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque being driven through an electric motor, resulting in a 0-60 mph time of 5.3 seconds and a top speed of 105 mph.
Despite the 21st century power source, the rest of the Prototype 9's construction is relatively classic, with leaf-spring suspension, a lack of power steering, hand-crafted steel body panels and a steel ladder chassis, and Infiniti sees the car as a nod to its “origins” dating all the way back to, uh, 1989.
Look, it doesn’t make sense for Infiniti to make a throwback concept like this, but am I mad? Hell no. Sure, it’s an oddly revisionist move for Infiniti to make—you can’t just retcon your way into history.
It’s manufactured heritage... but look at it. It’s beautiful and modern with a vintage twist, and I just can’t be mad. Plus it’s a perfect B.S. move for Pebble Beach, where it will be officially unveiled. I hope they produce some real ones. The only thing it’s missing is engine noise (and actual history).