This is Infiniti’s follow up to last years stunning Prototype 9, appropriately called the Prototype 10, and it’s starting this year’s Pebble Beach festivities with a bang.
Well, actually, it’s a bit quieter than a bang, because its another electric focused concept, but the Infiniti makes up for it by being simply gorgeous looking. The first project to be completed by the brand’s newly named Executive Design Director, Karim Habib, the Prototype 10’s creation was a global effort, with it being overseen in the Japan design center, designed digitally in the U.K., and crafted by hand in California.
They say they’ve “Looked back to go forward” which, practically speaking doesn’t work, but in terms of design means that they’re pitching us on their next models being more driver-focused, inspired by single seater Californian speedsters.
Since Infiniti is looking to electrify its lineup post-2021, this concept boasts some form of electrification, and with its design, it wants to connect the dots that EVs can be exciting cars. Although this car is just a design study it has ducts and vents that could enhance cooling for a battery pack, with the brand mentioning that a performance-oriented variant could be achieved this way too. Infiniti believes that their next generation of vehicles will arrive with pure battery power, high performance parallel hybrid systems and unique, performance focused e-power options.
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The design also points to the advantages provided by a specific EV platform. For starters, the brand suggests that a flat floor, which will be at the heart of its modular platforms, will allow for a lower driver’s seat, as well as other design advantages which will improve packaging, even allowing for an electric all-wheel drive system.
But seriously, the Prototype 10 is all about design. It’s an ultra-modern design, appropriated to an old-school body style. There’s a fin behind the drivers head, a long hood, open cockpit and the Infiniti badge is pressed deep into the body.
Finally, there is the minimalist cockpit, which is inspired by formula racecars, featuring a seat with a four-point harness, and a steering wheel that’s mounted on lightweight carbon fiber struts, rather than a steering column, since this car uses Infiniti’s special direct adaptive steer-by-wire system. The single seat is trimmed in black leather with red stitching for extra coolness.
Time will tell if this actually is the future design direction for Infiniti, but the brand is adamant that this is essentially its spirit animal going forward. Ultra modern, minimalist designs with a retro twist will surely look special on the road, but its the underlying engineering that Infiniti is really foreshadowing, with those electrified powertrains paired to modular platforms.
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