Sometimes it’s incredibly frustrating being a car enthusiast. Manufacturers are constantly dangling concepts in front of us that we know deep down we will never have. Even still, as enthusiasts, we can’t seem to look away. Infinity is the latest culprit to use these torture tactics, showcasing their radical Prototype 9.
The Prototype 9 is one of the most random concept cars to come from a manufacturer in some time. The car is styled from the likes of a 40’s formula car, with a hidden secret under the hood. If this were a true vintage racer it would likely house an insane V16 or something of the sorts, but because the year is closer to 2040 than 1940, it doesn’t have an engine at all.
No, instead the Prototype 9 is designed as an all electric vehicle. One of those waves of the future as it were. Infinity’s parent company, Nissan, has elected to use the Leaf’s powertrain inside this radical new design. If you know anything about basic EV cars, you know that means less than impressive performance numbers. With that drivetrain, the Prototype 9 has just 148hp and a marginal 236lb-ft of torque. Like I said, it’s less than impressive. To the prototype 9’s credit, it does weight just under 2,000lbs, helping mitigate the lack of grunt. Infinity claims the Prototype 9 will do 0-60 in 5.5-seconds and will have a top speed of a mind bending 106mph. At those speeds, you will be the best looking car to get passed by a Vespa.
Truthfully, the numbers are about as disappointing as a Guns & Roses reunion concert. But unlike an overweight Axle Rose, this Infinity actually has some redeeming qualities. Well one, to be exact. IT’S ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. Holy hell, I can’t stop staring. For a company that was founded in 1989, they managed to get every detail of a vintage racer oh so right. The handcrafted aluminum body is reminiscent of a shark, giving it an aggressive look while sitting completely still. The vintage cues are robust, with just enough modern touches to bring it into the 21st century. And yet that is just scratching the surface as to what makes this concept beautifully.
The grill is not only a gorgeous shape but likely acts as a functional cooling device for the electronics under the hood. The wire spoke wheels with period correct tires easily transport the Project 9 back in time by a good 70 years or so. Looking down that long skinny bonnet will no doubt give you the feeling that you are the real Juan Manuel Fangio(F1 champion 1951,1954-1957). The interior is not much of an interior, but what do you expect from a car like this. The steering houses all three gauges in the center, a nice touch for the modern side. But by far my favorite piece on this entire car has to be those gorgeous drum brakes. They are massive, polished and just pure eye candy. It’s the little(big) details that make a difference.
Even with the underwhelming electric drivetrain there is no denying that the Project 9 would be an absolute hoot around a race track. Smaller the better in this case. But there is another shortcoming with the EV powertrain, and that is a grand total of 20 minutes run time in track conditions. 20 minutes. I’m not saying it needs to be able to finish the 24 Hours of LeMans on a single charge, but can we at least get a half hour of play time?
There are so many things that you could complain about the Project 9, and yet they are easily overshadowed by its beauty. If only they offered a petrol powered version as well, then we would really be in for a treat. Regardless, if I had the money, I would buy one yesterday.