Design study previews how the brand sees its future.
Left-field luxury car marque Infiniti has unveiled its latest design concept, as a successor to the jaw-dropping Prototype 9 that it showed off last year. But where the Prototype 9 was a resto-mod throwback with a state of the art powertrain, the Prototype 10 picks up where it left off, and certainly bears a distinctly futuristic flavour.
“The Infiniti Prototype 10 echoes the layout and design of early Californian speedsters. This period saw the creation of some of the most evocative car designs of all time, where power was celebrated through high-powered single-seat competition cars. Our new concept speaks of an electrified future, something which is reflected in its form and details. It is appropriate that we found inspiration in an optimistic bygone era in which cars were characterised by the simple love of driving.” — Karim Habib, Executive Design Director, Infiniti
The Prototype 10 is certainly a distinctive machine, and bears strong influence from early speedsters that used to race around California many, many years ago. But beyond its form, the Prototype 10 is more of a brand manifesto, a display of Infiniti’s intent to ensure that electric cars retain driver engagement and fun after the death of the pure-combustion powertrain.
A single-seater, the Prototype 10’s racecar influence is clear inside, with only a black leather seat with red contrast stitching and a matching steering wheel to note. Behind that steering wheel, there’s Infiniti’s brand-unique steer-by-wire system that negates the need for a steering column, though we remain unconvinced by the setup.
Under the skin, the Prototype 10 bears some kind of future-looking powertrain that is probably a high-performance parallel-hybrid system, though the company remains coy on the subject and prattles on about all sorts of other future-powertrain nonsense without getting into specifics. Regardless, this design study is a clear indicator that not only is Infiniti serious about its future, but that driver-experience will remain a brand tenet long after pure-ICE mills are a thing of the past.