Infiniti toyed around with the idea of putting the very promising Q50 Eau Rouge into production for what seemed like ages before deciding to drop the project. Hopefully that won’t be the case with the forthcoming Project Black S, a high-performance concept based on the gorgeous Q60. Developed with help from the Renault F1 team, the Geneva-bound hybrid car will test the waters to see whether there would be a market big enough to justify putting it into production.
Based on the Q60 Red Sport 400, the concept uses a biturbo 3.0-litre V6 engine developing 400 horsepower, just as it does in the regular model. But in this application, the combustion engine works together with an electric motor to boost output to somewhere in the region of 500 hp.
Electrification is provided by separate motor generator units capable of storing the energy from braking and exhaust gas heat — that would otherwise be lost — in a lithium-ion battery pack. It’s then deployed to power the crankshaft as well as the turbo compressor to give the concept more oomph.
Initial images reveal a heavily modified front end with an aggressive bumper hosting large air vents. The rear end is even more extreme, with a huge wing and monstrous rear diffuser. It certainly seems to deliver on Infiniti's promise that the one-off Q60 will have a 'stand-out, aerodynamic design'.
During the concept’s development, engineers at Renault F1 provided their input in regards to the energy recovery system derived from their race car. The Project Black S will be able to deploy the harvested energy to boost horsepower and torque to achieve “significant, lag-free acceleration” thanks to a hybrid setup currently not available in a production car, according to Infiniti.
Indeed, Automotive News has learned from Infiniti President, Roland Krueger, that the F1-derived tech will be all about extra performance rather than improved fuel efficiency. Set to feature a rear-mounted electric motor, the concept will not have a pure electric mode, nor will it improve fuel economy.
If the concept is well received at Geneva, Infiniti will investigate the prospects of turning the Project Black S into a road-going model and possibly launch other similar derivatives as part of a new performance model line positioned above Red Sport.
Nissan’s premium marque will take the virtual wraps off the concept on March 6th, a day before hosting the public debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.
Gallery: Infiniti Q60 Project Black S concept
Introducing Project Black S: An Exploration of a New INFINITI High-Performance Model Line
Collaborative venture between INFINITI and the RenaultSport Formula One Team
INFINITI investigating Formula One-inspired performance hybrid technology
Project Black S explores the potential for an innovative new performance model line
Hong Kong – Featuring Formula One-inspired technology, ‘Project Black S’ is an exploration of a new INFINITI high-performance model line. Developed in collaboration with the RenaultSport Formula One Team, Project Black S will be revealed for the first time globally at a special media event on the eve of the Geneva International Motor Show.
A radical reinterpretation of the Q60 coupe, Project Black S features a stand-out, aerodynamic design, and hints at how a unique-for-the-road performance hybrid powertrain could significantly enhance the dynamics of an INFINITI production car.
“INFINITI is the premium car manufacturer within the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and a technical partner to the Renault Sport Formula One Team, so it is natural that we come together to explore the possibility of bringing innovative high-performance hybrid technology to our customers. INFINITI has constantly led the way in making innovative new powertrain technology available, and we’re extremely excited by the potential of Project Black S.” Roland Krueger, President of INFINITI
The performance hybrid powertrain being explored through Project Black S features an ‘energy recovery system’ (ERS) to harvest energy, deploying recovered electric power to boost power and torque. The result is instant, significant, lag-free acceleration. Inspired by the dual-hybrid system proven in Formula One, the technology does not yet exist in a current road car.
The reveal of Project Black S in Geneva will help to gauge potential public interest in high-performance derivatives of INFINITI cars.
More information on Project Black S will be available via www.INFINITIpresspacks.com from 17:00 (CET) on March 6.