On the surface, the Infiniti Prototype 9 seems little more than a whimsical what if, a designer’s doodle made into metal, maybe even a brazen attempt to build a creation legend for an automaker that didn’t even exist until a half a century after the era that defines its form. But like a samurai sword, the Prototype 9 is an object made up of hidden layers, wrapped in meaning.
Beneath the sleek steel bodywork (the rear is hand-beaten over a laser cut steel frame, the front was formed by two seven-axis robots) the 890kg Prototype 9 racer features a fairly modest 120kW/320Nm rear-mounted electric motor with charge fed from a 30kW/h battery pack believed to be borrowed from the next-generation Nissan Leaf.
Weighing just 890 kilograms, the Prototype 9 is said to have a 0-60mph (0-97km/h) time of 5.5 seconds. Its theoretical top speed is said to be around 210km/h, but the car is electronically limited to 160km/h, probably in deference to the car’s 19-inch wire wheels and thin retro rubber.
The motor produces 120 kW (148 hp) and 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque, and it drives the rear wheels via single-speed transmission. Prototype 9 has a top speed of 170 kph (105.6 mph), and sprints from 0-to-100 kph (0-to-62 mph) in 5.5 seconds, with a maximum EV range of 20 minutes under heavy track use.