Infiniti has updated its Project Black S prototype, first shown at 2017’s Geneva motor show. Based on its sleek and elegant flagship coupe, the Q60, the Black S version features technology inspired by the company’s ties to Formula 1, with both its powertrain and a new rear wing taking inspiration from the pinnacle of motorsport.
Among the information revealed ahead of the 2018 Paris motor show is greater detail on the car’s twin-turbocharged, ERS (energy recovery system) assisted powerplant.
Based on the company’s 3-litre VR30 twin-turbocharged V6, the engine is assisted by a trio of motor-generator units (MGUs). One is an MGU-K – for “kinetic” – which recovers energy under braking, while the other pair – MGU-H, for “heat” – harvest energy from the heat produced by the two electric turbocharger compressors. The energy generated is stored in a lithium-ion battery pack to be used to help propel the vehicle later.
Combined, the engine and electrical assistance add up to 420kW (against 298kW for the engine on its own). No torque figure is quoted, but with a power-to-weight ratio of around 315bhp/ton (the Black S comes in at around the 1787kg mark), Infiniti claims a 0-100kph acceleration figure of under four seconds.
The Black S’s similarity to F1 cars – at least in theory – goes further, with the addition of a new rear wing for the concept being shown in Paris.
While it doesn’t quite have the dimensions of a Formula 1 wing, the company says it’s similar in profile to the low-drag setup used by the Renault Sport Formula One Team at the high-speed Monza circuit, albeit modified for the dimensions of the Black S.
How effective it is on a road car is open to interpretation – a profile designed for low drag in an F1 car probably doesn’t produce a huge amount of downforce at road-car speeds – but Infiniti claims stability and traction improvements regardless.
Infiniti Project Black S at Geneva 2017
Despite its name the Black S is actually finished in dark grey matte. The paint alone highlights the Q60’s existing curves and makes the front arches look stretched and the rear three-quarter more defined and stronger. But it’s just an illusion, as most of the Q60’s body has been left unchanged.
Appearances aside the Black S isn’t simply a Q60 with some new paint and an off-the-shelf wing and a diffuser. The concept gets a reprofiled front and rear bumper, arch extensions to cover a wider track, wheel-well vents, new sills, cooling vents in the bonnet as well as a bespoke wing and diffuser. Each of the new elements have been designed to complement and accentuate the Q60’s existing sculptured shapes and surfaces.
Mat Weaver, Infiniti’s European design director, showed us around the car during the 2017 Geneva show, and described the process in transforming the Q60. ‘I like aggressive cars, but it has to suit the style of the car. We’ve taken cues from the Q60’s sculpture and the surfaces so everything now has an elegance to the surface as well as being quite purposeful.’