Infiniti Looks to Hybrid Tech For Massive Power and Efficiency

Infiniti Project Black S hybrid super-saloon with F1 tech revealed in Paris

Infiniti Project Black S hybrid super-saloon with F1 tech revealed in Paris

Infiniti has unveiled a working prototype of their Project Black S concept that gets an F1-style KERS hybrid system.

The curvaceous Infiniti Project Black S coupe is making its world debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show and comes powered by a hybrid powertrain that borrows heavily from the Japanese luxury brand's association with Formula One racing. Meanwhile the MGU-K recovers energy under braking and helps the engine power the wheels.

"Infiniti has reached another milestone on its road to electrification". An MGU gathers back energy which is stored in lithium-ion batteries to be deployed for extra power; Infiniti believes a road vehicle application could happen, not only improving power and torque - by up to 25 per cent - but also throttle response and turbo lag.

All in all, the Project Black S makes 420 kW (571 PS, 563 hp), enough to propel in from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than four seconds. Not yet, anyway. It's a technical exercise; a result of a conversation between Infiniti and its friends (partners) over at Renault Sport F1. Three different driving modes control how electric motor is used.

The vehicle also has the latest brake-by-wire technology to give the driver a more reassuring pedal feel during track use. All that energy is eventually used to boost performance, but could also be used to let the powertrain operate in zero-emissions mode. It even improves the efficiency of acceleration. The development team has also worked on the aerodynamics of the stock Infiniti Q60 to both reduce drag and boost downforce.

A massive rear wing creates downforce.

We have gotten the new Red Sport grade on Infiniti models like the Q60, but those might be thought of as "performance light", rather than a true performance brand-within-a-brand. However, there are a few worthwhile updates from a year ago to this, and we really wouldn't be doing our job properly to not report on 500hp, rear-wheel drive coupes. This expertise is no more evident than in the design of the rear wing, whose aero properties have been validated by the Renault F1 team's aerodynamicists. In fact, despite adding roughly 441 lb (200 kg) worth of dual-hybrid powertrain and cooling hardware, Infiniti keeps weight down to 3,915 lb (1,776 kg) - just 53 lb (24 kg) more than the production Q60 Red Sport 400. Energy is stored in a 4.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack located in the rear compartment.

Although the hybrid system adds 200kg to the car's weight, Infiniti says lightweight panels like a carbon bonnet, fenders and roof, help claw the majority of those extra kilograms back.

Infiniti Project Black S Concept also has carbon-ceramic braking system with ventilated and drilled discs.

Right now Infiniti says the Q60 Project Black S has been developed as a "test-bed" for new ideas and technologies, however a number of executives have hinted at a production version coming down the line.

Even more potentially wide-reaching, Infiniti's work with Renault Sport Formula One is laying the way for more rapid prototyping and production auto development. Infiniti is keen to use tech like this for its future lineup which it wants to make entirely electrified by 2021.

"Project Black S utilises high power and smart energy management from advanced powertrains, a thrilling dynamic capability on road and track, and a performance-oriented aesthetic".