The debut of Infiniti’s Q60 coupe infused with Formula One technology developed alongside the Renault Sport Formula One Team has been unveiled at this year’s Geneva motor show under the guise of Project Black S.
For now Project Black S is just a concept, but the intention is to gauge customer interest and if the reception well received, a “Black S” grade will be offered as the highest level of performance for the Infiniti line up featuring increased power and torque from a performance orientated hybrid powertrain, new or improved suspension systems and carbon fiber based design elements.
President of Infiniti Roland Krueger mentioned: “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.“
Current Formula One regulations allow the integration of an Energy Recovery System (ERS) which converts wasted heat and kinetic energy via motor generator units (MGU) into stored electricity using high-rate discharge lithium-ion batteries, the stored electricity can then be used to provide power to electric motors for greater performance. The Renault Sport Formula One team currently make use of two different MGU’s. Braking or kinetic energy is collected by the MGU-K while the MGU-H is fitted to the turbocharger collecting wasted heat. Both MGU’s feed into a high-rate discharge lithium-ion battery pack which powers electric motors to aid in acceleration or improved turbocharger response.
Using the same technology could increase the power output of Infiniti’s 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 motor by as much as 25 per cent which would push it from 298kW up to 373kW.
“Infiniti is leading the way with innovative new powertrain technology for consumers, such as the award-winning 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, and VC-Turbo, the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine. With Project Black S, we are looking at how a unique performance hybrid energy recovery system could be adapted from Formula One for use on the road,” Infiniti’s Vice President of Global Product Strategy, Francois Bancon stated.
The Q60 coupe in Black S grade trim features more than just the impressive performance orientated hybrid powertrain. To offset the additional weight of the system Infiniti’s engineers have been hard at work stripping weight where possible to deliver further performance advantages to the Black S. The concept vehicle features a titanium twin exhaust system and lightweight 21 inch wheels with wider performance tyres to handle the additional power and torque. Further reducing the weight of the vehicle is extensive use of carbon fiber used in the front splitter, rear diffuser, quarter panels, side skirts and downforce producing rear wing. Larger intakes at the front of the car feed air to both the brakes and engine while a bonnet vent removes excess heat from the engine bay.
The Q60 based concept vehicle has been finished in matte grey and black with gloss black trim replacing chrome from the standard car which surrounds the double arch grille and lines the C pillar.