Infiniti has made no secret of its plan to at least partly electrify every new model in its lineup from 2021, and if they look even half as sleek and sporting as the new Prototype 10, they’ll hear no complaints from us.
Infiniti’s all-electric speedster concept has made its much-teased debut at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, providing what the Japanese brand describes as “a window into Infiniti’s desire to deliver driving pleasure, thrilling performance, and range confidence.”
What that actually means, then, is that the Prototype 10 gives us a hint or two about the technology, powertrains and design direction of the next wave of Infiniti product.
The Prototype 10, intended to celebrate the USA speedster designs of yesteryear, was also the very first project completed under the watchful eye of the brand’s new Executive Design Director, Karim Habib.
“The Infiniti Prototype 10 echoes the layout and design of early speedsters,” he says. “This period saw the creation of some of the most evocative car designs of all time, where power was celebrated through high-powered single-seat competition cars.
“Our new concept speaks of an electrified future, something which is reflected in its form and details. It is appropriate that we found inspiration in an optimistic bygone era in which cars were characterised by the simple love of driving.”
Important to remember here that the Prototype 10 concept is merely a window into a possible future, so don’t expect the next new Infiniti to arrive with a single open-air seat, razor-thin headlights, no windscreen and a ride height low enough to decapitate ants.
The passenger seat has been swapped out for a large air-sucking vent designed to cool the electric motor and batteries, and the those sharp body creases and intakes are intended to mimic the feeling of EV acceleration; the shock of all that torque arriving the moment you put your foot down.
It’s a truly stunning creation, and one designed with input from Infiniti’s global team, including studios in Asia, Europe and the USA. They’ve been busy, too; the 10 is the third Infiniti concept in just 12 months, following the Q Inspiration and the Project 9.
Powertrain details are vague, but we do know the Project 10 is an EV that heralds the future powertrain direction for Infiniti. That will include EVs and hybrids, with an immediate focus on range-extender vehicles that “eliminate the need for external charging sources”.
“Prototype 10 provides a link between where Infiniti stands now, and where we are heading. For us, electrification means performance – our cars will be powerful, efficient, and highly rewarding to drive, and Prototype 10 is a physical representation of our electrified future,” Habib says.