Project Black S represents the ultimate aerodynamic, high-downforce expression of INFINITI DNA. The development prototype balances the organic, artistic design of the Q60 sports coupe with greater aerodynamic efficiency and high levels of downforce than any INFINITI road car to-date.
Adapted over the standard Q60 by INFINITI Design London, based in Paddington, the prototype proposed a stronger, more aggressive presence, commensurate with its performance focus. The ruthless, Formula One-inspired functionality hints at the more assertive, performance-enhanced design that could characterize future high-performance models from the brand.
The carbon fiber bodywork of the new prototype is finished in a black satin matte lacquer, with the chrome trim of the donor car finished instead in lacquered black and darkened chrome. Yellow highlights across the exterior provide a visual link to the Renault Sport Formula One Team, with subtle color accents on the rear wing, leading and trailing edges of the bumpers, and around the bonnet vents. The brake calipers are also painted in the team’s iconic color.
Optimized for genuine aerodynamic impact, the carbon fiber panels and body enhancements also elevate the prototype above homologated INFINITI road cars, alluding to its performance potential. The use of lightweight motorsport-grade materials has enabled the creation of blade-like design forms that would not be possible to complete with conventional materials, such as steel or aluminum.
Enlarged air intakes channel cooling air into the engine bay and brakes, and a large front splitter diverts air beneath the car. New hood vents help to evacuate excess heat from the powertrain. Air flowing beneath the car is channeled to provide additional air cooling for the MGU-K, evacuated smoothly from the rear via the new diffuser. The diffuser, fenders and side skirts are all constructed out of carbon fiber to minimize weight, while ultra-thin aero ‘blades’ in the side sills in front of the rear wheels channel air around the lower body. At the rear, the body is shaped to allow circulating air to escape as quickly and efficiently as possible, aided by vertical aero foils and the large rear wing for maximum downforce and high-speed stability.
The Q60’s cabin has been transformed – while still offering a luxurious environment, the prototype’s fully-developed cockpit takes on a more focused, lightweight look; as inspired by motorsport as the exterior design and the powertrain. The front seats have new lightweight carbon fiber shells, while the donor car’s technical metal trim is replaced with carbon fiber. The lithium-ion battery pack isn’t left on-display – the rear bench is replaced with a new carbon fiber panel, fitted with tethers for the four-strap racing harnesses.
As with the exterior, there are a number of visual links to the Renault Sport Formula One Team. The seats, doors and central arm rest are trimmed in laser-etched black leather, with a highly-technical hexagonal graphic finished in yellow, fading to black lower down in the cabin. The seats also feature a hollowed-out section between the shoulder and head rests, finished in yellow, which feed the sports harnesses through to the front compartment. The steering wheel features a yellow strip of leather at its highest point, giving the driver a clear visual cue for the rack’s center point when driving on a circuit.
A final powerful hint to its Formula One-inspired dual-hybrid powertrain and numerous driving modes, the base of the center console features yellow switchgear. Derived from the switchgear found on a Formula One car steering wheel, these let the driver adapt the car’s powertrain, traction control and ABS characteristics on-the-move or engage the prototype’s launch control function. These switches are accompanied by a plaque with INFINITI and the Renault Sport Formula One Team logos – technical partners in Formula One, and collaborators throughout every stage of Project Black S development.