Performance engineering: Formula One hybrid technology for the road

  • INFINITI is investigating the potential for unique Formula One-inspired hybrid technology in a production car
  • Energy recovery system could contribute to a 25% increase in power for INFINITI’s new 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo engine

INFINITI is leading the way with innovative new powertrain technology for consumers, such as the award-winning 3.0-liter 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.” Francois Bancon, Vice President, Global Product Strategy, INFINITI

With Project Black S, INFINITI is exploring the possibility of bringing to market a unique road-ready performance hybrid powertrain.

Project Black S suggests how higher power and torque output could be deployed by fusing the performance hybrid technology with the award-winning 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine, the most advanced V6 engine INFINITI has ever offered. An innovative ‘energy recovery system’ (ERS) could contribute to greater performance.

In its Formula Oneapplication, the technology employs two types of motor generator unit (MGU) and a battery pack to gather, store and recycle electrical energy. The Renault Sport Formula One ERS system features an MGU-K unit to harvest kinetic energy from braking, and an MGU-H unit – fitted to the turbocharger – to harvest heat energy from exhaust gases.

The energy harvested by each of the MGUs is stored in high-rate discharge lithium-ion batteries, with the recovered electric power deployed to rotate the crankshaft and turbocharger turbine blades more quickly.

Project Black S explores how MGU technology, paired with high-rate discharge batteries, could be adapted for road use. A production car with Formula One-inspired performance hybrid technology would benefit from greater power and torque, and instant, lag-free acceleration. INFINITI powertrain engineers have calculated that a performance hybrid ERS could contribute to an approximate 25% improvement in maximum power output.

INFINITI believes the Q60 sports coupe could provide the ideal platform for a performance hybrid powertrain, and the concept vehicle revealed in Geneva features a range of further modifications to realize maximum performance. These include a new high-performance titanium twin exhaust system, maximizing the efficiency of air flow through the powertrain.

Project Black S also suggests how lightweight 21-inch wheels and wider performance tires could be deployed for greater traction, while hinting at a weight reduction program to fully offset the additional weight of the performance hybrid system. A ‘Black S’ production car could also benefit from further tuning and modifications to the chassis and suspension.