“The earlier 2017 Project Black S concept car represented an early design vision for the development of a highly focused dual-hybrid super sports car. Now, with a functioning high-speed prototype ready to take to the track for further validation, we have fleshed out the design with real purpose.”
Karim Habib, Executive Design Director, INFINITI
It is not just the powertrain that has been designed in partnership between INFINITI and the Renault Sport Formula One Team. Project Black S also demonstrates how the two Alliance organizations could collaborate to optimize aerodynamic efficiency to benefit performance. Accordingly, there are a number of strong visual links between the Project Black S prototype and the Renault Sport Formula One Team’s race cars.
The 2017 Project Black S show car proposed an initial vision for motorsport-inspired aesthetics and aerodynamics. The aerodynamics of the new 2018 prototype have been optimized by the Enstone-based Renault Sport Formula One Team, using computational fluid dynamics software to deliver more effective powertrain cooling and enhanced downforce.
Similarly, INFINITI has called upon the Renault Sport Formula One Team’s expertise in production techniques and its use of more advanced materials. Many of the Q60’s body panels, including the hood, fenders and roof, have been replaced with lightweight carbon fiber panels.
Other elements of the exterior – such as the twin titanium exhaust tips – have been crafted using 3D printing technology, used by the motorsport team to rapidly create and trial new components for their race cars.
Celebrating the partnership with the Renault Sport Formula One Team, the prototype is finished inside and out in black with yellow highlights – inspired by the famous livery of the team’s Formula One cars. The pared-back interior, still recognizably based on that of the Q60 donor car, also benefits from a ‘lightweighting’ approach, with features and functions evoking the minimalist operability of a Formula One car.
The Renault Sport Formula One Team’s input is no more evident than in the high-tech design of the rear wing, which has been validated by the Formula One team’s aerodynamicists and finished in carbon fiber. The wing has a similar aerodynamic profile to the Renault Sport Formula One Team’s ‘Monza’ wing, which provides a relatively low level of downforce for a Formula One car around one of the faster circuits in the sport’s calendar. Yet, for a development vehicle based on a homologated road car, the impact is significant.
Illustrating its collaborative development, the Enstone and Paddington teams responsible for aerodynamics and design have been able to hone the rear wing by testing a series of design iterations. Where certain configurations have maximized downforce levels around corners, others have enabled greater acceleration and high-speed, straight-line performance. Having access to the Renault Sport One Team’s digital modelling technology allowed for subtle changes to the shape and proportions of the wing, which now offers a fine-tuned compromise between maximum straight-line stability and high-traction under cornering. In all, the team has tested four iterations of the wing so far, with further changes to its profile still possible before the car moves to its next stage of track testing and validation.