Infiniti hints at F1-inspired high-performance car

Fri Mar 3, 2017 5:56am EST
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By Norihiko Shirouzu

BEIJING (Reuters) - Infiniti, Nissan Motor Co's (7201.T: Quote) premium brand, will display a concept car at next week's Geneva motor show that will hint at a new "Formula One-inspired" high-performance model based on its Q60 coupe.

Developing such a premium-sport grade car could help Infiniti stand out from the crowded luxury automobile market, with a sporty-but-greener image.

Dubbed the Infiniti Black S, the show car represents "the maximum level of performance and dynamic capability of cars offered under the Infiniti name," the brand's global chief Roland Krueger said in a phone interview on Friday.

For the greener bit, he added: "We try to offer the best of both worlds. We have a very powerful engine, but at the same time the fuel economy and emissions standards are also very good."

The potential development is a collaboration between Infiniti and Nissan's alliance partner Renault SA (RENA.PA: Quote) and its F1 racing team, using F1 electric hybrid powertrain technology, among others.

Krueger said it's not yet clear when any production Black S model would be showroom-ready.

A new model wouldn't use exactly the same technologies as those in the Renault F1 car, he said, but would borrow from the "philosophy" of the race car to harvest energy from the car and use that to accelerate its performance.

Infiniti would engineer the car to be "a performance car, but in a marketable way," Krueger added.   Continued...

An Infiniti Project Black S is displayed at Nissan Design Europe, ahead of being shipped to the Geneva Motor Show, in London, Britain, February 28, 2017.   REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth