Infiniti is heading to this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance with the retro-inspired Prototype 9 concept that draws inspiration from race cars from the past.
According to Motor Trend, the idea for the Project 9 first came about when Infiniti's US team floated the question of what a vintage Infiniti race vehicle might look like if it were to exist.
Infiniti's design head Alfonso Albaisa, a Cuban from Havana (imagine growing up dreaming of drawing cars in fuel-rationed and sanctioned Cuba), said the motivation to do a retro design study came from quite a romantic if unlikely fantasy - "What if we found a auto, down at the southern tip of Japan, buried deep in the barn, hidden from all eyes for 70 years?" "What if we found a auto, down at the southern tip of Japan, buried deep in the barn, hidden from all eyes for 70 years? What would this discovery look like?"
While the exterior of the Prototype 9 is a flawless twist on a look straight out of the 1930s and 40s, the guts are very much a modern touch, with an electric powertrain swiped out of the upcoming second generation Nissan Leaf.
In fact, the Infiniti seems to come with an electric powertrain from the new LEAF, promising around 150bhp, a 0-62mph in about 5.5 seconds and only enough juice for a 20 minute track blat.
But while the bodywork is thoroughly retro, under that beautifully hand-beaten metal lies as modern a heart as it's possible to find: a 120kW electric motor that drives the rear wheels, powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. That means there's 148 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque being driven through an electric motor, resulting in a 0-60 miles per hour time of 5.3 seconds and a top speed of 105 miles per hour.
The timeless techniques behind the vehicle are blended with state-of-the-art technology, as the Prototype 9 is fitted with an electric motor that provides a brisk 0-62mph time of 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 105mph.