As part of its plan to electrify its portfolio from 2021 onward, INFINITI will reveal a new Project Black S prototype in Paris, showcasing how Formula One dual-hybrid electric powertrain technology can be deployed in a road car. The prototype is based on the Q60 red S sports coupe and has been developed together with the Renault Sport Formula One Team.
The Project Black S fuses high-performance dual-hybrid technology with INFINITI’s award-winning VR30 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine. Its energy recovery system (ERS) contributes to greater power and torque than the engine upon which it is based. The dual-hybrid powertrain prototype generates 420 kW – equivalent to 563 hp or 571 ps, whereas the conventional VR30 engine produces 298 kW (400 hp / 405 ps). The power to weight ratio is estimated to be 235 W/kg, achieving 0-100 km acceleration below four seconds.
The prototype’s powertrain employs three motor generator units (MGU). A single MGU-K (‘K’ stands for ‘kinetic’) unit harvests kinetic energy from braking. The engine’s twin electric turbochargers are fitted with two MGU-H (‘H’ for ‘heat’) units, to harvest heat energy from exhaust gases. This enables the powertrain to generate electrical power under both braking and acceleration.
The development prototype balances the organic, artistic design of the Q60 sports coupe with greater aerodynamic efficiency and high levels of downforce with a functional motorsport-inspired performance aesthetic.
Partnering with the Renault Sport Formula One Team has also given INFINITI access to more specialist development technologies, including advanced digital validation tools for optimizing the car’s aerodynamics.
This expertise is no more evident than in the high-tech design of the rear wing, validated by Renault Sport 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.
For a development vehicle based on a homologated road car, the impact is significant. The digital modeling 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.
The “Black S” designation represents the highest level of performance, dynamic capability, effective aerodynamics and intelligent energy management offered by INFINITI.