It has been several months since Infiniti first revealed the rather exciting Q60 Project Black S prototype, which serves as a test bed for the development of Formula One-inspired powertrain technology for road cars based on the Q60 coupe.
The company recently announced that it has completed the track-focused testing of the car’s dual-hybrid powertrain at the Salzburgring track in Austria, where two prototypes were put through their paces with Renault F1 team driver Nico Hülkenberg.
The Project Black S features a VR30 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine that makes 400 hp and 475 Nm in it stock form. This is combined with a dual-hybrid system that consists of two heat-energy harvesting systems – MGU-H (motor generator unit – heat) – that develop electricity under acceleration.
There is also a kinetic harvesting system – MGU-K (motor generator unit – kinetic) – for generating electricity under braking, and all the harvested energy is stored and discharged when the driver requires it. Doing so spools up the turbochargers instantaneously as the driver opens the throttle, boosting power sent to the rear wheels via the MGU-K over continued periods of acceleration.
The prototype has three drive modes – Road, Quali and Race – with each altering the way the manner in which the powertrain handles energy recuperation and discharge.
Currently, Infiniti says the powertrain produces up to 563 hp, or 40% more than the prototype’s donor car, the Q60 Red Sport 400. It adds that powertrain is capable of “sustained and sustainable hybrid performance, delivering electrically assisted acceleration, lap after lap.”
“There is still work to be done. Now we have two completed prototypes we will fully evaluate the production potential of Project Black S. It is still too early to predict the outcome as we need a solid business case, but the latest rounds of testing have proved its unique performance and underlines our pursuit of electrified performance,” said Mike Colleran, Infiniti Motor Company’s deputy chairman.
“This is an exciting phase of the process. We will consider every element of the development prototypes to establish the feasibility of volume or limited production in future,” he added.
You heard right; Infiniti has yet to decide if it wants to put the Q60 Project Black S into production, but has stated it will continue test and validate elements of the car, with a final decision due by the end of this year. “Just make it,” we say.