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Infiniti Will Soon Make A Major Decision

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Nissan's trying to determine if there's a business case for a certain 563-HP hybrid sports coupe.

As a collaboration between Infiniti and the Renault F1 Team, the Q60 Project Black S concept is earmarked to develop "new Formula One™ inspired powertrain technology." And it's inching ever closer to production.

We last saw Project Black S when the latest version was unveiled last fall, an Engineers from Infiniti and the Renault F1 Team have continued to test and refine the model since. Now the next stage starts as Infiniti carries on to testing and validating the hybrid powertrain with the hope of putting the Q60 Project Black S into a limited production run.

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The final decision over whether the Q60 Project Black S goes into production, we're now told, will be made this year. Infiniti's Deputy Chairman, Mike Colleran, explains that it's "too early to predict the outcome as we need a solid business case." While that doesn't sound too promising, the fact that Infiniti is talking about the decision publicly suggest the automaker is seriously considering it and perhaps trying to gauge public reaction.

Currently, the closest Infiniti has to a halo car is the Red Sport 400 versions of the Q50 and Q60. While the Red Sport 400 trim brings some serious performance to the road, it lacks the exclusivity a halo car usually needs.

The Q60 Project Black S is based on the Red Sport 400 but features two energy harvesting systems that store their generated electricity in a 4.4 kWh lithium-ion battery. That energy is then used by an electric motor that is integrated into the rear axle as well as powering the compressor wheels on the VR30 V6 engine's twin turbos. The system is derived from the one Renault uses on its F1 cars, except for the fact there's an extra turbo in the mix here.

That combination pushes Project Black S's horsepower up to 563, which is 163 horsepower more than a Red Sport version. While the Red Sport's takeoff from a standstill is best described as "urgent" as it takes a little over 4 seconds to reach 60, the Project Black S is said to do it in under 4.