Pirelli has announced it will collaborate with Infiniti on the premium Japanese marque's Q60 Project Black S program, suggesting the 'concept car' unveiled at the 2017 Geneva motor show, might indeed prove to be more than just wishful thinking.
Announced at this weekend’s Canadian Formula One Grand Prix in Montreal, Pirelli’s involvement is said to include the design and construction of bespoke P Zero tyres, developed exclusively for the Infiniti Q60 Project Black S and its massive 21-inch wheels.
In a nod to the Italian tyre manufacturer’s role as the official tyre supplier to the Formula One World Championship, the Project Black S’s rubber rings will feature F1-style coloured markings on their sidewalls.
Despite Infiniti specifically saying that the wild Q60 concept car was merely designed to explore “the potential for a new Infiniti high-performance model line”, the collaboration with Pirelli strongly suggests that Infiniti is planning for the high-performance Q60-based model to become a reality – or at least a solid development mule for a future production car.
First revealed in March this year, Infiniti says the Q60 Project Black S is not only an exploration into a potential future performance grade for the brand, but also a test bed into incorporating “unique-for-the-road technology inspired by Formula One”.
Namely talking about the Energy Recovery System (ERS) used on the current Renault Sport Formula One Team’s R.S.17 F1 car, Infiniti promises, if viable, the hybrid-infused powertrain will be able to deliver “instant, lag-free acceleration”.
According to Renault Sport Formula One, the existing F1 hybrid setup incorporates two motor generator units, and a battery for energy generation, energy capture, and energy deployment for when a performance boost is most needed.
“We are very excited about our Project Black S and the work we are doing with Renault Sport Formula One Team on performance hybrid technology,” Infiniti global motorsport director Tommaso Volpe said in Montreal.
“As we explore the feasibility of Project Black S, Pirelli’s input and knowledge, both motorsport and automotive, will be invaluable.”
“We believe in the potential of this project, and the work we have done with Infiniti on it so far is very promising,” added Renault Sport Racing managing director Cyril Abiteboul.
If a production version of the tough-looking Infiniti Q60 Project Black S does eventuate – and we certainly hope one does – it would give the luxury brand a legitimate contender to take on the likes of the BMW M4 and Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe.