When you think of electric vehicles, you probably think of normal, workaday transportation. Aside from a handful of EV hypercars, most of the battery-powered vehicles out there are aimed at normal-people driving, sedan and crossover duty.
Today, ahead of Monterey Car Week, Infiniti revealed a concept car that takes EVs in a decidedly different direction. This is the Infiniti Prototype 10, an electric speedster that prioritizes indulgence.
You notice it immediately. Prototype 10 has one seat and zero roof. It's a rolling ego trip, a vehicular indulgence in the style of today's single-seat trackday specials, or the classic open-roof speedster with a tonneau covering the passenger seat.
This isn't the first time Infiniti has dabbled in the notion of an electric single-seater. You may remember Prototype 9, a concept that debuted at Monterey Car Week in 2017. Featuring an electric drivetrain, Prototype 9 took styling inspiration from an imaginary world where Infiniti 1) existed in the 1930s, and 2) participated in the Formula 1 racing of that era.
Prototype 10 retains its predecessor's electric motivation and blissfully hypothetical philosophy, but wraps it in a futuristic design. It's the first project completely overseen by Infiniti's newest executive design director, Karim Habib. Previously employed by BMW and Mercedes-Benz, Habib says Prototype 10 was inspired by the post-war California hot-rodding scene, where gearheads built single-seat speedsters and streamliners for dry lakes racing. "Our new concept speaks of an electrified future, something which is reflected in its form and details," Habib said in the news release announcing the concept. "It is appropriate that we found inspiration in an optimistic bygone era in which cars were characterized by the simple love of driving."
Don't expect Prototype 10 to arrive at Infiniti dealerships anytime soon. This is, of course, just a design exercise, a clean-sheet exploration of what an electric-powered speedster could look like. Infiniti used the occasion of the concept car to announce that, starting in 2021, every one of its vehicles will use some form of drivetrain electrification, either as full battery-electric vehicles, performance parallel hybrids, or "E-Power" setups with electric drivetrains and range-extenders.
But if the future of electric cars includes single-seat, open-top speedsters, consider us very interested.
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