Renault F1 and Infiniti conclude Project Black S development

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Following the conclusion of the Infiniti Project Black S prototype project, Infiniti and Renault F1 Team have detailed development of their high-performance, dual-hybrid powertrain.

Infiniti will continue testing and validation of the Q60 Project Black S prototype and will make a decision on the production potential of the car and its technologies by the end of 2019.

A key aim of the Project Black S program was to explore the potential for new motorsport-inspired electrification technologies and development processes. Project Black S combines expertise from road and racetrack, with its dual-hybrid powertrain, purpose-built brakes, and special suspension system, all complemented by the use of advanced lightweight materials throughout the bodywork and a motorsport-inspired interior.

The test vehicle is based on the Infiniti Q60 sports coupe with its 400ps VR30 twin-turbo V6 engine, and dual-hybrid system, which combines supercar performance with smart energy management.

The VR30 engine has been transformed with the creation of two heat-energy harvesting systems (MGU-H: motor generator unit – heat), which develop electricity under acceleration. Paired with a kinetic harvesting system (MGU-K: motor generator unit – kinetic) that generates electricity under braking and an all-new energy management system, Project Black S is a unique electrified performance hybrid prototype.

In a similar manner to Renault F1 Team’s R.S.19 race car, the Project Black S’s smart powertrain stores this energy and discharges it as the driver requires, spooling 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.

Currently, the dual-hybrid powertrain is capable of producing up to 568ps – 40% more than the prototype’s donor car – the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400. Uniquely, it provides sustained and sustainable hybrid performance, delivering electrically assisted acceleration, lap after lap

The prototype offers drivers complete control over how the powertrain uses this energy, with three Formula 1-inspired drive modes – Road, Quali and Race – each altering the way in which the powertrain harvests and discharges power.

“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.

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,” added Mike Colleran, deputy chairman, Infiniti Motor Company.

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Sam joined the UKi Media & Events automotive team in 2017, having recently graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in journalism. For the newest addition to the editorial team, stepping into the assistant editor position signalled the start of a career in the subject he studied. In addition to his work on UKi’s automotive titles, Sam also contributes to Stadia, writing content for the magazine and website.

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