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Last month, Infiniti took the covers off its Q60 Project Black S concept, explaining that it was “exploring the potential” for a new high-performance model line. And now, according to an Australian executive at the Japanese brand, a production version has been all but confirmed.
The hot version of the Nissan-backed brand’s Q60 coupé is expected to do battle with the likes of the BMW M4 and Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupé (and a two-door version of the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV, if the latest rumours are to be believed).
Infiniti Australia’s product planning manager, Bernard Michel, told Motor magazine that a production version of Project Black S Concept would in all likelihood see the light of day – unlike the Q50 Eau Rouge concept of 2014, which didn’t make it past the show car stage – thanks to a recent change of management.
“Let’s just say under the new regime of management, I doubt that [it will be killed off],” Michel told the Australian publication, adding that development of the production car was already “pretty advanced”.
“It was under two different sets of management. Roland Krueger, who is the CEO now, he comes from BMW … and he has an objective; he wants to see these sorts of projects come to life. His endeavour is to continue to build this brand,” Michel said.
“He [Krueger] is pushing this agenda and he wants to have a fast flagship for the company.”
Unveiled in Geneva, the Project Black S concept employs the automaker’s new 3,0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, along with an energy recovery system apparently derived from alliance partner Renault’s Formula 1 technology.
Infiniti says the energy recovery system “could contribute to a 25% increase in power” from the high-output, 298 kW version of the V6 unit, which would take the peak figure to nearly 375 kW – on par with the C63 S and Giulia QV, and a fair chunk more than even the new M4 CS.
“I think there’s a relationship there with F1; we’re the technical partner to them specialising in hybrids, so you basically have all the guys from Japan and they want a one-for-one translation. If you’ve got the potential from a performance perspective to do it, why not?
“CO2 emissions targets are everywhere around the globe, so electric cars, hybrids, that’s the way of the future. If they have got specialised know-how about it, why not use it?”