Infiniti's going back to the future–kind of–at Pebble Beach


2017 Pebble Beach Infiniti Concept

2017 Pebble Beach Infiniti Concept

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Infiniti's plan for the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance requires a bit of a walk—and we don't mean on the lawn.

“It started as a simple thought—what if we found a car, down at the Southern tip of Japan, buried deep in a barn, hidden from all eyes for 70 years? What if in this car we found the seed of passion planted during our first Japanese Grand Prix and the power and artistry of Infiniti today? What would this discovery look like?" Infiniti design chief Alfonso Albaisa said in a statement.

Based on that, Infiniti has plans to show off a retro-inspired prototype that draws motivation from well past the company's actual 1989 start date and presumably into the 1940s. To get there, we need to take a break from reality. Namely, that:

First, that Infiniti as a car company is rooted more in the "Brat Pack" era—not the "Rat Pack" era.

Second, while it's true that parent-company Nissan has a much longer history than Infiniti—and one that reaches back into the correct period—that's not really what they're talking about. It's the company's merger with Prince Motor Company in the 1960s that produced an iconic racer that first participated in the Japanese Grand Prix. Infiniti showed off that Prince R380 race car at this year's Amelia Island Concours.

Third, that some inspiration for that Prince R380 could have been rooted in what appears to be an open-top grand prix car with a small resemblance to a Mercedes-Benz W196.

Got all that? Great.

The company is tight-lipped about the retro racer, only saying that it's a celebration of the company's current design language. Or a continuation car from another multiverse, perhaps.

We'll know more later this month at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. For more coverage, head to our dedicated hub.

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