Infiniti Prototype 10: Another electric car unveiled at Pebble Beach
The famous Pebble Beach Elegance Contest opens this week. And to titillate the public who will be present at this event in California, each manufacturer is going for a specific strategy. The Infiniti brand, for example, will unveil this week – August 23 to be precise – its newest concept vehicle.
Called Prototype 10, it reiterates the manufacturer’s ambitions to electrify a good part of its range in the near future. Prototype 10 follows Prototype 9, which also debuted at Pebble Beach last year, with an electric power train and retro design. Prototype 10, as demonstrated by the first images published by the Japanese division, respects the futuristic traits associated with those of an car cover concept.
Infiniti says this one-seat speedster is a preview of the brand’s desire to deliver driving fun and thrilling performance from electric power trains. For now, the manufacturer remains silent on what is under the hood of this study of electric style, but it is allowed to believe something a little more powerful than the mechanics of 148 horses and 236 lb-ft. bolted to Prototype 9 unveiled last year. We will obviously know a lot more this Thursday after the official presentation of Prototype 10.
Infiniti 2018 Engineering Academy
When I was a kid, I dreamed of one day played for Major League Leagues. At the time, we had the Expos and the opportunity to join the pros did not seem so crazy. Playing in the junior leagues, I quickly realized that everyone was dreaming of the same thing. Getting a job in the world of Formula 1 is like calling the Major Leagues. In fact, it’s probably a hundred times harder. In a world where money usually generates opportunities, Infiniti has created a unique program that allows the most deserving, the most talented to break into F1.
Five years ago, Infiniti launched the Infiniti Engineering Academy to find the best young engineers in the world to work in the automotive and Formula 1, as part of a single 12-month investment. This competition involves a series of tests to be considered. In 2017, there were 12,000 applicants worldwide for only seven positions worldwide (Asia-Oceania, Canada, China, Europe, Mexico, the Middle East and the United States). All 12,000 have gone through one or more of the five stages to be considered. The selection process consists of the following five phases:
Completion of online relevance tests
Evaluation Event ‘The Finale’
At the end of this long and complex process, there are only ten candidates left. These “winners” are then invited to a two-day evaluation event during which a regional winner will be selected. I attended the first day of the evaluation and I must say that I was impressed by these young engineering students looking to make their dreams come true. I spoke briefly with Chase Pelletier of Brampton, ON and, for one reason or another, was amazed by his passion and desire to succeed. I always think of engineers as tasteless, but Chase is an avid racer and a driver who is a good friend of Olivier Beard, a Micro Cup racer. His knowledge and dynamism were apparent all afternoon.
Throughout the day, candidates passed a series of interviews with judges, exams and technical tests, including a dragster challenge. Although the challenge of drag racing was fun, the test of decision making was the most interesting. A scenario is presented to two teams of five candidates and for fun, we, members of the media, also participated in the exercise. The test is to make a decision on the day of the great race based on certain facts and intuition. This test was administered by a Harvard professor specializing in the field of decision making. The result was fascinating, as only one of the three teams (not the journalists …) made the right choice, but not for the right reasons.
At the end of the day, three of the ten promising candidates will remain for Day 2 of the selection process and these are: Julius Calendar, Ben Springer and my new friend, Chase Pelletier! At the end of the competition, only one in three will be entitled to the coveted position as an active member in the INFINITI technical partnership with the Renault Sport Formula 1 team. The grand prize consists of a 6-month contract with Renault -Sport and 6 months at the Infiniti Technical Center in the UK. Good luck to the three finalists!
Ward’s Auto unveils its list of the top 10 interiors for 2018
Wards Auto’s Top 10 Interior Announcement has become a must-see for motorists who want to ride the best-tuned vehicles in the industry. Ward’s Auto first selected 40 completely new or heavily revised interiors for 2018. As the publication emphasizes, the year 2018 is more than ever influenced by the contrasting colors, the red in particular which is found aboard 6 vehicles entered in this annual ranking.
Wards Auto’s content director, Drew Winter, said: “Thanks to all the interior designers for convincing their bosses to take a chance by choosing less predictable colors […] We know that the majority of consumers end up buying vehicles with black, gray or beige interiors, but there are also those who want more excitement. “
Here is the list of 2018 winners
Lexus LS 500
Range Rover Velar
Within this list, there are affordable vehicles like the Chevrolet Equinox (note that the judges have enjoyed the livery Premier at the top of the range), the Hyundai Kona with its unique cockpit color model “acid yellow” or even the Toyota Camry which can be ordered in particular with a red and black interior in the XSE model. The Kia Stinger has leaked a lot of ink over the past few months, and it seems that the cockpit of the latter has pleased the people of Wards Auto.
The presence of the new Ram 1500 pickup truck does not surprise, the size of the central touch screen is already an event in itself, while the quality of the Limited versions is no longer redone. The Infiniti QX50, Range Rover Velar and Lincoln Navigator SUVs also impressed the judges because of the overall quality of their interiors, but also because of the choice of original colors available on board. As for the big ladies of this list, I’m obviously talking about the Lexus LS 500 and the incredible Porsche Panacea Turbo S E-Hybrid, the level of refinement is at its height.