Infiniti has unveiled its new show car during the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance event, dubbed the Prototype 9, a reimagining of a 1940s grand prix race car.

A project that started out as nothing more than an after-hours idea, the Prototype 9 is a blend of craftsmanship and modern technology, the latter courtesy of Nissan’s Advanced Powertrain Department.

The rear-axle-mounted electric motor draws power from a 30 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which Infiniti says offers up to 20 minutes of EV range under heavy track use. The motor itself is described as a prototype, not seen on a production vehicle, and provides 120 kW (161 hp) and 320 Nm of torque. It will accelerate to a top speed of 170 km/h, with the first hundred arriving in 5.5 seconds.

The powertrain is packaged within a steel ladder frame, which is covered with bespoke steel body panels that are hammered into shape by Infiniti Takumi (artisan). The bare sheet-metal skin you see here is formed in accordance to retro aeronautical designs of pre-war race cars, defined by smooth, aerodynamic surfaces, long bonnet and short overhangs, an exposed cockpit, and open-wheeled layout.

The Prototype 9 also incorporates a few Infiniti design elements such as the double-arch grille, “shark gills” aft of the front wheels, a single-crease hood, and sharp lines that stretch from front to rear.

Another handmade element of the show car is its cockpit, which combines two Japanese approaches to craftsmanship – mitate and shitate. Put simply, it involves curating the best possible selection of materials, and tailoring them to bring out their best characteristics.

The cockpit is wrapped in black leather with contrast red stitching, with subtle Japanese flags stitched into the integrated headrests of the deep single bucket seat. The car’s steering wheel also rotates around a fixed central hub, which is finished in turned aluminium, an effect found on aircraft throughout the first half of the 20th century.