NOV 26th 2014
Has Infiniti unwittingly shown us the future of Formula One?
I was a tad disappointed by the appearance at the LA Auto Show of the Chevrolet Chaparral, principally because it didn’t resemble any of the fabled Jim Hall Chaparrals of the Sixties but also because it didn’t really look that good. Not so the Infiniti Synaptiq concept. Unlike the Chaparral, it’s unlikely ever to be built – even as a mock-up – but still, we can dream!
It is the result of the LA Auto Show Design Challenge competition which tasked designers to see what might be possible in 2029. Looks-wise it’s a case of Tron-meets-Formula-One… with white tyres. The idea is that the Synaptiq would take part in a future racing series where you’d drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, then convert the car into an off-roader and race to the Grand Canyon.
Then, as if the whole race wasn’t already surreal enough, the car is adapted to become a high-performance aerobatic aircraft and you fly it back to LA! There are no controls as such. This is because according to Infiniti by 2029 we’ll be controlling vehicles by using a SUIT (Symbiotic User Interface Technology) which features ‘synthetic muscles’ to allow the car and driver to function as a single unit. This all sounds like great fun, albeit far-fetched. However, the way the Synaptiq looks I think Infiniti could be on to something …
I reckon that it works better as an F1 concept; the front wing and splitter, the airbox, the enclosed cockpit, the high nose… all it needs is a rear wing and it’d look the part. Mind you, perhaps the way F1 is going there won’t be a rear wing because so much of the aero will come from ground effect? Perhaps. Either way, I just think it looks really cool.