Infiniti has adopted the design and sports credentials of the Prince marque from its glory days of the 1950s and 1960s. The firm is best known for creating the Skyline and was acquired by Nissan in 1966 — the same year a pair of these stunning, magnificent beasts took one-two in the Japanese Grand Prix. It was a pride match for the locals in Japan. Porsche 904s and 906s beating Skyline front-engine racers on Japanese tracks that inspired the entire vehicle. Mid-engine endurance racer.
With a 1964 Brabham spaceframe to start from, the company crafted its ultra-shrieking straight six making 200 violent ponies. Seriously, this car fires up like a fighter plane!
The design is elegant from all sides. Smooth and low from the front — where the entire hood area is actually the driver’s pedalbox and the inboard race suspension. Just one central seat in this machine — fuel tanks likely live in each wide sill.
A tall windshield and cut-in doors mirror the latest thinking of the LMP1 cars of the day, like the GT40 that debuted in 1965 as well. Yes, there are strong echos of the Shelby Daytona from a few years prior. But not really. The R380 is quite unique and special.
Side scoops and sweeping, rounded flying buttresses race down the back of the roof toward the flip-tail rear end. The whole upper and side section of the tail is carved into an integrated spoiler, with concave rear tail section then hiding slim lights and massive vents across the entire rear strikeface.
The whole piece is simple, beautiful and beguiling in its near perfection.
No wonder Infiniti keeps the Prince legacy close to heart. This car is stunning.