Infiniti improve on the Infiniti Q50 WITH THE Q50 Eau Rouge
MORE PREMIUM THAN PREMIUM
The Infiniti Q50 is already one of the cars held up by many a journalist as a benchmark, especially for the fledgling (in comparison to others) car manufacturer, and now Infiniti have unveiled the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge at the 2014 NAIAS Detroit Motor Show – a concept car that “expresses Infiniti’s design vision of a high-performance Q50 premium sports sedan.”
Although based on the Infiniti Q50, the Q50 Eau Rouge is planned to be a car in its own right, featuring bespoke aerodynamic carbon fibre bodywork that inspires and produces a genuine road presence. Lower and wider than its older sibling, Infiniti promise muscularity, aerodynamics, refinement, and understated power.
“I think our engineers have been waiting for a project like this,” said Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti Motor Company Limited. “And if we eventually build this car I would expect it to feature over 500hp and 600lb/ft of torque. Through our various alliance partners we have access to a range of engines featuring this performance capability which, with a fair amount of engineering effort, can be developed to exhibit Infiniti character and accommodated within the Q50 engine bay. The engine we are evaluating for the Q50 Eau Rouge is a big personality, V-cylinder engine with forced induction.”
THE INTENT IS THERE
Just by looking at the concept car, you can see that the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge is a car that is there to do something; borne from a history of competition inherent in the successful RB9 race car, and no doubt inspired by Infiniti’s Director of Performance, Sebastian Vettell.
The Q50 Eau Rouge has practically been designed from scratch, with only the front doors and the arch of the roof pillars being the only outside panels that have been kept as standard components. The new front and rear wings make it wider (and therefore broad-shouldered) but the aerodynamics of the vehicle aren’t compromised as the larger deck lid spoiler forces air-pressure down.
The car even looks athletic, with dark-chrome details throughout instead of the bright chrome so expected of the sport vehicle, which contrasts with the red of the paintwork to make the car – if a car can be – dark, moody and almost menacing – and then there are the lightweight 21” forged alloy wheels which fill the wider arches.
“From our shared passion for performance with Infiniti Red Bull Racing grew a collective desire to produce an ambitious and powerful Infiniti Q50 design study. The overall design creates a feeling of refined muscularity,” said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti’s Executive Design Director. “The design has a number of distinctive Formula-One inspired touches. In particular, the sculpted front wing assembly and the rear aerodynamic packaging take their cues from the RB9 race car. The rear fog light packaging is unmistakably Formula One.
“The Q50 Eau Rouge is a combination of the seductive lines of the Q50 but with a fiercer design urge in keeping with a high-performance vehicle. The Q50 Eau Rouge is Infiniti to the power of four; like a bull with its shoulder muscles flexed, a bull in Infiniti clothing.”
THE COMFORT AND FEEL OF POWER IS HERE
You start off with a high-grip sports steering wheel and Formula One-style paddle-shifters before checking out the red-infused carbon fibre detailing that you find on the doors and centre console before feeling the darkness inherent in the dark-chrome touches in the red cockpit.
You feel like this is what a sporty version of the Q50 is all about, and the spirit and inspiration of Mr Vettell is in there with you. There is no doubt that this concept is capable of so much, and it will be interesting to see where it goes from here; after all, Infiniti themselves are well aware that the Q50 Eau Rouge is a design concept that clearly indicates what they could achieve if they managed to build a performance version of the Q50 sports sedan.
“Performance is a key ingredient of Infiniti vehicles such as the Q50 sports sedan. Our involvement in Formula One provides inspiration and excellence to our designers and engineers. Q50 Eau Rouge provides not only a glimpse of the design language, but also the performance capability of a future special series,” Johan de Nysschen added.
It seems that garlic bread may not be the future. It may be the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge though.