"If we built this car I would expect it to feature over 500 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque."

Eau Rouge is a notoriously difficult turn at Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps Circuit that is capable of striking fear into the hearts of the most hardened driver. Naming a car after something so terrifying, therefore, strikes us as a rather poor idea.

But Infiniti has done just that, capitalizing on the sponsorship link it maintains with the Red Bull Racing Formula One team, and launching a new concept at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show based on the new Q50 sedan. It's called the Q50 Eau Rouge and Infiniti claims it's "infused with the enticing spirit of Formula One."

While this Q50 might have as much to do with F1 as this website does with the life and times of Paris Hilton, there's little arguing that the Eau Rouge presents a very interesting concept - a high-performance Infiniti. The brand's efforts in this realm have been limited to the Infiniti Performance Line, which was featured on the old G37 Coupe. With the Q50 Eau Rouge, the brand looks to (finally) be aiming for the BMW Ms, Mercedes-Benz AMGs and Cadillac Vs of the world.

"If we built this car I would expect it to feature over 500 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque," said Johan de Nysschen, president of Infiniti. "The engine we are evaluating for the Q50 Eau Rouge is a big personality, V-cylinder engine with forced induction."

Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge

It certainly looks the part of a 500-hp sports sedan. The carbon-fiber body gives the Q50 a business-like look. According to Infiniti, only the front doors and the roof arch are carryovers from the standard sedan, with all the other parts getting crafted specifically for this concept. New front and rear fenders widen the car's stance, while exposed carbon fiber in the front and rear fascias add to the visual impact. The front grille is finished in dark chrome, while a set of hood vents certainly help the menacing front end. 21-inch forged wheels round out the sportier package.

"The sculpted front wing assembly and the rear aerodynamic packaging take their cues from the [Red Bull] RB9 race car."

"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 [Red Bull] RB9 race car. The rear fog light packaging is unmistakably Formula One," said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti's executive design director.

The cabin, meanwhile, gets a similar stylistic treatment. A new, two-tone steering wheel and restyled seats contrast nicely with the red carbon fiber (it doesn't look nearly as tacky as it sounds).

The Q50 Eau Rouge presents an interesting concept, and one that we're hoping Infiniti manages to pull off. With Lexus pushing forward with its F range of performance cars and new BMW Ms and Mercedes AMGs arriving on an alarmingly regular basis, high-performance offerings are an absolute must of the Japanese brand that wants to play with the big boys.
Show full PR text
Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge: Muscular, purposeful, refined
- Q50 Eau Rouge concept provides a glimpse of Infiniti's design prowess for high-performance vehicles
- Exterior features Infiniti Red Bull Racing Formula One design influences
- Q50 Eau Rouge hints at future powerful product line


Detroit / Hong Kong – The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge, revealed at the 2014 NAIAS Detroit Motor Show, is a concept car that expresses Infiniti's design vision of a high-performance Q50 premium sports sedan.
The Q50 Eau Rouge embodies the arresting design features of the Q50 premium sports sedan – infused with the enticing spirit of Formula One.

Featuring bespoke aerodynamic carbon fiber bodywork, Q50 Eau Rouge is lower and wider, possessing genuine road presence. This striking design is inspired by muscularity, aerodynamics, refinement, and understated power.

"If we built 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.

I think our engineers have been waiting for a project like this," said Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti Motor Company Limited.

Hints at powerful intent

The Q50 Eau Rouge was born out of competition at the very pinnacle of motorsport, mirroring components from the successful RB9 race car.

Almost every exterior panel is bespoke to the Q50 Eau Rouge, with only the front doors and the arch of the roof pillars retained as standard components.

Q50 Eau Rouge visibly hunkers down with menace and intent. New front and rear fenders extend the current Q50's already broad-shouldered stance by 20mm, while a larger deck lid spoiler creates air-pressure downforce. All of this dynamic width is wrapped in a tailored coat of customized red paint.

Framing the paintwork across the Q50 Eau Rouge's athletic physique is dark- chrome detailing to replace the chrome bright work of the production Q50, darkening the concept's demeanor dramatically.

Q50's signature double-arch front grille too takes the dark-chrome's matte finish, as do the glasshouse surrounds, door handles and deck lid accents. The curving hood is double air-vented as a further suggestion of the capability and purpose of the Q50 Eau Rouge.

"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."

Part of the concept's exterior treatments include lightweight 21-inch forged alloy wheels which fill the wider arches.

Premium interior. Sporting inspiration

Further underlining the sporty character of the design study, the interior was designed to offer command and comfort.

Further precision control is afforded by a high-grip sports steering wheel and Formula One-style paddle-shifters.

Red-infused carbon fiber detailing to the doors and center console complement the exterior style, and dark-chrome again replaces silver-chrome in the red cockpit.

The breadth and depth of capability is self-evident; the Q50 Eau Rouge is a design concept that clearly indicates what Infiniti could achieve if it was 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," de Nysschen added.


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  • 35 Comments
      • 11 Months Ago
      [blocked]
      Rick
      • 11 Months Ago
      Mazda Smiley Face's evil twin brother. No thanks on the creepy front end.
      calstag
      • 11 Months Ago
      "Naming a car after something so terrifying, therefore, strikes us as a rather poor idea." Seriously? You think it's a poor idea to name a performance car after one of the greatest racing icons of all time? Enjoy your Nissan Sidewalk...
        zizixx89
        • 11 Months Ago
        @calstag
        What are you chatting on about stfu who cares about names??
      Eggmania
      • 11 Months Ago
      "if we built this car i would expect it to" blah blah more smoke and mirrors bs from infiniti. lexus has 3 serious sports cars right now. you have mindgames
        chanonissan
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Eggmania
        although i agree that infiniti needs it own line, some nissans are infinitis in other market, the nissan skyline is an infiniti in japan, which would actual make the nissan skyline GTR an infiniti..
          lne937s
          • 11 Months Ago
          @chanonissan
          You kind of have that backward... The Q50 is sold as the Skyline in Japan, the Infiniti G was also sold as the Skyline. Previous generations of the Skyline GTR's were basically the hot version of the Nissan luxury coupe.
          futurecars
          • 11 Months Ago
          @chanonissan
          nope i donot have it backwards, but I see were you might misread, because as how I write this(the nissan skyline is an infiniti in japan) probably i should have never put japan, or said the in japan the nissan skyline is the same infiniti we have over here.
      Lucky Stars
      • 11 Months Ago
      At least Mercedes is still trying to be classy and elegant. lexus and infiniti with the prowler grills are just plain ugly and garish. I doubt this new design language will survive more then this gen or at best next gen. Come on people demand more from designers, this is tacky
      miketim1
      • 11 Months Ago
      I could do without the wheels and body kit. Just keep the color and the engine.... and honestly this doesnt look like a 500hp car it just looks like a SEMA kinda car honstly.
      Cruising
      • 11 Months Ago
      Fudge Paris Hilton, thats hot. Now that I learned how to say Eau Rouge I can say it all day.
      Jared
      • 11 Months Ago
      Nice, I'm not really a fan of luxury cars, but this is pretty awesome.
      KaiserWilhelm
      • 11 Months Ago
      "big personality, V-cylinder engine with forced induction" AKA GT-R Engine.
        Jon
        • 11 Months Ago
        @KaiserWilhelm
        They would have to modify the GTR engine to make 600 pound-feet.
        • 11 Months Ago
        @KaiserWilhelm
        [blocked]
        chanonissan
        • 11 Months Ago
        @KaiserWilhelm
        it could be the GTR engine, but that alliance partner sentence, it could also means a daimler AMG engine.
      • 11 Months Ago
      [blocked]
      VL00
      • 11 Months Ago
      F1? They paid to put a sticker on a car, and now they think they have a link to F1?? Piss off Infiniti
      jonnybimmer
      • 11 Months Ago
      " "If we built this car I would expect it to feature over 500 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque," said Johan de Nysschen, president of Infiniti." Good. Break the annoying trend Infinit has had lately with their IPL models pretending to be a serious performance division. As I said in an earlier post about the Eau Rouge, it definitely looks the part (personally I really, REALLY like it) but it needs real muscle if anyone is going to take it seriously.
        dro159
        • 11 Months Ago
        @jonnybimmer
        I wonder if this is going to be powered by a Nissan GTR like power-plant?... hope those oversized calipers don't end up there just to stop a naturally aspirated v6
          zizixx89
          • 11 Months Ago
          @dro159
          Yea but at the same time lexus just started in 2009 with the IS-F so everything is time
        zizixx89
        • 11 Months Ago
        @jonnybimmer
        Yea but at the same time infiniti has the resources to kick major ass so if thet did make it it would be like a mini RWD GT-R
          jonnybimmer
          • 11 Months Ago
          @zizixx89
          "infiniti has the resources to kick major ass" That's the worst part. Nissan has some of the greatest engineering talent around and can make amazing sports cars and it feels like Infiniti is just wasting it. You don't see Lexus sitting around, wasting Toyota's R&D. They've pushed that dept as far as it can go and then some and have had results so good it helped redefine the brand.
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