Infiniti is no stranger to motorsports. The Japanese luxury marque supplied engines to the Indy Racing League in the late 90s, and recently launched a sponsorship deal with the World Champion Red Bull Racing team in Formula One (which runs sister-company Renault's engines). But rallying is new territory for the Nissan premium division.
Now before you let your imagination run wild, bear in mind that the G37 coupe you see here is not actually competing in any rally events. It is, however, being used as a safety car for the Spanish Rally Championship.
For the task, the G37 Coupe S dubbed "Work Car Zero" has been outfitted with roll-bar, dampers, brakes, bucket seats and harnesses, fire-suppression system, communications equipment and special lighting. Otherwise, it's pretty much bone stock (save for the garish paint scheme).
Follow the jump for all the details in the press release and scope out the images in the high-res gallery below for a closer look.
INFINITI SUPPLIES SAFETY CAR TO THE SPANISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
Madrid, Spain (April 6, 2011) - Infiniti is working with the Royal Spanish Motorsport Federation by supplying a G37 Coupe S for the 2011 season to be the Work Car Zero in the Rallies Championship of Spain. The car began its duties on April 1 in the Rally of Villajoyosa.
This collaboration expands on Infiniti's involvement with the GT Championship of Spain for which the performance brand also supplies a Safety Car to work in all events.
"Infiniti is a brand that offers high performance products and impressive technology, values that lend itself to motorsport support", explains Polo Satrústegui, general director of Infiniti Spain and Portugal. "The agreement with the Spanish Federation allows us to collaborate with the important task of providing event safety. And to extend Infiniti brand awareness."
The model chosen to support the Rallies Championship, a G37 Coupe with six-speed manual gearbox, may seem an unlikely choice. But the Infiniti G37 S Coupe sports an all-aluminium six-cylinder engine giving 320 horsepower at 7,000 rpm, maximum torque of 360 Nm at 5,200 rpm and, with a standard limited slip differential, offers tremendous handling.
The Infiniti Car Zero is near in standard specification with a few modifications. The preparation was done in the Meycom facilities in Madrid where a roll bar by VIMESA, Bilstein dampers, brake pads and liquid by GALFER, outdoor lights and siren, communications equipment and GPS were added. A collaboration with SPARCO brought further safety features including racing seats and seatbelts, a fire extinguishing system and equipment for the drivers. Finally Michelin has fitted the car with high performance Pilot SuperSport tyres.
"The Spanish Federation always works for the safety of the races and this is why for consistency, government bodies decided several years ago to employ the same Car Zero in all races", says Carlos Gracia, President of the RFEA. "Therefore, the crew is as important as having a vehicle that is both fast and reliable, two virtues that certainly belong to the Infiniti G37 Coupe S."
The car will be driven by Marc Blázquez, World TT Champion driving for Nissan, with Salvador Belzunces alongside as co-pilot who will be vital for assessing the state of the route before the competition.
In addition to the sponsors of the RFEA, the car also has the colours of the Royal Automobile Club of Catalonia which, like Infiniti and the RFEA, works towards safety on the roads.