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Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge greenlit for production with a 560-hp engine
The Q50 Eau Rouge Concept was Infiniti's big debut in Detroit.
DETROIT -- When the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge concept made its debut at the 2014 NAIAS in Detroit, very few details were given. I spoke to the automaker’s executive design director and he was very tight lipped. However, I had an inkling that it would one day go into production after speaking with him.
“We look to define what is the ultimate expression of Infiniti performance,” said Infiniti’s Alfonso Albaisa in an exclusive interview. “Fortunately, we’re champions in F-1. We have a lot of inspiration from the car, the RB9. We looked at some aspects of aerodynamics and this kind of raised snout. At a glance, you’ll see that the Infiniti grille is raised and it has the twin wings, which is very much reminiscent, not exactly, in the spirit of F-1.”
The Q50 Eau Rouge comes with new front and rear fenders that are 20mm (3/4-inch) wider than the current Q50 on sale today. It also features a larger deck lid spoiler for air-pressure downforce. In addition, the Eau Rouge sits on 21-inch forged alloy wheels.
“On the side, the rocker is also twin wing that cleans up the air, sucks out the air of the wheel opening and also plays and manages the wind flow,” he added. “Generally speaking, ‘Eau Rouge’ means a very brave corner of a race track in Spain. Eau Rouge is also the name of the color, which is a very deep red. The spirit of Red Bull is also in the car. It looks like a bull, it’s low, wide and looks quite fierce.”
When I asked Albaisa about the engine and horsepower in January, he replied: “Really, that’s the secret. That’s the part that keeps you coming and maybe come to our next show and we can talk a little more about that. We’re keeping that kind of hush right now.”
Specifics about the engine were announced about a month and a half later at the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show. The Q50 Eau Rouge will come equipped with a 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine producing 560 hp and 600 lb.-ft. of torque. Meanwhile, the European version will feature a 2.0-liter, turbocharged gasoline motor.
“For the interior, we’re keeping it to the Recaro seats, the new steering wheel with suede grip,” the executive design director explained. “You feel quite in control. Also, we’ve replaced the wood and aluminum trim finishes with carbon fiber, also with a red tint.”
When one steps inside the Q50 Eau Rouge, it’s easy to feel like you’re in a race car with its Formula One-style paddle shifters. It is expected to go from 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds with a top speed of 180 mph.
Infiniti seems to be releasing more details about the Q50 Eau Rouge in “chunks” at upcoming auto shows. Details about pricing, availability and where these will be built have not yet been announced. Maybe that will come at the New York International Auto Show (April 18-27, 2014) or at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (April 20-29, 2014).
I really enjoy the deep red exterior and I was glad Infiniti carried it over to the interior. I think the Q50 Eau Rouge will be a big seller for the brand once it finally goes on sale.
For more information about the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge, visit www.infiniti.com.
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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.
A model stands next to the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge
Right front headlamp and wheel
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.
This page was last updated on Thu, March 13, 2014 11:31 PM
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