If you were Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti Motor Company, how would you demonstrate your brand’s connection with the best F1 team on the planet?
You could try a special edition model named after the team’s four-time world champion (the FX Vettel Edition), but let’s be honest, it wasn’t that much quicker than the car on which it was based. No, there’s a better way of grabbing our attention and this time they’ve approached it as an engineering project.
The Q50 Eau Rouge is an ‘extreme performance’ version of the Q50, which currently features a range-topping 3.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid power unit delivering 355bhp. But if it’s performance you want there’s no need to reinvent the wheel – all it takes is a little imagination and some inventive platform sharing.
To keep the Q50 Eau Rouge firmly planted on the road there’s a new aerodynamic bodykit featuring an abundance of carbon fibre and a pair of large air scoops feeding its new powerplant.
It’s named after the famous corner at Circuit Spa-Francorchamps – a corner which “requires extraordinary strength, courage and commitment” – so expect the same from Infiniti in combining the merits of its Q50 saloon with the kind of serious performance that befits its recent motorsport success.
“Performance is a key pillar of Infiniti’s DNA and this car expresses a deepened design interpretation of that,” said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti’s Executive Design Director.
The Q50 Eau Rouge will be launched at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 13th 2014. It’s a serious attempt at bringing Infiniti into line with the high-performance sub-brands of its German rivals and we look forward to seeing it fly around Spa-Francorchamps.
But when its ready, there’s the ultimate challenge of the Nürburgring – posting a lap time quicker than any BMW would be quite an achievement don’t you think?