Although today’s press release stops short of spelling it out, it doesn’t take a genius to deduce what’s under the bonnet of Infiniti’s new Q50 Eau Rouge.
Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti, remarked “I think our engineers have been waiting for a project like this.”
He went on to say, “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.”
Goodness knows why he doesn’t just say ‘GT-R’ but for reasons best known to the company’s marketing team, you’ll have to wait until the Geneva motor show in March before they publish the final details.
But the Q50 Eau Rouge isn’t just a Nissan GT-R in drag. It is lower, wider and clothed in bespoke carbon fibre bodywork – including a carbon roof, just like the BMW M3. In fact almost every exterior panel is bespoke, apart from the front doors and the arch of the roof pillars.
Thanks to new front and rear wings it sits 20mm wider than a standard Q50, while a larger deck lid spoiler adds downforce at the rear. The front bonnet features a pair of air-vents, while the standard Q50’s chrome bright work is replaced with a dark-chrome finish.
Infiniti’s Design Director, Alfonso Albaisa, says the Q50 Eau Rouge has a number of distinctive Formula-One inspired touches including “the sculpted front wing assembly and the rear aerodynamic packaging, which take their cues from the RB9 race car.” The rear fog light is also unmistakably Formula One.
The Eau Rouge’s exterior menace is rounded off with a set of lightweight 21-inch forged alloy wheels which fill the wider arches.
Inside you’ll find a high-grip sports steering wheel and Formula One-style paddle-shifters. Red-infused carbon fibre covers the doors and centre console, while as with the exterior, dark-chrome replaces the cabin’s silver-chrome detailing providing a womb-like ambience.
The design feel is ‘Godzilla meets fashionable chic’, which sounds like it shouldn’t work but we’re told looks rather nice.
It might be just the beginning of Infiniti’s renaissance as a serious premium car maker, de Nysschen adds “Q50 Eau Rouge provides not only a glimpse of the design language, but also the performance capability of a future special series.”