Rabu, 15 Januari 2014

NAIAS 2014 Highlights: Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept

The Infiniti / Red Bull collaboration has been wildly successful in the F1 world, and Infiniti is hoping to capture some of that brand awareness with the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge concept revealed today in Detroit. Based on Infiniti’s Q50 sedan, the Eau Rouge concept—named for the famed stretch that makes up turns three, four, and five at the Spa-Francorchamps race circuit in Belgium—brings not only its name, but also a host of features intended to channel influences from the Red Bull racing Formula 1 car. 

As seen in the teasers that trickled out earlier, the front fascia gets an aggressive F1-inspired carbon-fiber twin-pane lower splitter. Not immediately evident in the teasers were the bespoke carbon-fiber roof and side skirts, or the additional three-quarters of an inch width provided by the Eau Rouge’s exclusive steel fender flares. Front and rear tracks are wider too, increasing by approximately three-quarters of an inch to 61.6 inches in front, and 62.6 in the rear. A custom one-piece carbon-fiber rear bumper houses an LED stoplamp from an RB9 F1 car, and shrouds Eau Rouge–specific stainless exhaust with chrome outlets. Meaty 21-inch forged-aluminum wheels fill out the wheel wells, and black-chrome finish on the splitter, door handles, glasshouse surround, and decklid accents replaces the standard Q50’s bright work. The Eau Rouge concept also ditches the Q50’s low-drag rear spoiler for a high-downforce unit. 

Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti Motor Company Limited, is coy about powertrain options, saying, “If we built this car I would expect it to feature over 500 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque.” Although Infiniti may not currently have any engines that meet that criteria ready to drop in, de Nysschen notes that through various alliance partners, Infiniti has 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. Dropping a few more hints, de Nysschen says, ”The engine we are evaluating for the Q50 Eau Rouge is a big-personality, V-cylinder engine with forced induction.” 

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