The development of the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge is inching closer and closer to production. At the Beijing Auto Show , we got a clearer picture of where Infiniti stood with the development of the car when it announced that it had already built and track tested a prototype version of the concept and that it had officially become an engineering feasibility study.
We’re trying not to be too excited, but really, how can you not be, right?
According to Infiniti, the Q50 Eau Rouge prototype is moving further along in its testing, having already done on-track dynamics testing at the Millbrook Proving Ground with four-time Formula One champion and Infiniti’s Director of Performance Sebastian Vettel at the center of all the testing.
It doesn’t get any better than that for Infiniti having Vettel part of the development of the Q50 Eau Rouge. But Vettel’s involvement is just one aspect of the overall scope of the process that leads to the production model of the vehicle. Apparently, Infiniti is also planning to refine and test out the car’s aerodynamic performance, as it announced that the prototype has been dropped by 15 to 20 mm (0.59 to 0.78 inches) and this has shown better under-car airflow, but they think they can do even better with flat, under-car panels.
Some people might scoff at the time and money Infiniti is spending on the developing the Q50 Eau Rouge. But people have to understand what the car means to the company. After all, you only need to look at Infiniti’s parent company, Nissan, and its GT-R to understand what it would do for Infiniti if the Q50 Eau Rouge lives up to all the hype.
This model could very well end up being Godzilla’s carbon-fiber-clad and better-dressed cousin. So, yeah, it’s a pretty big deal that Infiniti is doing all it can to ensure that every development phase of the Q50 Eau Rouge is given full and undivided attention.
"Taking the decision to build and develop a prototype of the Q50 Eau Rouge concept following the positive response we received in Detroit and Geneva, was a logical next step for us in our evaluation process," said Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti Motor Company Limited.
Once its completed, the high-performance sedan is being tipped as the crown jewel of Infiniti’s lineup, one that features the very best of the GT-R’s monstrous power and the technology of Formula One combined into one.
Click past the jump to read more about the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge.
Q50 Eau Rouge Engine Sound Video
Named after the infamous corner of the Spa Francorchamps track in Belgium, the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge was envisioned as a high-performance sedan that blends Nissan GT-R power with, Formula One, luxury and a comfortable ride.
At first glance, the Eau Rouge sets itself apart from the regular Q50 via its aerodynamic body kit and numerous carbon-fiber components. The concept revealed a unique interior in a body-matching red and black color scheme, aluminum inserts and magnesium alloy shift paddles.
The Eau Rouge’s engine bay will be fitted with the exact same engine found in the Nissan GT-R. Infiniti promises that the twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-6 unit will deliver 560 horsepower. This will help the sedan deliver a 0-to-60 sprint of less than four seconds and a top speed of about 180 mph. Although it will get a seven-speed automatic instead of the GT-R’s dual-clutch transmission, the ultra-fast Q50 will retain the supercar’s AWD system.
Gallery Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge
Infiniti revealed at the Beijing Auto Show 2014 that an Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge prototype had been built and track tested and that the concept was now officially an engineering feasibility study.
The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge prototype has undergone on-track dynamics testing at the Millbrook Proving Ground, a leading automotive engineering and development center in the UK, in the hands of Sebastian Vettel, Infiniti’s Director of Performance.
The invaluable feedback of Vettel, the four-time Formula One world champion, will be engineered into the next stages of the prototype’s extensive development program: testing components, packaging and viability.
The Infiniti engineers will further refine the prototype’s aerodynamic performance and develop the rear axle and suspension set ups. Computer controlling is not ruled out for the suspension while initial wind tunnel data has shown that the prototype’s lowered ride height (minus 15mm – 20mm) has benefited under-body airflow. Further bespoke flat surface engineering for the prototype’s underside is also to be evaluated.
Bespoke carbon fiber exterior parts continue to feature extensively on the Q50 Eau Rouge exterior – front and rear splitters, and side sill skirts – while a driver-focused, carbon fiber enhanced cockpit could see bespoke leather and suede race-type Recaro bucket seats.
The Q50 Eau Rouge – a high-performance design study based on the luxury manufacturer’s award-winning Q50 premium sedan – was first revealed at the 2014 NAIAS Detroit Auto Show in January as a Formula One inspired, carbon fiber aero-enhanced concept.
At the Geneva Motor Show last month, the beating heart of Q50 Eau Rouge was revealed as a twin-turbo 3.8-liter V6 gasoline engine combined with a 7-speed gearbox and all-wheel drive. Predicted acceleration of 0-60 mph in less than four seconds and a top speed close to 180 mph would put the Q50 Eau Rouge firmly into the premier league of super-sports sedans.
"Taking the decision to build and develop a prototype of the Q50 Eau Rouge concept following the positive response we received in Detroit and Geneva, was a logical next step for us in our evaluation process," said Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti Motor Company Limited. "Having a four-time world champion like Sebastian Vettel take an active part in the testing program around the prototype ensures that we will meet the level of performance criteria we desire for an Infiniti high-performance sport sedan."
A decision to take the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge to production is currently under evaluation.