Named after one of the greatest corners in modern racing, the Q50 Eau Rouge concept is a combination of Infiniti luxury and Red Bull F1 aggression. It previews what Infiniti thinks would be possible if they were given a blank check to create an outrageous sports sedan.
Based on the Q50 sports sedan , the Eau Rouge is a visual overhaul that features materials and design insight from the current F1 World Championship team of Infiniti Red Bull Racing. Much of the exterior design of the Eau Rouge features bespoke components with very few of the body panels shared with its tamer sibling.
Infiniti has stated that they would consider putting an engine with a power output of more than 500 ponies if a car like the Eau Rouge would be put in production. Ladies and Gentleman what you see here is a preview to a GT-R powered Infiniti.
Updated 03/04/2014: Geneva is here and Infiniti has finally lifted the veil from the beast beneath the hood of the Q50 Eau Rouge. Unsurprisingly, it is the same 3.8-liter V-6 found in the GT-R. See more after the jump.
Click past the jump to read more about Infiniti Q50
Updated 12/24/2013: Infiniti unveiled a new video for the upcoming Q50 Eau Rouge concept set to be unveiled in January 2014. Enjoy!
Updated 01/02/2014: After a teaser image and a video, Infiniti has finally released the first official image (above) of the new Q50 Eau Rouge concept, and it surely looks crazy. As you can see the concept will be lower and wider than the production version Q50 and will include a very aggressive carbon-fiber body kit. This will include front splitter, rear diffuser and side-sill skirts. Also included is a new roof and mirror casings made from carbon fiber. The concept rides on 21-inch, lightweight, alloy wheels and the rear features a dual-exit sports exhaust system below an integrated rear spoiler.
Updated 1/13/2014: Infiniti has revealed the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge.
Updated 02/20/2014: Infiniti will also bring the new Q50 Eau Rouge at the Geneva Motor Show, and this time we will also learn what engine will power the new concept. A first teaser video of the engine sound, suggest it may be a turbo V-6 engine, but we will find out in two weeks time.
The exterior features the most obvious changes over the normal Q50 sedan. With large amounts of carbon fiber and more aggressive aerodynamics, the Eau Rouge exudes a sense of extreme power and performance.
Bespoke carbon-fiber front bumper with lower air splitter and brake ducts.
Bespoke steel hood with aluminum cooling vents
Bespoke fenders on all four corners that are 10mm wider
Bespoke carbon-fiber roof
Bespoke carbon-fiber mirror caps
Bespoke carbon-fiber side skirts
Bespoke one-piece carbon-fiber rear bumper with integrated diffuser
Rear bumper features LED brake light from the RB9 Formula One car
Bespoke dual-exhaust system
Despite the incredible collection of one-off parts for the Eau Rouge, the most striking visual feature is the paint. This unique custom red paint color features a red-infused clear coat to give it that extra deep color. It is easily one of the most stunning factory colors we have ever seen.
Just as expected, it is a 3.8-liter V-6 with a pair of huge turbochargers strapped to it
The interior of the Eau Rouge concept receives a healthy visual update as well. The entire interior is created with a red and black color scheme that matches the exterior of the Eau Rouge.
The steering wheel is a sports design wheel that features a custom suede-like material in red and black with contrast stitching and aluminum accents. Mounted directly behind the wheel are a pair of magnesium alloy shift paddles for control over the transmission when in manual mode.
Much of the trim is body-color matched with a carbon fiber weave design. Black chrome accents also adorn the cabin. Otherwise, the Eau Rouge is the same as a normal Q50 complete with advanced infotainment and telematics systems.
Now that Geneva has arrived Infiniti has stopped beating around the bush and announced the powertrain of the Eau Rouge. Just as expected, it is a 3.8-liter V-6 with a pair of huge turbochargers strapped to it. We contacted Nissan to do a little research and they did confirm that a large portion of this engine is pulled straight from the GT-R.
It is not a direct swap though. Certain parts and parameters have been altered to make the engine respond in a way that is more Infiniti, and a little less race car. That means a bit less brutality off the line and a more linear acceleration curve, but it will still be a 560-horsepower monster.
Top speed of the engine has also been cut from the GT-R, albeit only slightly. Godzilla is nearly capable of 200 mph, while the Eau Rouge is limited to 180. The wicked-fast dual clutch transmission is also being swapped for Infiniti’s smoother shifting 7-speed unit. This should also help with fuel economy, if you can keep your foot out of the accelerator.
What hasn’t been ditched however is the AWD system. When this sedan hits the market, it is going to but a performance upset on quite a lot of the super sedans already on the market.
|Type||3.8-liter V-6 gasoline engine|
|Horsepower||560 HP @ TBA|
|Top Speed||180 mph|
|0 to 60 mph||< 4 seconds|
If the Eau Rouge goes into production with a version of the GT-R powertrain it will be facing stiff competition from Germany.
No talk of high-end performance sedans can be had without bringing up the Bavarians and their benchmark M cars. With a 560 horsepower twin-turbo V-8, the M5 has the power to keep up with the theoretical Eau Rouge, and if history is any indication, Infiniti will have its work cut out for it when it comes to out-handling the BMW.
Like the M5, the E63 Mercedes uses a V8 with a pair of turbos. Power output is 550 brutal horses. The AMG is known for favoring brute strength over finesse, so the Eau Rouge could hold an edge in comfort and overall handling performance.
The Eau Rouge may be a concept in name, but Infiniti will be using it to gauge what kind of interest a high-luxury GT-R can generate. If Nissan and Infiniti green-light this project, the Eau Rouge could be a groundbreaking upset in the super-sedan market. We can’t wait.
- GT-R power in a sedan
- Looking stylish
- Lexus is serving notice to BMW and AMG that it is here to crush it
- No confirmed production plans yet
- Will likely be priced near the GT-R
- Likely not as agile as the GT-R
Gallery Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge
Press Release 1
The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge, revealed at the 2014 NAIAS Detroit Motor Show, is a concept car that expresses Infiniti’s design vision of a high-performance Q50 premium sports sedan.
The Q50 Eau Rouge embodies the arresting design features of the Q50 premium sports sedan - infused with the enticing spirit of Formula One.
Featuring bespoke aerodynamic carbon fiber bodywork, Q50 Eau Rouge is lower and wider, possessing genuine road presence. This striking design is inspired by muscularity, aerodynamics, refinement, and understated power.
"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. I think our engineers have been waiting for a project like this," said Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti Motor Company Limited.
Hints at powerful intent
The Q50 Eau Rouge was born out of competition at the very pinnacle of motorsport, mirroring components from the successful RB9 race car.
Almost every exterior panel is bespoke to the Q50 Eau Rouge, with only the front doors and the arch of the roof pillars retained as standard components.
Q50 Eau Rouge visibly hunkers down with menace and intent. 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. All of this dynamic width is wrapped in a tailored coat of customized red paint.
Framing the paintwork across the Q50 Eau Rouge’s athletic physique is dark-chrome detailing to replace the chrome bright work of the production Q50, darkening the concept’s demeanor dramatically.
Q50’s signature double-arch front grille too takes the dark-chrome’s matte finish, as do the glasshouse surrounds, door handles and deck lid accents. The curving hood is double air-vented as a further suggestion of the capability and purpose of the Q50 Eau Rouge.
"From our shared passion for performance with Infiniti Red Bull Racing grew a collective desire to produce an ambitious and powerful Infiniti Q50 design study. The overall design creates a feeling of refined muscularity," said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti’s Executive Design Director.
"The design has a number of distinctive Formula-One inspired touches. In particular, the sculpted front wing assembly and the rear aerodynamic packaging take their cues from the RB9 race car. The rear fog light packaging is unmistakably Formula One.
"The Q50 Eau Rouge is a combination of the seductive lines of the Q50 but with a fiercer design urge in keeping with a high-performance vehicle. The Q50 Eau Rouge is Infiniti to the power of four; like a bull with its shoulder muscles flexed, a bull in Infiniti clothing."
Part of the concept’s exterior treatments include lightweight 21-inch forged alloy wheels which fill the wider arches.
Premium interior. Sporting inspiration
Further underlining the sporty character of the design study, the interior was designed to offer command and comfort.
Further precision control is afforded by a high-grip sports steering wheel and Formula One-style paddle-shifters.
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.
The breadth and depth of capability is self-evident; the Q50 Eau Rouge is a design concept that clearly indicates what Infiniti could achieve if it was to build a performance version of the Q50 sports sedan.
"Performance is a key ingredient of Infiniti vehicles such as the Q50 sports sedan. Our involvement in Formula One provides inspiration and excellence to our designers and engineers. Q50 Eau Rouge provides not only a glimpse of the design language, but also the performance capability of a future special series," de Nysschen added.
Press Release 2 (Geneva)
Infiniti has boosted excitement in the high-performance premium sports sedan segment at the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show by revealing a powerful engine for the Q50 Eau Rouge concept. The beating heart of the Eau Rouge – a twin-turbocharged, 3.8-liter V6 gasoline engine – was revealed on the Infiniti show stand today.
The Q50 Eau Rouge – a high-performance concept car based on the premium manufacturer’s award-winning Q50 sport sedan – was first revealed at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show in January as a Formula One inspired, carbon fiber aero-enhanced concept. Q50 Eau Rouge now tells a compelling power story with a full 560 hp and 600 Nm of torque on demand.
“Building on the extremely positive feedback on the Q50 Eau Rouge at its recent Detroit Auto Show launch, we decided to further whet the appetite of performance sports sedan fans by engineering this powerful heart into our blood-red beast,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Infiniti Motor Company Limited.
“A car with such pronounced styling treatments demands the very best in terms of high-performance powertrains, which is why we installed this V6 twinturbocharged,
7-speed combination as an example of what a potential powertrain for the Q50 Eau Rouge may look and sound like.”
The 3799cc V6, 24-valve, twin-turbocharged gasoline engine partners a fulltime, all-wheel drive system with 50/50 front-to-rear torque split. 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 supersports sedans.
The most powerful and exhilarating gasoline-powered Infiniti model has not been confirmed for production, but the unveiling of the latest iteration of the Q50 Eau Rouge in Geneva underlines the company’s determination to create engaging performance cars for a premium segment.