Why Infiniti Needs the Q50 Eau Rouge and Needs it Now
The Eau Rouge knocked our socks off at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. I mean, with Godzilla guts in a four-door luxury sedan, how can you go wrong? With rumblings about the GT-R-powered luxo-rig heading into the "project" phase, according to Infiniti boss Johan de Nysschen, we need to talk about why production must happen and must happen soon.
First of all, Infiniti is finally gaining momentum in the luxury realm that it has never had before. For many years, many luxury buyers turned their noses up at the Infiniti brand as re-badged Nissans, and not on par with BMW, Mercedes and Audi. Now with all of the new goodies rolling out, like the RC F — the entire RC lineup for that matter — the more streamlined naming system, and a distinct line of separation drawn between loaded-out Nissans and base-level Infinitis, the brand is primed to make a move against upper-level Bimmers and Mercedes. And the Q50 Eau Rouge is the perfect model to take on the M5 and E63 AMG.
Secondly, you finally have a man in charge in Johan de Nysschen who know what the hell he’s doing with a luxury brand. He’s spoken before about de-Americanizing the Infiniti brand, which is precisely what most top-level luxury car buyers want. That’s not a knock on American cars, it’s just that top-level luxury car buyers aren’t shopping at Cadillac... It was this type of out-of-the-box thinking that allowed de Nysschen to turn the Audi brand into a winner, and the Eau Rouge is a model that vastly de-Americanizes the brand and gives Infiniti the halo car it needs to draw fence-riding buyers into dealers.
Third, it also helps the GT-R. Sure, halo cars are often loss-leaders that are only there to generate interest in the brand. But the development of a production-version Q50 Eau Rouge will spread the cost of building the GT-R’s drivetrain over two models, which will lower overall production cost per car. That will drive up profits — or lower loss — for both the Eau Rouge and the GT-R.
Finally, it opens up GT-R performance those of us who have families or don’t want our guts rattled loose by the GT-R’s harsh suspension. Plus, the added luxury will satisfy buyers that need a better-equipped cabin than the GT-R can offer, but still want incredible performance.
Click past the jump to read more about the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge.
Named after the infamous corners in Formula One , the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge is the culmination of Infiniti’s quest to give the Nissa GT-R a performance worthy cousin.
Essentially, the Q50 Eau Rouge is a concept 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. Add that with the copious amounts of carbon fiber and more aggressive aerodynamics, and it’s easy to understand why a lot of people fell in love with the Q50 Eau Rouge in Geneva.
As expected, Infiniti outfitted the Q50 with the same 3.8-liter V-6 engine as the GT-R. Yep, right down to the pair of huge turbochargers strapped to it. Power amounts to 560 horsepower with an estimated 0-to-60 mph time of less than four seconds with a top speed of around 180 mph.