Although the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit has come to an end for another year, one particular model has managed to hold our attention.
The Infiniti Q50 EAU Rouge was one of the most eye-catching models on display, not least due to its distinctive red exterior, but also because of its aggressive image and Red Bull Racing Formula One design influences.
It is the latest vision of Infiniti’s ambition for the high-performance market and the sports sedan certainly looks the business.
The car comes with bespoke aerodynamic carbon fibre bodywork, is lower and wider than the standard Q50 model and is generally made bulkier and more muscular. As if it had been put through a severe training schedule before it hit the stands in Detroit.
While the car is still a concept, the manufacturer has already revealed its intentions to make a potential road version supremely powerful.
Johan de Nysschen, president of Infiniti Motor Company Limited, said: “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.”
These are some pretty bold statements from the company leader. Now can you see why we’re so excited about its potential?
The model has only kept the front doors and the roof pillars from the original models components, and has added a range of menacing extras to really give it that aesthetic of power and strength.
New front and rear wings create a wide stance, while a larger deck-lid to improve downforce makes it seem more robust.
Of course, it’s difficult not to see the mean streak the car has, as the dark-chrome detailing and customised red paint almost screams evil.
Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti’s executive design director, said: “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.
“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,” he added.
Furthermore, the interior has been given that racing touch, thanks to a high-grip steering wheel, Formula One-style paddle-shifters and carbon fibre detailing around the doors and centre console.
Mr De Nysschen said that performance is a key ingredient, not just in this version of the model, but in all variations of 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,” he concluded.