At Beijing, it became official: this is no paper tiger. The Q50 Eau Rouge is up and running, and making some impressive numbers at the proving grounds. According to Infiniti, the car launched at the Detroit Show – as an indication of what was possible with the Q50 premium sedan – is now officially an engineering feasibility study and is being considered for production.
For a power plant, the Infiniti engineers didn’t mess about: they chose the aluminium/magnesium twin-turbo 3,8 V6 as used in parent company Nissan’s GT-R. But then they went and cranked up the GT-R output considerably by means of bespoke engine mapping, air intake and exhaust.
As a result, it’s no surprise that the Eau Rouge is capable of eye-popping ability in a straight line. But, thanks to its F1-inspired aerodynamics and carbon fibre tech, the Eau Rouge looks a serious contender as a high-performance sports sedan. Given that it is named after a legendary bend at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps circuit, we’d expect no less.
Incidentally, thanks to the technical partnership between Infiniti and the Infiniti Red Bull Racing Formula One team, the team’s four-time world champion and Infiniti’s Director of Performance, Sebastian Vettel, has played a significant role in development testing.
Squeezing a supercar powertrain into a sporting sedan was never going to be easy: the GT-R engine has a turbocharger on each cylinder bank, twin oil coolers, a charge-air intercooler and high-performance radiator. Unsurprisingly, the engineers found a way. But even they had to concede defeat in regard to the transmission. The GT-R’s 6-speed transaxle would have helped weight distribution, but would have destroyed the Infiniti’s rear seat space, so it was dropped in favour of a more conventional alternative.
Engine: 3,8 V6 twin-turbo petrol
Driveline: 7A, awd
Output: 434 kW, 600 N.m
0-100 km/h: under 4 seconds
Top speed: 290 km/h