The Infiniti FX Vettel Edition Concept, which was designed and developed for two-time Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel, is set for production, Infiniti has confirmed. The FX Sebastian Vettel variant was the highlight at the company's stand at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The presented engineering, aerodynamics and design upgrades were motivated by the Infiniti Global Brand Ambassador and Red Bull Racing champion.
Andy Palmer, Infiniti's executive vice president, commented that creating the FX Sebastian Vettel variant for Frankfurt "was fun, but it’s also a kind of pilot."
He added that the variant is about their equivalent of Mercedes-Benz's AMG or BMW's M Cars. He further stated that they wanted to test the organization and "see if it could cope with this type of special version." With Sebastian’s FX, they were able to do low volume specials, he continued, adding that the FX Sebastian Vettel variant is one of the first that will go to market.
The Frankfurt concept vehicle was created from a discussion between Infiniti Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura and Sebastian Vettel, who was already an Infiniti FX driver, during the Geneva Motor Show this year.
The 5.0-litre V8 was tuned to deliver 420PS. With a high downforce aerodynamics package developed by Infiniti together with Red Bull Racing, the 300km/h crossover was dubbed as the most exclusive and focused sports crossover ever built. Specifics of the production variant including volumes, availability and prices have yet to be confirmed.
F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel was insistent that the new Ultimate FX should perform better than any other model. In order to meet these standards, designers, engineers and futurists worked side by side to make sure that the FX can meet these expectations, whether they be on the road or on the track. And they did.
The team had one of the Red Bull Racing RB7's shipped over to Japan to inspire them and in doing so, they have done the impossible and managed to increase the aerodynamic profile of the Infiniti FX.
With a lower profile than standard, the designers have given the new FX a look unlike any other. The new carbon rear wing has been instrumental in the improvements in downforce and stability. Furthermore, its design features which have been crucial in Sebastian's wishes for a vehicle capable of 300 km/h, which it manages to reach.
Other areas of the special FX have been trimmed, redesigned and developed in order to continue to improve downforce. For example the door mirror housings have been reshaped, carbon has been used to trim the weight of the vehicle with carbon fittings all now standard on the splitter, front grille, rear diffuser, mirror covers and the sills. All of these have allowed for a 30% improvement in lift coefficient and a further 5% drop in coefficient drag, making it one of the lightest SUVs in its class.
Outside of the downforce changes, other redevelopments have included the splitter and diffuser, both of which are now similar to Vettel's F1 car. Aficionados of F1 may also note the central rear fog light which is now just like a F1 rain light.
The last of the changes includes the exclusive multispoke 21-inch black alloys with silver rims. These exquisite pieces of craftsmanship also alleviate the weight of the vehicle by combining to ensure the new Infiniti FX Sebastian Vettel is 46 kg lighter than the standard FX50S Premium.
Simultaneously exclusive and dynamically complete, the Infiniti FX Vettel Edition production car is uniquely positioned in the worldwide automotive market. It found inspiration and was actually designed with the help of the current Formula 1 World Champion.
Sebastian Vettel wished for a more focused and more able FX than ever before. The collaboration led to the creation of the strongest and richest Infiniti to date. It reflects Formula 1 practices, custom aerodynamics, design aesthetics, and engineering techniques. Most importantly, the vehicle had to do all these while maintaining a balance of drive elements and while still being a true FX sports car.
The Vettel emblems are displayed to the double World Champion’s satisfaction. In fact, Vettel was undoubtedly crucial during the car’s entire development. He participated in the test drive team and provided vital feedback that the engineers needed to make his automotive vision real.
He still maintains a central role in the project as part of the VIP arrangements for the 150 people joining him from around the world at the most select automotive clubs.
This priceless, all-encompassing automotive experience includes invitation-only events, training from star race car drivers, interactions in a Formula 1 simulator, rides as a passenger in a three-seated Formula 1 vehicle, special test drives, and a most decidedly unforgettable handover celebration for the first car deliveries that begin in March of 2013. Owners have custom iPads on which they can track and record their car’s production, capturing every moment of the exciting journey of their Infiniti FX Vettel Edition.