2014 Detroit Auto Show: Infiniti reveals the Q50 Eau Rouge Concept

Article by Christian A., on January 13, 2014

Unveiled at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show, the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge is essentially a design study that personifies the premium carmaker’s vision of a high-performance Q50 premium sports sedan. As designed, the new Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge fuses the dramatic design cues of the Q50 and the thrilling spirit of Formula One.

Infiniti designed the new Q50 Eau Rouge to convey a dynamic presence on the road, as made possible by lower and wider dimensions as well as by its aerodynamic carbon fiber body. Taking inspiration from aerodynamics, muscularity and refinement, the new Q50 Eau Rouge strongly exudes a powerful intent on the road.

Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti Motor Company Limited, remarked that should the carmaker build the Q50 Eau Rouge, this car would have a power rating of more 500 hp of output and 600 lb.-ft. of torque. He quipped that thanks to various alliance partners, Infiniti was able to gain access to engines that meet this performance requirement. The engine that would power the Q50 Eau Rouge should be engineered to exhibit Infiniti character and should be able to fit into the engine bay of the Q50. He added that the engine being evaluated for the Q50 Eau Rouge is a V-cylinder engine with forced induction.

The new Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge was heavily derived from Formula One, which is considered as the pinnacle of motorsport. In fact, it mirrors components from the RB9 Formula One race car. Interestingly, only the front doors and the arch of the roof pillars of the Q50 were retained on the new Q50 Eau Rouge. Nearly, all exterior panels are exclusively new for the Q50 Eau Rouge.

Wrapped in a customized red finish, the new Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge is a menacing vehicle but with a purpose. Thanks to its new front and rear fenders, the Q50 Eau Rouge is wider than the Q50 by around 20 mm. It is provided with deck lid spoiler that is larger than on the Q50, allowing the Q50 Eau Rouge to have more downforce. The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge rides on lightweight 21-inch forged alloy wheels.

While the Q50 features a chrome bright work surrounding the red exterior finish, the Q50 Eau Rouge comes with dark-chrome detailing, thereby giving the concept a darker personality. Dark chrome has also replaced the bright chrome finish on the signature double-arch front grille, glasshouse surrounds and door handles as well as deck lid accents. Helping convey the Q50 Eau Rouge’s capability is its curving hood with double air vents.

Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti's Executive Design Director, remarked that the Q50 Eau Rouge is a result of a passion for performance as shared with Infiniti Red Bull Racing. He added that the design of Q50 Eau Rouge gives rise to a feeling of refined muscularity. Albaisa noted that the Q50 Eau Rouge features a number of distinctive Formula-One inspired touches like the sculpted front wing assembly and the rear aerodynamic packaging – all derived the RB9 race car. The rear fog light packaging, likewise, is derived from Formula One.

Albaisa added that the Q50 Eau Rouge combines the seductive lines of the Q50 with a fiercer design. He described the Q50 Eau Rouge as an Infiniti to the power of four, likening the design study to a bull in Infiniti clothing with its shoulder muscles flexed.

Complementing the sporty exterior of the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge is an interior that is designed to allow the driver to be in command and the occupants to ride in luxurious comfort. This is exemplified by a high-grip sports steering wheel and Formula One-style paddle-shifters, both allowing drivers to be in precise control of the Q50 Eau Rouge.

Press Release

Infiniti Reveals Formula One-Inspired Q50 Eau Rouge in Detroit

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 Infiniti 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 Infiniti 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.

Infiniti 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 Infiniti 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.

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