Infiniti's Euro-fighter concept, the Q50 Eau Rouge


January 16, 2014

If Infiniti built the car they expect it would have  over 500 hp and 600 lb.ft of torque according to  President of Infiniti Motor Company Limited, Johan de Nysschen

If Infiniti built the car they expect it would have over 500 hp and 600 lb.ft of torque according to President of Infiniti Motor Company Limited, Johan de Nysschen

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What would happen if Infiniti designed a car with the sole intent of pestering Mercedes Benz and BMW performance sedans on their own turf? The Q50 based Eau Rouge concept unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show might be the result. Gizmag was on hand in Detroit to capture the reveal.

With aggressive stylistic details, it’s clear the Eau Rouge would sit comfortably next to the big performance Euro sedans. Although the car is a concept piece it is distinctly premised off Infiniti’s new Q50. However, even though the overall style remains similar to the consumer ready Q50, the only remaining bits left on the Eau Rouge are the front doors and the A-pillar.

Lower and wider, with a more muscular, sculpted demeanor, the Eau Rouge has received a significant carbon fiber body injection. Wider translates into front and rear fenders flared out 20 mm, while up at the waistline, Infiniti hasn’t been shy about shaving out some significantly sharp hip lines. Down at ankle level, new carbon fiber sculpted aero-sections run the distance between the flared arches and 21 inch forged wheels.

Further emphasizing the car’s serious nature, out back there's a big deck lid spoiler and carbon fiber diffuser. The formed diffuser not only houses oversized tailpipes but an F1 styled brake light – an obvious design nod to the concept's F1 influence (Belgium’s Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps “Eau Rouge” corner is one of Formula One’s most famous twisty bits).

Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti's Executive Design Director, expands on this point: "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.”

Nose on there’s quite a bit of Jaguar going on there, but with the exaggerated air intakes and double air-vented hood, there’s no mistaking the car for a big cat.

The Eau Rouge currently has no defined powerplant, but Infiniti clearly has an idea of what might go under the hood.

"If we built this car I would expect it to feature over 500 hp and 600 lb.ft of torque,” notes Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti. “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."

Is this a message to the kids at Mercedes and BMW that Infiniti wants to come out and play?

In terms of accessible performance powerplants currently at Infiniti’s disposal, the company could possibly go with a modified Q50 engine, or they could theoretically borrow a Nissan GTR’s 545 hp twin-turbo V6 and stuff that into the Eau Rouge instead. Carry over some of the other Nurburgring proven performance parts from the GTR and Infiniti could have a serious Euro-fighter on its hands.

Inside the red beast resides an layout similar to the Q50 with a few not so subtle differences. A high-grip sports steering wheel next to F1 style paddle-shifters helps deliver the car’s overall performance message, with the only other noticeable difference being the sport seats and what had to be one heck of an expensive designer touch – red-infused carbon fiber detailing formed into the doors and center console.

The Q50 Eau Rouge is only a concept at this stage, but if Infiniti is serious about tackling Euro marques like Mercedes and BMW, then the car night well make it to production. We can only hope.

Source: Infiniti

About the Author
Angus MacKenzie Born on the cold, barren Canadian plains of Calgary, Alberta, Angus MacKenzie couldn’t decide between marketing, automotives or an entrepreneurial path - so he chose all three. With an education in automotives and marketing, Angus has rebuilt the carburetor on his 1963 Rambler Ambassador twice, gotten a speeding ticket in an F430 once, and driven & photographed everything from Lamborghinis to Maseratis to various German and Asian designs. When not writing, Angus has for the past six years been Editor-in-Chief for elemente, an internationally recognized architecture/design magazine. All articles by Angus MacKenzie

Hope they decide to make it - The world could use a few more brave challengers to the "big few".

The Skud

'Eau Rouge' sounds like an unpleasant urinary tract disorder- and the styling of this thing is not much better- it manages to look very much like what it is- a Far Eastern knockoff of various European cars randomly melded together in a not very cohesive whole.

Nissan is a long established car maker, and really ought to be able to do something much more convincing than this as a halo model, rather than yet another 'me too' model. It would probably succeed in the American market but bomb in Europe, especially the UK.


Speaking for "The UK", I'd expect this to fly out of the showrooms as long as it does a better job of being an M3 than the Lexus ISF did.

Looks a damn' sight better than the ISF too - I think this looks fantastic, in an appropriately over-the-top sort of way.

And I reckon that "Eau Rouge" is a perfectly appropriate name, too - it means something here in Europe.

Keith Reeder

Underneath it is still just a Japanese waanabe......It doesn't have the pedigree or panache of the long established European makes and never will!. They have a racing heritage to boot! An engine does not a car make.

Robert Meurant

You've heard of the Nissan GT-R, I take it, Robert?

Far and away one of the most astonishingly capable, adrenaline-generating pieces of kit to come out in the last twenty years, and WAY more than "just" an engine.

In fact, Nissan has a heritage all of its own, going right back to the early "Z-Cars":

"Nissan Z cars currently hold the record for the best selling sports car series of all time with over 2 million cars sold."

And no, I don't own one - never have - but there's NO lack of credibility and heritage here, Robert.

Keith Reeder

Keith well done for enlightening closed minded Robert. Those arrogant views a seriously grating for a Japanese car fan. The Japanese dont have to prove anything thank you.

Asif Farooqui

The Japanese have definitely proven how to make ugly and sterile cars. And not sure they have proven their racing heritage yet....Toyota and Honda pulled out of f1 in 2010 & 2009. The Infiniti name you see on the red bull is just the name. Renault is the engine powering those cars. We're not 'arrogant'. We're just right.

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