BEIJING / HONG KONG – INFINITI revealed at the Beijing Auto Show 2014 that an INFINITI Q50 Eau Rouge prototype had been built and track tested and that the concept was now officially an engineering feasibility study.
The INFINITI Q50 Eau Rouge prototype has undergone on-track dynamics testing at the Millbrook Proving Ground, a leading automotive engineering and development centre in the UK, in the hands of Sebastian Vettel, INFINITI's Director of Performance.
The invaluable feedback of Vettel, the four-time Formula One world champion, will be engineered into the next stages of the prototype's extensive development program: testing components, packaging and viability.
The INFINITI engineers will further refine the prototype's aerodynamic performance and develop the rear axle and suspension set ups. Computer controlling is not ruled out for the suspension while initial wind tunnel data has shown that the prototype's lowered ride height (minus 15mm – 20mm) has benefited under-body airflow. Further bespoke flat surface engineering for the prototype's underside is also to be evaluated.
Bespoke carbon fiber exterior parts continue to feature extensively on the Q50 Eau Rouge exterior – front and rear splitters, and side sill skirts – while a driver-focused, carbon fiber enhanced cockpit could see bespoke leather and suede race-type Recaro bucket seats.
The Q50 Eau Rouge – a high-performance design study based on the luxury manufacturer's award-winning Q50 premium sedan – was first revealed at the 2014 NAIAS Detroit Auto Show in January as a Formula One inspired, carbon fiber aero-enhanced concept.
At the Geneva Motor Show last month, the beating heart of Q50 Eau Rouge was revealed as a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6 gasoline engine combined with a 7-speed gearbox and all-wheel drive. Predicted acceleration of 0-60 mph in less than four seconds and a top speed close to 180 mph would put the Q50 Eau Rouge firmly into the premier league of super-sports sedans.
"Taking the decision to build and develop a prototype of the Q50 Eau Rouge concept following the positive response we received in Detroit and Geneva, was a logical next step for us in our evaluation process," said Johan de Nysschen, President of INFINITI Motor Company Limited. "Having a four-time world champion like Sebastian Vettel take an active part in the testing program around the prototype ensures that we will meet the level of performance criteria we desire for an INFINITI high-performance sport sedan."
A decision to take the INFINITI Q50 Eau Rouge to production is currently under evaluation.
About INFINITI in Formula One
INFINITI, the premium automotive brand, starts the 2013 season as Title Partner and Vehicle Performance Partner of INFINITI Red Bull Racing. With a deepened technical collaboration across people, process and technologies, an 'open door' approach is enabling both sides to access a pool of innovation, new technologies and R&D resources in the shared pursuit of precision and performance.
Since the partnership's inception in 2011 it has already seen the launch of the INFINITI FX Vettel Edition and product development input from Sebastian Vettel and test driver Sebastien Buemi for the all-new INFINITI Q50 premium sports saloon. INFINITI continues to be the most visible automotive brand in Formula One, and the deepened partnership will ensure closer alignment on an increasing number of future team collaborations.
For interesting content on INFINITI in Formula One visit: www.infiniti-gp.com, www.youtube.com/INFINITIGP or follow on Twitter @INFINITIGP.
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