There are sport sedans and then there are sport sedans. For years BMW has played in this arena with the M3, Mercedes-Benz with the C63 AMG and Audi with the RS 4 and RS 5. Now it seems Infiniti wants a piece of the super-high-performance segment with its Q50 in the skin of the Eau Rouge concept that we first saw at the 2014 Detroit auto show in January.
The problem then was Infiniti didn't reveal the engine that would be under the hood.
Today, its proudly announcing that there's a twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-6 under the hood good for 560 horsepower. Sound familiar?
It's the same engine that powers Nissan's GT-R supercar, which in its latest incarnation takes the engine's total output to 600 horses.
Like the GT-R, the engine is teamed to an all-wheel-drive system and mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission for a zero-to-60-mph time of less than 4 seconds.
There's no confirmation that this uber Q will make it to production, but it'd be hard for Infiniti to back down from challenging the likes of its above-mentioned competitors along with Cadillac's powerful V models after this announcement.
If the concept car we saw this week at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit is a reliable indicator, the hot-looking Infiniti Q50 luxury sedan could be on the fast track to a faster version. As its name indicates, the Q50 Eau Rogue concept, a performance variant of the regular G25/G37 successor, is influenced by Infiniti's ties to Formula One racing and wears the looks to back up its name.
The Q50 Eau Rouge wears widened rear fenders and aerodynamic carbon-fiber body enhancements. It rides on blacked-out 21-inch forged alloy wheels, and bright trim work around the grille, windows and door handles is toned down with matching dark chrome matte accents for a sinister look. Check out the photo gallery below.
Looks like: A bulging, 'roided-up Q50
Defining characteristics: Potential 500-hp engine, widened fenders, Formula One-inspired aerodynamics
Ridiculous features: Red-infused carbon fiber interior accents
Chance of being mass-produced: A performance-tuned Infiniti isn't that farfetched
The Q50's Eau Rouge concept can thank Infiniti's involvement in Formula One racing. The concept is a high-performance version of the Q50 sports sedan. The Eau Rouge name comes from a particularly fast corner of the Formula One circuit, Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, that sees speeds around 200 mph from Formula One cars.
We imagine a high-performance Q50 could be a prime match for the newly released, 425-horsepower 2015 BMW M3. While the exact source of power hasn't been nailed down, exterior and interior modifications are ready to support whatever engine Infiniti decides to throw in the car.
If you liked the Infiniti G37, you may just love the Q50, the name the luxury sedan now goes by for 2014. The exterior design boasts a shapelier grille and more dramatic styling, and the 3.7-liter V-6 provides plenty of power while the optional steer-by-wire system allows nimbler handling. As the price can quickly reach $50,000 with options, Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says buyers may be nitpicky about a few chintzier interior features. Overall, however, Mays says Infiniti "took a good thing and made it even better." Watch the video.
Vehicles Affected: Approximately 23 model-year 2014 Q50 sedans from Nissan's luxury brand, Infiniti.
The Problem: The affected vehicles are equipped with the Direct Adaptive Steering system, and should the engine compartment reach freezing temperatures, the electric system could become disabled. The backup mechanical steering system could also be delayed. This could result in a loss of steering control and a crash.
The Fix: Nissan told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it has already notified all affected Q50 owners, and all the cars were towed to Infiniti dealerships. Dealers updated the software for free.
What Owners Should Do: Owners with questions may contact Infiniti at 800-662-6200 or NHTSA at 888-327-4236 for more information.
A pair of luxury nameplates vied for membership in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's coveted five-star safety club, but only one made the cut. The 2014 Infiniti Q50 became the latest to earn the title, while the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class fell just short of the mark.
Both the Q50's gas-only and hybrid models, including rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions of both, earned an overall score of five stars in NHTSA crash testing. In individual tests, including frontal-crash, side-impact and rollover evaluations, all versions of the luxury compact sedan scored four, five and five, respectively.
Infiniti will debut a performance concept called the Q50 Eau Rouge at January's North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It takes its name from the famous early corner at Spa-Francorchamps, the circuit that hosts Belgium's Formula One Grand Prix. Infiniti has close ties to F1 racing, having sponsored its own Infiniti Red Bull Racing team.
The Q50 Eau Rouge is based on the production Q50 sedan, which succeeds the G25/G37 and went on sale in August. A teaser photo shows clear ties to the Q50, but Infiniti says the concept will have aerodynamic styling changes and other F1-inspired elements.
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