Sebastian Vettel Test Driving Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge

Sebastian Vettel Test Driving Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge

Turns out that Infiniti’s head-turning Q50 Eau Rouge is more than an auto show attraction.

Formula One phenom Sebastian Vettel recently took the Eau Rouge out for a rip at the Millbrook Proving Ground in the U.K. and that’s big news.

Concept cars are often meant as previews of what the brand is thinking about offering sometime in the future. Most of the time, quoted performance figures boil down to marketing mumbo jumbo meant to excite fans. For example, Nissan claimed that its IDx concepts used a CVT, but when members of the automotive media drove it, that turned out – thankfully – not to be the case. Now it’s becoming clear that Infiniti’s Q50 Eau Rouge is a member of a regrettably unusual circle of concept cars built to be driven.

The Eau Rogue borrows its engine from the GT-R, meaning it offers 560 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque and the potential to slingshot Infiniti into luxury legitimacy. Until now, the brand sorely lacked any sort of real performance vehicle. But by transplanting the twin-turbo V6, Nissan’s luxury brand might finally be able to challenge industry leaders like the BMW M3 and Mercedes C63 AMG.

There still hasn’t been an official announcement about plans for production, but things seem to be soldiering on in that direction. Infiniti says it will make a new announcement about the car on April 20 at the Beijing Auto Show and that could serve as strong an indication as any other given the Chinese market’s propensity for high-priced vehicles.

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GALLERY: Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept


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