Back in March, at the Geneva Auto Show, 2010 Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel and Infiniti‘s Chief Creative Officer, Shiro Nakamura got chatting.
The topic of discussion was a faster and better performing version of the company’s premium crossover utility; the V8 powered FX50. Now, some six months later at the Frankfurt Auto Show, what began as a chat has emerged as a concept representing Infiniti’s most exclusive and best performing SUV yet, the aptly named FX50 Sebastian Vettel Version.
The reigning F1 champ currently uses an FX as regular transportation, but wanted to see how much further the envelope could be pushed in terms of performance. “I drive a lot in Germany on motorways that have no speed limits and have enjoyed my FX around the Nürburgring Nordschleife,” he said. “Driving at high speed where safe and legal is part of my life. As well as a higher top speed I wanted even better stability in my FX, and that meant working on the aerodynamics. It is a tribute to the excellence of the standard FX that achieving all my targets required so few changes.”
Whereas Vettel is used to having a team of engineers build a car around his specific requirements, for the FX SV, being able to provide his own input towards a production-based vehicle was a refreshing change of pace. Weighing considerably less than the standard FX50 and powered by a 5.0-liter V8 generating 420 horsepower, the Sebastian Vettel version boasts true supercar performance, with seating for the family.
“It’s a Infiniti I am very proud to have my name on,” he declared. “It is all I hoped for: 300km/h (186 mph) top speed, plenty of downforce – and I can still fit my mountain bike in the back. Plus it is totally exclusive – and as an Infiniti driver, myself; that’s important.”