Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel drove the car he helped shape for the first time, taking the custom crossover on the famed hillclimb at the
2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed
this past weekend.
First revealed as a concept at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, the FX Sebastian Vettel Version
has since been confirmed for a limited production run of just 150 examples, all of them destined for customers in Europe and the Middle East.
One of those 150 customers also happens to be the F1 ace himself.
The vehicle is based on the latest 2012 Infiniti FX50
but benefits from lower weight, longer gearing, stiffer suspension and 30 percent greater downforce. Peak output has also been raised from the FX50’s stock 390 horsepower to 414 horsepower, made possible by recalibrating the ECU of the vehicle's V-8 engine and adding a high-flow exhaust system.
Commenting after his drive, Vettel said, "This is the first road car I have helped develop. The Infiniti handles really well and the power is good. It’s big enough to fit my mountain bike in, but the performance is really good and driving it up the Goodwood hill was great fun. It is fantastic for me to have contributed to the design of this car and I’m very excited to take delivery of my own.”
Vettel’s Red Bull Racing teammate Mark Webber wasn’t forgotten. He got to drive the prototype version of the stunning Infiniti Emerg-E
extended-range electric car up the hillclimb as well.
Commenting after his drive, Webber said, "I’m used to Formula 1 cars that make a lot of noise, so to drive a silent car was very new to me. Infiniti have made something really nice here. The Emerg-E looks beautiful and is very quick--faster than you expect with it being so quiet.”