Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge concept
The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge concept isn't scheduled to appear until the 2014 Detroit Auto Show in a couple of weeks, but Infiniti decided to show it off early.
The first official image of the Eau Rouge--named after a famous corner at Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps circuit--depicts are car that would be just as at home at SEMA as Detroit. The second image, below, shows its full side profile.
Designed to leverage Infiniti's relationship with Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing, the Eau Rouge features aggressive carbon-fiber bodywork, including a front splitter, rear diffuser, side skirts, roof, and door mirror casings. However, this isn't just a body kit: Infiniti says the shape of every panel except the roof and doors has been changed.
The result is a car that's much lower and wider than a stock Q50, and slipperier. Completing the redesign is a set of 21-inch forged alloy wheels, a dual sport exhaust system, and an integrated rear spoiler.
Infiniti didn't mention any mechanical modifications; it may be saving those details for the Eau Rouge's Detroit unveiling. The 2014 Q50 is available with a 3.7-liter V-6 that produces 328 horsepower, or as a hybrid with a 3.5-liter V-6 and an electric motor, producing a combined total of 360 hp.
However, for better or worse, the Q50 is best known for its optional Direct Adaptive Steering, a "steer-by-wire" system with no physical connection between the steering and road wheels. It's already been the subject of one recall, but the Q50 did garner a 5-Star Overall NHTSA Safety Rating.