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Sebastian Vettel Starts Testing 560-HP Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge: Video

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Infiniti is finally serious about launching a proper performance product, and our first taste of what’s to come is the Q50 Eau Rouge concept. At the concept’s reveal at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show in January, Infiniti boss Johan de Nysschen said that any production version must have the performance to back up the awesome looks, and then at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show last month we learned that the engine in the concept was none other than the twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-6 of the Nissan GT-R, delivering a more-than-adequate 560 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque.

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Infiniti still hasn’t officially confirmed the Q50 Eau Rouge for production, but recently the brand’s ‘Director of Performance,’ Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel, was asked to test a prototype. This is the strongest indication yet that Infiniti has started development of a production Q50 Eau Rouge, one fine-tuned by a four-time Formula One world champion.

The prototype shakedown took place at the Millbrook Proving Ground in the U.K., not far from the Red Bull Racing’s Milton Keynes headquarters. Engineers put the prototype through a challenging series of performance, handling and precision driving evaluations, and using Vettel's feedback will further develop the prototype. The next step will be testing components, packaging and viability.

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Infiniti has previously stated that the Q50 Eau Rouge will do 0-60 mph in under four seconds and reach a top speed of around 180 mph. That would make it a proper rival for German sport sedans like the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. In addition to an F1-inspired body kit, the vehicle also benefits from 21-inch wheels, a seven-speed transmission and all-wheel drive.

Further details on Infiniti’s plans for the Q50 Eau Rouge will be revealed at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show on April 20. For additional coverage on the Chinese show, head to our dedicated hub.

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