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Infiniti Q50 Concept Car for Detroit Auto Show Points toward Performance

By: Jeff Youngs, 1/11/2014
It's been more than a year since Infiniti announced it would rename all of its products in alphanumeric accordance, with "Q" denoting the car models and "QX" affixed to the SUV models. The redesigned G37 Sedan became the 2014 Infiniti Q50 and debuted at last year's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. After that, the hubbub died down and, aside from announcing that the old G37 would get a reprieve to serve as an entry-level offering until the new 2016 Infiniti Q30 arrives, all has been quiet on the Infiniti front.

Don't mistake the calm for complacency, though. Infiniti is working hard on its next-generation lineup of products, and the new Q50 Eau Rouge Concept that will debut at the 2014 NAIAS demonstrates Infiniti's vision of the new range of high-performance vehicles it plans to roll out in coming years.

Inspired by the automaker's involvement with the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team and championship Formula One competition, and named after a corner in the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps where the F1 racing circuit crosses the Eau Rouge stream in France, this new Q50 concept car employs manufactured carbon fiber and aerodynamic design to illustrate the direction the company might take in developing a new high-performance variant of the Q50.

Infiniti Executive Design Director Alfonso Albaisa explained: "From our shared passion for performance with Infiniti Red Bull Racing grew a collective desire to produce a vision of what a high-performance Infiniti Q50 could look like. The design has a number of distinctive Formula One-inspired touches, in particular the sculpted front wing assembly and the rear aerodynamic packaging."

Infiniti says that only the car's roof and doors remain unchanged. Lower and wider than a standard Q50, the Q50 Eau Rouge concept sits on 21-inch forged aluminum wheels and features carbon fiber for the front splitter, side mirror housings, side sill skirts, rear diffuser panel, and roof skin. The Eau Rouge also gets a dual-outlet sport exhaust system and a larger rear spoiler than the production Q50.

As an integrated part of the car's debut, Infiniti is making a major push on global social media networks--Twitter (#F1Q50), Facebook, Weibo, and Google Plus--to allow Q50 fans to build the Eau Rouge in a virtual garage by sharing progress with their friends and followers. The idea is that the more the car is shared, the better the chance it will be revealed in advance of the January 14, 2014, press conference in Detroit.

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