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Car and Driver: Not Quite Lazarus, Not Quite Not Lazarus: Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Not Necessarily Dead


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Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge

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When Infiniti unveiled the GT-R–powered Q50 Eau Rouge concept at Detroit in 2014, performance fanfolk yawped forth with a “High holy yes!” Then HMIC Johan de Nysschen departed for Cadillac, the idea lingered a moment on life support, and was summarily declared dead. Except that the idea of a performance sedan built to take on the beasties from Mercedes’ AMG, BMW’s M, and de Nyscchen’s V series is still alive at at Nissan’s luxury unit.

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Speaking to Auto Express, Infiniti CEO Roland Kruger said, “Every premium brand that has performance aspirations needs a halo model—a model at the forefront that symbolizes power and performance.” And while the new Q60 set to appear at next month’s Detroit auto show should offer a much-needed injection of glamour to Infiniti’s line, its top-shelf engine—a 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine making somewhere around 400 horsepower—is more in line with Mercedes’ AMG Sport and Cadillac’s VSport offerings than with the thoroughbred honkers a rung up the ladder.

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All that suggests a production version of the Eau Rouge could become a reality in the next few years, as Infiniti gets the Q30, QX30, and Q60 launches out of the way and fits its new powertrains to the Q50, although the final result may not be a sedan all ate up with GT-R powertrain. In fact, given the expense involved in turning that mooted Eau Rouge into reality, it’s unlikely. While Infiniti won’t comment on what a future performance Q50 might consist of, it’s easy enough to see them punching out and/or turning up the boost on the 3.0—after all, BMW manages to rule the class with three liters and forced induction.

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