After seeing Infiniti's Q50 Eau Rouge concept at the Detroit Auto Show last month, we argued that the luxury brand needs to put the car into production, for its own good.
Infiniti has said it wants to seriously compete with top-tier automakers — BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus.
To make that transition, it needs more products, and one of those products needs to be on the level of the BMW M3, Lexus IS F, or Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG.
We said that it was not about volume of sales, but about proving that Infiniti can make an outstanding car. And we thought the Eau Rouge could be that car for Infiniti.
On March 4, we'll find out if Infiniti listened. That's the date of its press conference at the Geneva Motor Show, where it plans to reveal the engine that's going under the hood of the Eau Rouge.
Finding the right engine is crucial, and not a simple task. Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen has said a production version of the Eau Rouge "would have over 500 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque," likely coming from a turbocharged V6 or naturally aspirated V8."
Unfortunately, he can't grab the engine from the GT-R, the terrific car from Nissan (Infiniti's parent company). But Nissan does have a partnership with Daimler AG, which owns Mercedes-Benz, so perhaps the right choice could come from Germany.
If Infiniti shows us something innovative and impressive, it will be a sign the brand really wants to compete with the big dogs. We're optimistic: Infiniti hasn't confirmed whether the Eau Rouge will see production, it has hinted the that it will.
Until March 4, we'll content ourselves by listening to the sound produced by that mystery engine. Not bad:
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