Infiniti kills off GTR-powered Q50 Eau Rouge

Published: 17 September 2015

► Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge supersaloon cancelled
► Projected sales vs costs just didn’t add up
► Other performance models considered

Infiniti has shelved its giant-slaying Q50 Eau Rouge. The concept, which was unveiled at the 2014 Geneva motor show, was hotly tipped to make it into production as a blistering 560bhp powerhouse halo model to take on BMW’s M3, the Mercedes-AMG C63 and Audi’s RS4.

But in an exclusive interview with CAR at the Frankfurt motor show, Infiniti vice-president Francois Goupil de Bouille confirmed that the hotshoe Q50 has been canned because it was too expensive to produce, given its modest anticipated take-up.

‘It was originally presented as a prototype but after we evaluated sales numbers, we realised it was not realistic to produce it,’ said de Bouille. ‘It was just too costly. That was it. It is always a matter of balance of cost versus benefit, and we decided to reign in our costs.’

Eau Rouge: a GTR in posh drag

The Eau Rouge borrowed much of its powertrain from Nissan’s GT-R, with its 3.8-litre bi-turbo V6 dishing up a hairy-chested 560bhp and 442lb ft, all handled by the GT-R’s intelligent all-wheel drivetrain.

Despite this decision, de Bouille did not rule out the possibility of launching a number of key performance models gathered together under a branded performance arm to take on Mercedes-AMG, Quattro and Motorsport.

‘Performance will always be a key attribute,’ he said, adding that the company was currently in the process of deciding both how and when it would deliver that performance across the Infiniti range.

‘We will always challenge the market and its conventions… all things are being considered,’ said de Bouille, before hinting that Infiniti would consider leftfield alternatives such as high-performance diesel or stripped-out low-weight models over the traditional high-power petrol route its rivals follow.

Click here for CAR’s original story on the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge.

By Ben Whitworth

Contributing editor, sartorial over-achiever, HANS device shirt collars