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Infiniti's 560bhp Q50 Eau Rouge super-saloon is dead. For now
M5-rivalling, GT-R-engined four-door isn't a production for priority, admit company bosses
Well, for a while, it looked like the Eau Rouge was going to make production. Now, things aren’t looking so rosy for what would have been Infiniti’s quickest, most hardcore model to date.
TG.com caught up with Francois Bancon, Infiniti’s VP of product strategy, at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
“Of course I would love to have a exotic high-performance car in the portfolio,” he told us, “and maybe we’re going to do it. Let’s start with our current product, the Q30, Q50 and we’re going to launch the Q60 [a two-door, coupe version of the Q50 to rival the BMW 4-Series] and some other products. Lets capitalise on this. Raise awareness and consideration for the brand, and then you can think about making more exotic cars.”
Ah. “The most important thing for us at the moment, especially in Europe, is credibility,” Bancon adds. “We need to demonstrate we are as good as the best of the best, and that’s not an easy thing to do.”
Similarly, Bancon says of the Q80 Inspiration Concept, which was headed for production, “I’m not saying we’re not thinking about it, it’s just not a tomorrow-morning priority.
“Of course it is a fantastic car. But are you going to sell 1000 of them? Than isn’t going to work. When you put into market a £60k or £65k car, you need some credibility.”
However, Bancon confirms that we will see some ‘aggressive performance’ – whatever that is - from Infiniti very soon. “Not on the level of AMG. Something more accessible, something you can own and you can use, you can have fun with.” Will it be based on the Q30 – which, after all, is based on the Merc A–Class, a car more than capable of handling nearly 400bhp? “Probably not,” says Bancon. Hmmmnn.
“We’re not giving up on making aggressive high performance cars,” he says. But what form that performance will take, and when it will arrive remains unclear. However, Infiniti promises Top Gear it has an ‘exciting announcement’ lined up before the end of the year. Watch this (currently quite empty) space.