The prospect of the Eau Rouge Infiniti Q50 just became much, much more tantalizing. @TheRealAutoblog has discovered a brilliant tidbit of information: this car sounds turbocharged.
This is news because no Q50 sedans are currently turbocharged. In fact, I do not think Infiniti has ever implemented turbo engines (so far).
Aside from the Q45 and its well-known 278-horsepower V8, the first 1990-92 M30's were V6-powered, as was 1993-1998 J30... and so on.
The Q50 Eau Rouge does not just sound turbocharged. It sounds GT-R turbocharged.
The GT-R has a particularly gruff but high-strung appeal to its engine and exhaust harmonies. It is a very baritone engine at low revs -- which makes the GT-R's 'savage beast' transformation under full throttle even less comprehensible.
The Q50 Eau Rouge is center stage in Geneva, with some real Red Bull star power likely to make some kind of appearance. Sebastian Vettel is a very exciting lead face for Infiniti's bold expansion in Europe, Russia and the Middle East regions -- among others.
Few brands can even come within a shred of Red Bull's Formula One success at any cost. So the inspired partnership and full sponsorship of the team by Infiniti stand apart. This is one of the most brilliant marketing achievements in recent memory.
Cementing the bond between the Nissan GT-R and Infiniti may become a close second-place in the Big Ideas hall of fame.
Formula One has gone turbo.
Infiniti and Formula One are besties.
GT-R is best turbo ever.
Q50 could greatly benefit from GT-R turbo tech.
It all seems to make so much sense.
But there is one missing element. The GT-R is four-wheel-drive. Is the Q50? Yes, it can be.
Far more than a cosmetic upgrade or a light workover like the FX50S by Seb: the Q50 Eau Rouge is now almost certainly packing 500-horsepower-plus under that lipstick-red face.
Eau Rouge -- literal translation: red water
Inspired by: high-speed chicane at Spa, widely considered one of the best corners in racing. Easy one lap, perhaps devastating the next.
Overall, corners like this can uncover any unusual handling traits in a car as it slows, coasts left and right, then hard back on the throttle in just a few seconds.
eau -- generally like "oa" in "boat" in American English
rouge -- 'roozh' or simply 'roojj'
So, what are these rumors about the powertrain and a possible GT-R link?
The Eau Rouge Q50 sound in the video above is dead-on accurate to the way the GT-R fires up, and changes in pitch based on throttle input levels. The GT-R has a very distinctive sound, in this way, making it quite the memorable bark.
This video walk-around from last summer helps illustrate the startup sound of the 2013 GT-R. It is at 1-min, 45-seconds in if you are in a hurry.
Or this one, which is a driving video with a bit of heavy throttle input.
Bottom line: any hint of GT-R can only improve the Q50's credibility among the performance elite.
To these eyes, the Q50 Eau Rouge looks like far more than its official billing as a concept car.