The Infiniti Q60S Red Sport 400 AWD jogs my memory of the best automobile Infiniti by no means constructed. It was known as the Eau Rouge—named for the well-known nook on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit—and it transplanted Nissan GT-R energy into an Infiniti Q50. I drove the prototype in England in 2014 and concluded that sure, in fact, they need to construct that. As is so typically the case, I used to be fallacious.
The Eau Rouge did precisely preview the Red Sport AWD fashions (Q50 sedan, Q60 coupe) in that it used a turbocharged V-6, a torque-converter computerized, and an all-wheel-drive system to deploy energy. The idea was sound. But the issue with the GT-R’s barbaric 560-hp V-6 is that each different element of the automobile should step to that degree. If you have got 560 horsepower below the hood, then you definately want 560-horsepower brakes, and 560-horsepower suspension, and 560-horsepower tires. Otherwise you simply have a goofy machine which may put up some good numbers in a straight line however falls aside in all places else.
Remember the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO? It had 365 horsepower and reached 60 mph in 5.2 seconds (which, we famous, was faster than the modern Audi S6 with its Lamborghini V-10) however used the identical tiny brakes as another Taurus. It was type of a mess. Even the all-wheel-drive system wasn’t as much as the duty, typically fragging the undersized energy switch unit that despatched energy to the rear (they upgraded that later, not less than). My 2010 Lincoln MKT EcoBoost, sharing the identical fundamental elements, destroyed the rear half of its drivetrain. These are the issues that come up whenever you’ve acquired a swole engine in a dadbod automobile.
And whereas the Q50 and Q60 are, by dint of their rear-drive platforms, inherently higher-performance vehicles than the ol’ Taurus, they’re not on the extent of a Nissan GT-R. The Eau Rouge made that clear sufficient. Granted, this was a one-of-one prototype, however it was discombobulated by its personal horsepower. It saved lighting up the within rear tire out of corners, and the GT-R engine and computerized transmission appeared an sad marriage. This is a powerplant that likes on the spot, brutal upshifts and dramatic zings to the higher reaches of the tach on downshifts. If there’s such factor a dual-clutch type of engine, the VR38DETT is it. But the Eau Rouge was actually Infiniti’s temper board for a higher-performance Q50, and the results of that’s the Red Sport 400. Evidently, Infiniti flogged the Eau Rouge across the proving floor and concluded that 400 horsepower is perhaps extra prefer it.
They have been proper. The Red Sports aren’t Infiniti GT-Rs. They’re extraordinarily fast and fairly vocal—the bark of exhaust remembers the unique G35 coupe—however deliberately mellower than a full-on efficiency model is perhaps. They’re like different firms’ penultimate efficiency vehicles, the BMW M550i or Cadillac Vs (the sub-Blackwing ones). Except Infiniti doesn’t provide something above them. There’s no NISMO for Infiniti, no analogue to Lexus’s F vehicles. That’s what the Eau Rouge would have been, possibly. But it could have taken a lot of labor, and hard-edged sedans (and coupes, for that matter) are a robust promote. Red Sport 400 was the proper name.
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In the Q60’s case, the result’s maybe 75 p.c of the GT-R’s efficiency, with twice the consolation for half the value. No, it’s not a hardcore sports activities automobile. But for those who occur to run into a JDM GT-R out on a again highway—as I inexplicably did—it will possibly hold. Sure, that was a a lot older automobile. But the bloodline was there: six cylinders, turbocharged, all-wheel drive. After a full-throttle blast down a straight, I pulled over and let him go. Away from the subsequent cease signal, I listened as he ran up by way of the gears, the violent induction noise commingling with the rip of the exhaust. The Red Sport 400 doesn’t sound a lot totally different. It’s not so savage, however it belongs to the identical household tree. And it will possibly additionally loosen up in a manner that the GT-R merely by no means does. It’s the GT, with out the R.
That may bum you out, however not less than Infiniti made a acutely aware determination to attract the road proper right here, and that call was knowledgeable by their expertise with the Eau Rouge. Which, you’ll discover, shouldn’t be in manufacturing. But the title remains to be on the market, ready for the automobile to do it justice.
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