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Infiniti Powers Up with Three New Engines for Q50 Line

Luxury maker promises “complete transformation” of line-up.

by on Feb.11, 2016

Infiniti gets serious about performance with a new 400 hp VR V-6 for the Q50 Red Sport 400.

Long stuck in the second tier of luxury brands, Infiniti hopes to come out from the shadows with an assortment of new models and powertrains, and a bigger emphasis on performance.

Nissan’s high-line marque is giving a taste of what it has in mind as it reveals three new powertrains for the new Q50 sedan at a Chicago Auto Show event, including a package it has dubbed the Q50 Red Sport 400.

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“We are completely transforming the Infiniti model lineup this year with all-new models like the QX30 and Q60 sports coupe, major makeovers such as the QX60, and cutting-edge powerplants like the Q50’s three all-new turbocharged engines,” said Infiniti Americas Vice President Randy Parker.

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Infiniti Undergoing Another Management Shake-Up

Maker replaces head of critical U.S. operations.

by on Feb.19, 2015

One of Bartsch's last public duties was handling the debut of the Infiniti Q60 Concept.

Infiniti’s new global CEO is a man who clearly wants his own team in place. And, apparently, Michael Bartsch wasn’t on his list.

The Australian-born Bartsch has been given his walking papers as head of the luxury brand’s U.S. operations, and will be replaced by Randy Parker. The move comes as Infiniti makes some aggressive moves to position itself as a major global luxury brand.

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But while worldwide sales hit a record last year, the brand’s performance in the U.S. lagged behind the rest of the market, apparently leading to the latest shake-up. (more…)

Infiniti Set to Decide Future of Eau Rouge

New brand chief Kruger will soon decide if it’s go or no-go for performance sub-brand.

by on Jan.16, 2015

The original Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge concept made its debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

Infiniti’s new President Roland Kruger will be facing a tough decision in the coming weeks: whether to pull the plug on the high-performance Eau Rouge project launched by his predecessor.

The 550-horsepower Q50 Eau Rouge was meant to serve as the halo car for a brand desperate to establish a stronger global identity. But the project has been wracked by turmoil following a series of key defections from the automaker and its parent Nissan, notably the departure of former Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen who left to become the head of Cadillac.

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Despite some reports that the Japanese luxury maker has scrubbed Eau Rouge, Michael Bartsch, the head of Infiniti operations in the U.S., stressed that no decision has yet been made. “We still don’t have an answer on whether it’s a go or no-go,” he said during an interview at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

“We’re waiting for Roland to find out how he feels about (Eau Rouge),” Bartsch added.

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Infiniti May Go from Digital Track to Street with Vision Gran Turismo

GT car could come to life as halo for luxury brand.

by on Dec.17, 2014

The Infiniti Vision is the latest addition to Gran Turismo for PlayStation 3. The car could jump from television screen to the streets.

Pity the poor car designer who comes up with a great idea, only to have to cope with the realities of product development, marketing and manufacturing. The results can be downright depressing when your concept re-emerges looking like a Pontiac Aztek.

No wonder, then, designers line up for a chance to work with the folks from Sony on their Gran Turismo videogame for PlayStation 3. The latest to put a car on that virtual track is Infiniti, which is giving us a look at its new Vision Gran Turismo concept.

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But if you like what you see, hang tight. What started out as an internal competition to “design a pure Infiniti GT car” just might have a practical application, after all, the maker suggesting the digital concept could just be a hint of “what a high performance Infiniti could look like in the future.” (more…)

F1 – From Track to Street

As the racing series evolves, your car soon could share parts with a Formula One racer.

by on Nov.06, 2014

Formula One teams virtually redesign their cars "every two weeks," creating significant opportunities to develop tech breakthroughs.

While Formula One remains the world’s most popular motorsport series, it’s come in for sharp criticism this year as a result of rules changes that, among other things, have tamed the traditionally ear-shattering screech of an F1 racer’s engine.

Ironically, the changes may have a positive payoff for the automakers who sponsor many of the series’ teams – and the consumers who buy their products. If anything, the result is that it’s becoming more likely that the technology used by the latest Formula One cars will help improve tomorrow’s street vehicles.

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If anything, “For the first time, Formula One is following” what’s happening on public roads, suggested Tommaso Volpe, Global Director of Formula One at Infiniti Motor Co. Ltd., the maker’s F1 operation which several years ago partnered with the championship-winning Red Bull team.

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Infiniti Names Kruger New Global Boss

Will he maintain the luxury brand's new strategy?

by on Sep.10, 2014

Roland Kruger, shown during his BMW days.

Infiniti has a new global boss, a German executive with “an accomplished track record” in the luxury car market. Roland Kruger will replace the recently departed Johan de Nysschen, who took a job as the head of General Motors’ struggling Cadillac.

The transition at Infiniti headquarters in Hong Kong comes at a crucial time for the brand, the luxury arm of Nissan preparing to launch a wave of new products designed to boost it from an afterthought to a major player in the global luxury car market.

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A major question is whether Kruger will continue the strategies outlined by de Nysschen, who had been pushing for a new flagship model, as well as a line of performance products that were expected to be dubbed Eau Rouge.

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Infiniti Moving Ahead on Eau Rouge Program, Says CEO

But timing uncertain.

by on Mar.06, 2014

The updated Q50 Eau Rouge 2.0 in Geneva.

As we reported earlier this week, Infiniti brought an updated version of its Q50 Eau Rouge Concept to the Geneva Motor Show – but a subsequent conversation with the Japanese maker’s CEO offers a more in-depth glance at how the maker plans to move from concept to production.

“I would build it right away,” says Infiniti’s Hong Kong-based boss, Johan de Nysschen, though he cautions that the project still faces a number of hurdles before we’re likely to see the premium sport sedan can roll into showrooms, stressing that the program is “still very much up in the air.”

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Originally unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show two months ago, the blood red Eau Rouge Concept added some dynamic details to the Q50 sedan Infiniti rolled out last year, including some carbon-fiber aero enhancements – such as the front splitter, rear diffuser and side sill skirts, as well as the roof and door mirror casings – along with the 21-inch lightweight forged alloy wheels and a dual-exit exhaust sports system mounted below the show car’s integrated rear spoiler.

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Infiniti Muscles Up with Q50 Eau Rouge Concept v2.0

A “powerful heart” for a “blood-red beast.”

by on Mar.04, 2014

Infiniti CEO Johan de Nysschen with the Q50 Eau Rouge at its original roll-out in Detroit.

When Infiniti rolled out its Q50 Eau Rouge concept car at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year it suggested a bold and audacious new strategy by a brand that was long little more than an afterthought in the global luxury car market.  But the prototype left plenty of questions unanswered – notably including what might power a production version of the high-line muscle car?

We’ve gotten our answer with the debut of the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge 2.0 at the Geneva Motor Show.  Under that deep red sheet metal, the beating heart of the concept vehicle is a twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-6 punching out 560 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of wheel-spinning torque.

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“Building on the extremely positive feedback on the Q50 Eau Rouge at its recent Detroit Auto Show launch, we decided to further whet the appetite of performance sports sedan fans by engineering this powerful heart into our blood-red beast,” said Johan de Nysschen, the president and CEO of Nissan’s luxury brand.

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It’s All in the Concept: Show Cars Pack Them in at NAIAS

But what you see might soon be what you get.

by on Jan.16, 2014

Kia's GT4 Stinger Concept was developed in a bid to enhance the Korean carmaker's image.

It’s all in the concept – at least for many automotive show-goers who can’t wait to check out the latest concept vehicles that are on display at this year’s North American International Auto Show.

Nearly a dozen new ones are making their debut this year.  Some, like the new Toyota FT-1, are pure fantasy, designed to stretch the minds of automotive designers and the public alike.  Others, like the Acura TLX Concept, are thinly disguised production vehicles that will reach showrooms in a matter of months.

What a Concept!

“They’re one of the best reasons to come to a show like this,” said Charlie Vogelheim, a California journalist who stuck around after the official NAIAS Media Days this week to get a second, more casual peek at some of the vehicles making their debut in Detroit.

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Muscling Up at the Detroit Auto Show

Green cars give way to performance vehicles at NAIAS.

by on Jan.15, 2014

The new Corvette Z06, dubbed "The Big Nasty" by GM's global product development chief Mark Reuss.

What a difference a year can make.  When the doors opened at Detroit’s Cobo Center for the 2013 North American International Auto Show, visitors were greeted by an array of new hybrids, plug-ins and pure electric vehicles, and even got the opportunity to drive some of the latest green machines on a special course in the sprawling convention center’s basement.

While there are a number of green machines on display as the 2014 auto show gets set to open to the public, the spotlight is shining in a different direction.  Nowhere is that more apparent than at the Toyota stand.

Power to the People!

Only last November, the Japanese giant detailed plans to put a new hydrogen car into production by 2015. But while a prototype is on display, Toyota’s big news for Detroit is the FT-1 sports car concept which, the maker notes, was outfitted with a classic, high-performance internal combustion engine, not one of its many hybrid drivetrains.

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