Bad news: Infiniti won’t build its GT-R-powered Q50 Eau Rouge after all

When it debuted at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge concept seemed like the perfect recipe. Combining the guts of a Nissan GT-R with the body of Infiniti’s small luxury sedan, the Eau Rouge was a loud answer to the luxury hot rods from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Lexus, and Volvo.

Since everything on it was based on production components, it even seemed likely that the Eau Rouge would eventually reach showrooms. And Infiniti paraded a prototype around for some time, although we have now learned that it apparently doesn’t plan to do anything else. The Eau Rouge is dead, Infiniti vice president Francois Goupil de Bouille told Car magazine in an interview at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

“It was just too costly. That was it,” Bouille said. He noted that the carmaker looked at sales forecasts, and decided putting this admittedly specialized model into production just wasn’t worth the investment.

The Eau Rouge’s main selling point was that it used the 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 from the GT-R, sending 560 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque to the wheels through the Nissan’s sophisticated all-wheel drive system. But none of these components are particularly cheap to build. GT-R engines are hand-assembled in a clean room by dedicated builders who spend years apprenticing for the job.

That may be fine in a $100,000, limited-production supercar, but adding volume by introducing a second model could have complicated things. Mercedes-Benz has managed to massively increase the output of its hand-built AMG engines, but that’s not necessarily a trick that makes sense for every carmaker.

The souring of relations between Infiniti and the Red Bull Racing Formula One team it sponsors could have also dampened enthusiasm for the GT-R-powered Q50. The car is named after a famous corner on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, and Infiniti highlighted the connection with Red Bull in promotions.

But that was when Red Bull was dominating F1. Now the team is struggling, and it’s blaming the hybrid powertrains supplied by Infiniti parent Renault for its lack of success. A split between Infiniti and Red Bull seems likely, making the Q50 Eau Rouge’s F1 connotations problematic for the brand.

While the Eau Rouge may be dead, Infiniti may still build a sportier Q50. VP Bouille said Infiniti is mulling a performance sub-brand in the vein of AMG or BMW M, and that everything from a high-performance diesel to stripped-down lightweights is under consideration.

Product Review

There’s a new baby Benz on the block: A-Class proves sedans aren’t dead yet

While it seems like the traditional sedan is dead, Mercedes-Benz believes otherwise. And the 2019 A-Class sedan arrives to try and capture younger buyers and sway them from competitors. We explore Seattle in one to see if it’s any good.
Cars

Get your camera out: Mercedes-AMG Project One supercar tests on public roads

The Mercedes-AMG Project One is a hybrid supercar incorporating genuine Formula One racing DNA. The $2.7 million Project One is entering its final stage of development, including public-road testing.
Product Review

With the XT4, Cadillac's tech game goes from frustrating to first class

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is the American luxury brand’s first small SUV, slotting under the XT5. Aimed at younger buyers, the XT4 is intended to be a nurturing product — something to introduce new customers and lead to future Cadillac…
Product Review

Aston’s stunning DB11 V8 Volante proves exotic cars aren't just about lap times

With the DB11 Volante, Aston Martin’s marriage of luxury and performance is perhaps at its best, offering hustle that doesn’t feel rushed and refinement with emotion still intact.
Cars

Audi’s subscription service lets you roll in style without commitment

Audi expanded its mobility options by launching a car subscription service in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. For $1,395, buyers can choose from five models (including the Q7, the Q5, and the A4) and swap cars twice a month.
Cars

Stop the madness! Here's how to fix those squeaky brakes

Few noises are worse than the sound of squeaky brakes. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to go about fixing the issue without giving up your weekend or investing a small fortune. Here's what you need to know.
Cars

At Bonneville, a 210-mph Volkswagen Jetta is nothing unusual

The Bonneville Salt Flats are the ultimate temple of speed. Follow along as Volkswagen attempts to set a record with a modified economy car, and see what makes Bonneville so special.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Click-to-brew beer, comfy headlamps, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

Lamborghini’s V12 flagship brings the shock and awe for SVJ duty

High-tech active aerodynamics, trick steering, and good old-fashioned horsepower help to make this Aventador the most track-capable production Lamborghini ever.
Cars

Porsche brings diesel car production to a screeching halt

Porsche has announced that it will no longer be making diesel cars. The German automaker said that, as a sports car brand, diesel fuels simply weren't as important a part of their business as other options.
Cars

Will Toyota finally cave to buyer demand and offer Android Auto?

For years, Toyota refused to offer Android Auto for privacy and security reasons. That could change soon; a recent report claims Toyota will begin offering Android Auto compatibility in at least some of its models.
Product Review

FenSens Smart Parking Sensor improves your ride with no strings, or wires, attached

Instead of relying on an old-fashioned mirror, it may be time to step up to a parking sensor. We test the latest FenSens Smart Wireless Parking Sensor to see if this device, with your smartphone, can replicate the latest OEM system.
Product Review

No longer the underdog, the Audi Q3 is all grown up and ready to dominate

The Audi Q3 is back for a second generation and it’s better than ever before. It looks sharper, it packs more power, and it offers a longer list of tech features. We put it to the test to find out how it fares against the competition.
Cars

Check out the tuned, resto-modded, and high-tech GTIs at Volkswagen’s home show

About 4,000 cars attended the GTI Coming Home event in Wolfsburg, Germany, and we couldn't find two identical cars. Our favorite car at the event blended 1980s style with 21st century tech features.