It seems that there may be trouble on the horizon when it comes to the all-new Nissan GT.
..er...Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge. The past two weeks haven't been kind to it.
First, we saw the departure of Johan de Nysschen. The former Audi executive is pretty masterful at his job and this is a big blow to Infiniti. From what we heard the Infiniti brand hadn't even begun to see the changes he was working on. Perhaps the Eau Rouge was going to be his first move in a massive chess match. Given the change in leadership, I'd say the future of the Eau Rouge is most definitely up in the air.
Second, the first driving impressions of the Eau Rouge — Evo Magazine got a crack at it and from what I've seen I think this is the first journalist behind the wheel — are not all that flattering. There's a couple of, frankly, BIG problems surrounding the car.
To be honest, I figured this would essentially be a GT-R wrapped in a Q50 body. It turns out that's not the case. At all. The Eau Rouge uses a GT-R motor, BUT the two most key components aside from the motor are not from the GT-R at all. BOTH the all-wheel drive system and automatic transmission are inherited from the Q70 sedan.
This is a problem.
The magic of the GT-R's tremendous speed is its AWD system and sharp dual-clutch gearbox. If you take those away, you're missing a HUGE part of the equation. According to Evo, the gearbox won't fit.
From there, if you listen to the commentary it doesn't sound all that exciting with exception of the brakes. But, if want fantastic stopping power you can invest in a super big brake kit or a set of carbon ceramics these days.
While this vehicle is a working prototype, which means NOTHING is final, is this starting to sound like this project may be a bit underwhelming — and possibly doomed — at this stage?