The Infiniti FX50 designed in conjunction with Sebastian Vettel has been unveiled by the Formula 1 world champion at the Frankfurt motor show. The car has performance and styling tweaks and will be produced in limited numbers when it goes on sale next year.
ECU tweaks mean the car will have 423bhp, up 25bhp on the standard FX. Its speed limiter has been removed, allowing it to hit 300kph (186mph). Although it hasn’t been officially confirmed, the power and torque improvements mean it is expected to travel from 0-62mph in 5.5sec, three-tenths faster than the standard car.
The car – which will be called FX Sebastian Vettel Version – features a restyled grille, a carbonfibre front spoiler modelled on the front wing of a Formula One car, LED running lights, carbonfibre wing mirrors and sills and a rear wing that provides downforce.
Infiniti’s design chief Shiro Nakamura’s team of designers were sent a Red Bull F1 show car as part of the design project, as they sought to draw as many parallels to the sport as possible. He said: “I first met with Sebastian in Geneva and since then he has been in constant contact. He has seen about three versions of the car and had input into its development at every stage.
“Sebastian has a real eye for detail and enthusiasm for the project. We talked through a lot of ideas, taking some and rejecting others. I really wanted the car to be subtle – not too loud. We considered a larger rear wing, for instance, but it didn’t achieve the look we were after.”
Notably the exterior features a restyled grille that is pinched in at the top corners. A similar grille has been a feature of Infiniti's recent concept models, including the Etherea shown off at the Geneva motor show earlier this year. Autocar understands that the grille design will be on all future Infiniti road cars.
Infiniti started a two-year sponsorship deal with Red Bull F1 at the beginning of this year, and marketing boss Simon Sproule confirmed that the partners were looking at other road car projects.
“We’re just six months into the relationship,” he said. “This car is just the start, and we are still looking at collaborating on other projects.”
Sproule has previously talked of his enthusiasm getting Red Bull F1 involved in engineering a performance car.