Wraps come off Infiniti FX50 concept designed by F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel
Matt Burt
28 August 2011

The Sebastian Vettel-inspired Infiniti FX50 has broken cover – and the F1 world champion will unveil the concept car at next month's Frankfurt motor show.

As revealed by autocar.co.uk earlier this week, the Japanese manufacturer has designed a special version of the luxury SUV in collaboration with Vettel, who is a global company ambassador for Infiniti and drives an FX50 on the road.

The exterior appearance of the concept has echoes of the FX Limited Edition that was produced by Infiniti in 2010, but the concept has 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.

The frontal changes also include an aggressive carbonfibre spoiler that has been modelled on the front wing of a Formula One car. The concept has LED running lights that are deeply inset above the spoiler.

The roof rails seen on all other FX50s are gone, and the concept also boasts a rear wing, which could be more than cosmetic and actually provide downforce. The four-wheel-drive machine is finished Moonlight White pearl metallic paintwork with silver 'Vettel' badging and carbonfibre wing mirrors and sills.

The interior of the car is expected to feature some special touches. A cryptic video shot at the Geneva motor show in March offered some clues to the styling: in the short clip, Vettel is heard planning the design of a car with Infiniti’s senior vice president Shiro Nakamura.

If the video clip is to be believed, the Sebastian Vettel edition FX50 will be fitted with an F1-inspired steering wheel that boasts many extra buttons and controls.

The video briefly shows a photograph of a car’s cabin that is labelled ‘carbonfibre-titanium-dark grey piping’, which hints that the car will feature these materials and tones.

Infiniti describes Vettel's design as a 'performance concept', which suggests that the car could have a power and torque hike over the 385bhp that the five-litre V8 in the top-of-the-range FX50 possesses.

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