Red Sport will be the new Infiniti performance badge
Infiniti is launching a performance brand, again. The Red Sport badge debuted recently on the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400, but it will extend to other models soon enough.
The top-trim Q50 was introduced with a red S badge, located on the rear and fenders, to denote the 400-horsepower twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 lurking beneath the hood. The color will be used to separate it from the 300-horsepower sport trim variants, which will wear a silver S.
“This is the new strategy of our sport lineup in the future,” Infiniti US director of product strategy Keith St. Clair told Automotive News. “Whenever you see the red S … it means the car gets a different powertrain, and typically a different suspension and different brakes than the vehicle it supersedes.”
Red Sport marks the third time Infiniti has launch a performance sub-brand, similar to BMW’s M or Lexus‘s F. In 2011, the luxury marque launched IPL, or Infiniti Performance Line, which gave small power, suspension, and appearance upgrades to the G37 and Q60 coupe and convertible. With the discontinuation of the Q60 models, IPL wrapped up as well. Then in 2014 it announced a Q50 Eau Rouge, powered by the twin-turbo V6 of the Nissan GT-R, at the Geneva Motor Show, but that project was killed off a year later.
Will Red Sport stick? “This isn’t intended to be an AMG-fighter,” St. Clair pointed out, referring to the Mercedes tuning house that parent company Daimler purchased in 1999. “We’re not there yet. I would call this program mid-performance, our first step in that direction.”
Photos by Andrew Ganz.