This is another SEMA 2k23 car that reminds us how weird the South African car market is. It’s an Infiniti Q50 with some pretty cool tweaks. Infiniti is to Nissan what Lexus is to Toyota - a luxury brand within a brand that caters for clientele that want a bit more of everything. Over the years we did a little work with Infiniti, shooting some entertaining customer drive events where select people were invited to sample the cars during a long breakfast run that ended in a complimentary breakfast at a popular breakfast venue. It was an attempt to get people interested in the brand and to sell cars. It didn’t work. Local car buyers are so brand-blind that it’s scary, if a luxury sedan doesn’t wear a BMW, Mercedes or Lexus badge, no one wants it. The top dogs at Infiniti saw that Lexus was doing well, but with the brand being linked to Toyota there was no need for any kind of special marketing. Still, Nissan brought the brand to SA back in 2012, and just five years later it ceased all operations. It’s a pity because the cars we got to sample on those runs were nothing short of brilliant. The marketing of the brand wasn’t great either, easily evident by the fact that we live our lives around everything to do with the automotive industry and even in our circles, plenty of people didn’t even know you could buy Infiniti products here. This Q50 shows us what we missed out on, even though it’s not a monster build, it’s still pretty cool if you ask us.
The SEMA showcar is an Infiniti Q50 RED SPORT 400 that features factory-tuned accessories that completely transform it. The NISMO LM-RS1 wheels fitted have just been released and this was their first public debut. They’re 19-inch lightweight forged 6061 aluminium alloy construction and they can be had in black, anthracite or bronze semi-gloss finishes. Powering the Q50 is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 that makes 221 kW and 400 Nm in OEM guise. There’s no word on the power increase on this one but there’s most definitely more power on tap now. The Q50 features an INFINITI Alpha billet-aluminium coolant expansion tank, an INFINITI Alpha auxiliary intercooler tank, an INFINITI Alpha CARB-approved cold-air intake, an INFINITI Alpha thick-core heat exchanger, an INFINITI Performance cat-back exhaust that has a laser-etched INFINITI logo on the tips. There’s also a full suspension rework comprised of a rear toe arm set, a rear lower camber link set, rear traction rods, an end link set, front upper arms and front outer tie rod ends - all from INFINITI Performance. The car also received INFINITI Performance Street brake pads. In the cabin, things are mostly OEM besides the INFINITI Accessory carbon fibre steering wheel finisher.
Take a look at the YouTube video that shows off the Infiniti Q50 which wears a host of the coolest factory upgrades to make it a rather tasty showcar. The showing of this Red Sport 400 was also the public debut of the new range of factory lightweight wheel options from the brand: INFINITI Unleashes Thrilling Q50 RED SPORT 400 at 2023 SEMA Show | Automoto Network
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