You’re an automaker, and you want to show–no, prove– that your latest offerings have the oomph to leave the competition behind. So what better way to prove your speed cred than filming your rides going head-to-head against real race cars.
That’s what Infiniti did with its Q50 sedan and FX crossover. Both hit the Circuit de Catalunya race track in Barcelona, Spain, to go against Formula One’s (F1) Infiniti Red Bull 9 (RB9).
F1 drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber put all three vehicles through their paces. First up were the RB9 and the 2014 Infiniti Q50. While we don’t have the specs for the 9, we do know that the Q50 — formerly known as the M sedan — is powered by a 3.7-liter aluminum-alloy DOHC 24-valve V-6 engine coupled to a seven-speed automatic. This powertrain generates an estimated 328 horsepower and 269 lb.-ft. of torque. The winner was never in doubt in the video: After a few seconds of close-ups and scene-splicing, the Q50 pulled ahead of the RB9.
The Infiniti FX was up next. This was no ordinary one, either. This crossover, called the Infiniti FX Vettel Edition, was inspired by Vettel himself. Carbon fiber, used in F1 race cars, composed the FX’s side skirts, rearview mirror housing and available roof wing. Vettel, who had a hand in every part of the limited edition’s development, continued the racing motif in the interior, replacing the leather inserts in the center of the seats with Alcantara and strategically placing carbon fiber on door trims and dash panels. Finally, Infiniti retuned the FX’s already potent 5.0-liter V-8 tuned to blast 414 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. of torque.
The RB9 held its own against Vettel’s creation. Oh-so-slow footage has the race car passing the crossover. But as any racing fan knows, it’s never over until the checkered flag drops. In a collage of car part scenes, badges, and even a shot of a helicopter recording the race, the positions changed among the three vehicles. The Q50 crossed the finish line as the winner with the FX Vettel Edition in second place. The RB9 was so frustrated that it found itself in slow-mode circles as it spun out of control.
Yes, the above one-minute film is fictional. Infiniti did make the point that its cars are sporty. The 2014 Infiniti Q50 goes on sale both here in the U.S. and abroad sometime this summer. Pricing starts at $37,355, which includes $905 in destination and delivery.
Production of the Infiniti FX Vettel Edition is scheduled to begin on June 2013. Only 150 models will be built.