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Auto blogSun, 24 Aug 2014 13:03:00 EST
With Formula One taking to Belgium and the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit this weekend - boasting a reputation as one of the most beautiful courses on the calendar - all eyes will likely be on the tricky Eau Rouge corner, which challenges drivers' high-speed car control over a rolling, tree-lined hill. Infiniti played on the turn's iconic legacy for its ruby red Q50 Eau Rouge concept, and now the brand hopes to trademark the famous racing name so it can keep using it for a potential production version.
In January, the company filed for a trademark on Eau Rouge for "Automobiles and their structural parts; Fuel cell automobiles and their structural parts; Concept cars" with the US Patent and Trademark Office. According to Bloomberg, the application is still under consideration and not yet a guarantee. It's possible that the track could attempt to block the automaker from earning rights to the name. Alternatively, a trademark lawyer tells Bloomberg that the two of them could also strike a deal where Infiniti would pay a small amount for each car sold bearing the title, which could give Spa a bit of extra money in the bank.
Regardless of the name, a vehicle like the Eau Rouge is something enthusiasts have been wanting for years. It combines a modified, 560-horsepower version of the engine from the Nissan GT-R into a four-door sedan covered in aggressive, carbon fiber aerodynamic parts.
Infiniti's high-performance Q50 Eau Rouge concept might be one of the biggest teases in the current automotive world. It was first shown at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show as a body without an engine. Then, the sports sedan arrived at the Geneva Motor Show with a modified version of the turbocharged V6 from the GT-R under the hood, tuned to 560 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, and with all-wheel drive. However, it was still just a concept. Finally, the Japanese luxury automaker is showing us what the Eau Rouge can do on the road - briefly.
The company brought reigning Formula One champ Sebastian Vettel along to get behind the wheel, for this all-too-short video from the Millbrook Proving Ground in the UK. There's more good news too. While Infiniti isn't saying that it's definitely going to build the Eau Rouge, it is "pressing ahead with the evaluation." More info about these tests will be released at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show at the end of April. Scroll down to watch Vettel drive the Q50 Eau Rouge and read a little more about it.
Nissan is issuing a massive recall that will see the Japanese automaker repair 908,900 vehicles worldwide, with nearly 100,000 of the affected models in the United States. While an official recall notice from Nissan or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is not yet available, Reuters has been able to confirm the recall with Nissan.
Nissan's recall is kind of the opposite of the Toyota unintended acceleration, in that it covers a lack of acceleration. According to the report, a sensor in the gas pedal can develop faults, leading to a sluggish acceleration or an outright stall regardless of how much throttle the driver dials in. The huge recall covers mostly Japanese domestic models like the Serena, X-Trail, Lafesta and Fuga, which make up for 764,800 of the 908,900 faulty vehicles. However, 98,300 Infiniti M sedans are being recalled in the US, although it's unclear at this time which model years and trims are affected. The remaining vehicles are found in Europe and Oceania, according to Nissan spokesman Chris Keefe.
No injuries or accidents have been reported due to the faults. The 90-minute repair will see techs replace the accelerator pedal and tweak the engine control programs. We'll update this story as soon as Nissan or NHTSA makes an official statement.